Skip to main content

ENGL 100 Clay - Criminalization of Drug Use: Wikipedia!?!

fall 2018 ENGL 100 course, David Clay

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a GREAT alternative or supplement to Wikipedia! It's a collection of encyclopedias online.

 I love encyclopedias? Why? Because an encyclopedia gives me a starting point. It gives me the big picture.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

If you are at home, you will need your library card number.

Professor says no!

Why do you think professors usually tell students not to use Wikipedia?

Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the controversy over Wikipedia in academia.

Is Wikipedia a good site for college research?


Look at the end of any Wikipedia article for links to sources that should be evaluated, but may be good credible websites.

Is Wikipedia a good source for college research?

Don't confuse the diving board with the swimming pool! Wikipedia is often a good diving board, good for getting you into the pool. It's not the pool. The pool includes: credible websites, books, articles, lectures by experts (sometimes on Youtube).




Comedian Stephen Colbert gives a humorous explanation of how Wikipedia works.  “Together we can create a reality we all agree on---the reality we just agreed on.”


Scholars often take swipes at Wikipedia, claiming that it dumbs down education and encourages intellectual laziness. But in an article this week in Science Progress, a scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas argues that bans on Wikipedia are irresponsible.

How I use Wikipedia

  1. As a diving board!
  2. The swimming pool is full of information, but I need a diving board to jump in
  3. I build my background knowledge with Wikipedia
  4. I keep in mind that the information might not be authoritative
  5. I use the notes and references at the bottom to lead me to other information 
  6. I don't copy and paste and then change the words around. That's plagiarism.