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Research With Non-Scholarly Internet Resources: Wikipedia

Wikipedia

 

 

If you find most of your information on Wikipedia, that’s okay! It’s okay to use Wikipedia. It’s just not okay to quote or cite Wikipedia.

 

Read the Wikipedia pages relevant to your topic as a primer and to expand your basic understanding. We do this, too! But remember, there’s very little oversight - no one’s being paid to check these pages to see if they’re accurate, which is why you’ve heard a million times that it isn’t acceptable for scholastic work. Though Wikipedia articles aren’t scholarly or peer-reviewed, we understand that they are sources of information.

 

 

Here are some websites that will help you use Wikipedia in your classes:

 

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign:

Use Wikipedia Effectively for Research

 


 

Cornell University Digital Literacy Resource:

Using Wikipedia

 


 

From Wikipedia:

Academic Use 

Researching With Wikipedia

 

Remember:

 

1.  If anything seems wrong or unreliable, don’t believe it.

 

2.  If the Wikipedia page you're on doesn’t have citations (little blue hyperlink numbers next to key ideas) of if it has tiny blue writing that says “citation needed,” be extra cautious.

 

Here's How To Use It

 

You can’t quote Wikipedia, but you can quote legitimate articles you find through Wikipedia. Click the blue number next to a line, quote, or idea to go to its specific citation or reference, or scroll through the citations at the bottom of the page. Many of these citations are from legitimate sources.

 

1.  Be very careful in selecting what information to use (this is true in all research, but especially true here). If you find an article linked through Wikipedia, make sure to evaluate that article and its source. Often these articles were cherry picked to say what the writer wanted.

 

2.  Never reference Wikipedia directly. Always reference the article you found on Wikipedia.