Is It Okay to Use Wikipedia for Research Projects?

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  • Alfred Jones

  • 2 months ago

Is It Okay to Use Wikipedia for Research Projects?

In most cases, students cite their work to avoid plagiarism. For instance, they make claims and use references to support them when writing research papers, case studies, outlines, reports, and other academic works.

You might have textbooks and journal articles containing the information required for your assignments. However, you might need more sources to deepen your knowledge about a specific topic or theory. For this reason, you could find yourself searching for several articles online based on assignment instructions. Wikipedia is among the websites with rich information about a variety of topics tackled in high schools, colleges, and universities.

When searching for resources online, Wikipedia may appear as the first result. You will find informative content and well-explained points about your topic if you click the link. A Wikipedia article might be a good starting point for research, offer a general idea about a subject matter, and provide hints about sources for further study. In fact, it contains answers to countless questions and offers exhaustive information about many topics.

Reasons Why Wikipedia is Unsuitable for Academic Work

Every article in this online encyclopedia has links and references to support author assertions. However, you cannot use it for academic purposes. Therefore, using Wikipedia as a source of paper citations is not okay.

You should avoid using an online encyclopedia to cite your academic work. Colleges and Universities require students to use primary sources or sometimes secondary sources as reference materials, not non-scholarly websites.  

The articles on the site are unreliable for citing other works on Wikipedia. Since it is a user-generated source, anyone can edit the textual content at any time.

Any article published on this platform could be vandalism, inaccurate, and simply a work in progress. For instance, any person can amend or vandalize an article. People might also edit and generate content to steer traffic to other sites. A lack of proper vetting also compromises information credibility.

In conclusion, you are free to use Wikipedia sources to meet your entertainment needs, explore articles, and conduct research about countries and other things. Nevertheless, you should not utilize it as a resource in your assignments and research projects.

Tags: Wikipedia