Free Essay


In: English and Literature

Submitted By cece1984
Words 833
Pages 4
Cecilia Washington
Professor Dr. Dennis Lawrence
ENGL 102
November 2, 2015
Yay or Nay The mission of Wikipedia was to design it to be used as a free encyclopedia and research tool in which readers could obtain verifiable information. Wikipedia has been questioned by many individuals concerning its creditability. It is open to a large contributor base allowing anyone to edit and write anything. Many use information from Wikipedia to do research without second guessing or even thinking that the information being obtained may actually be false. “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start; they may contain false or debatable information” (Wikipedia: Using Wikipedia as a research tool). Determining whether Wikipedia is good or bad as far as being able to be used as a source of credit worthy information is kind of hard to figure out. Believing that the pros of Wikipedia outweighs the cons, it is still hard to find a balance.
When you search for something on the internet, the first link to direct your search is a link involving Wikipedia which some would consider a good sign. Wikipedia is a good source to read when you absolutely have no knowledge about what you are researching. Since entries can be made by anyone, the diversity of different subjects could be beneficial. You could learn how one subject could become many due to the differences in cultural and personal opinions. “Wikipedia takes information from other reliable websites and puts it onto one portal. Each piece of information added to a page can be individually cited so readers can find the source and get more information” (Wikipedia: Why Wikipedia is so great). If you don’t completely trust what you are reading, there will always be links to other articles so that you can compare and piece together the truth. For example when someone researching World War 1, knowing nothing about it, Wikipedia would be considered a great source. One way you would know if the content is of a good source would be if there was no edit link. With no edit link, no one could alter the content or make it possible to put false content in. Reading under the section of War Crimes, there’s a section talking about chemical weapons in warfare. Clicking on the main article entitled, “Chemical Weapons in World War 1,” takes you to another Wikipedia ad talking about that subject.
Since Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, you automatically associate it with information being accurate as it would be in a book written encyclopedia. When someone writes and constructs the content of a chemistry book that you use for class, it is most likely proofread to ensure its content is true and accurate by experts that studied and have profound expertise in the said subject. When it comes to Wikipedia, there are a combination of those that are experts and those that are amateurs. It’s hard to figure out which is which because you are trusting them to be proficient and expertized in what you are researching, especially because you have no knowledge about what you are trying to learn. As stated previously, the Wikipedia article on “Chemical Weapons in World War 1,” there is an edit link with each topic being discussed meaning anyone can write, edit, and update information as long as they acquire a login. There was an example concerning John Seigenthaler, a former assistant to Robert Kennedy who was falsely implicated in the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers. You have no real way of knowing who is actually writing the published information or if it is actually true or not, making Wikipedia a non-credible source. It is also troublesome knowing that someone could easily click the edit link and add on whatever they want to say.
When trying to determine the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, one must consider a lot of things. Wikipedia is to be used only as a something like a study guide. “Sometimes vandals create malicious entries that go uncorrected for months” (Mark E. Moran). Not knowing whether the information posted is true and accurate, the links provided at the end of the readings may better help in determining the truth. When doing research, Wikipedia should not be held to the standard of a noted verification. “Any user can change any entry in Wikipedia, and if enough other users agree with them, it becomes true. All we need to do is convince a majority of people that some factoid is true” (Stephen Colbert).

Works Cited
Colbert, Stephen. The Colbert Report. Is Wikipedia a Reliable Resource? August 1, 2006 Mark E. Moran. The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia. October 2, 2011
Why Wikipedia is so great Why Wikipedia is not so great Using Wikipedia as a research tool

Similar Documents

Free Essay


...integrity of Wikipedia is considered vandalism. The most common and obvious types of vandalism include insertion of obscenities and crude humor. Vandalism can also include advertising language, and other types of spam.[48] Sometimes editors commit vandalism by removing information or entirely blanking a given page. Less common types of vandalism, such as the deliberate addition of plausible but false information to an article, can be more difficult to detect. Vandals can introduce irrelevant formatting, modify page semantics such as the page's title or categorization, manipulate the underlying code of an article, or utilize images disruptively.[49] White-haired elderly gentleman in suit and tie speaks at a podium. John Seigenthaler has described Wikipedia as "a flawed and irresponsible research tool".[50] Obvious vandalism is generally easy to remove from wiki articles; in practice, the median time to detect and fix vandalism is a few minutes.[19][20] However, in one high-profile incident in 2005, false information was introduced into the biography of American political figure John Seigenthaler and remained undetected for four months.[50] He was falsely accused of being a suspect in the assassination of John F. Kennedy by an anonymous user, but was actually an administrative assistant to President Kennedy.[50] Seigenthaler, the founding editorial director of USA Today and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, called......

Words: 424 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Wikipedia Digest

...find Wikipedia’s two main advantages: • Neutral, balanced and encyclopedic: Open to a large contributor vase, drawing a large number of editors from diverse backgrounds, Wikipedia significantly reduce regional and cultural bias and provides access and breadth on subject matter that is otherwise inaccessible or little documented. Bias that would be unchallenged in a traditional reference work is likely to be ultimately challenged or considered on Wikipedia. • Updated: Allowing anyone to edit, Wikipedia is more easily vandalized or susceptible to unchecked information, which requires removal. Hence, Wikipedia is more subject to subtle viewpoint promotion than a typical reference work. Wikipedia’s open approach tremendously increases the chances that any particular factual error or misleading statement will be relatively promptly corrected. In an ideal world, Wikipedia will run perfectly with all his advantages over traditional encyclopedias. Yet in reality (actual process), we notice some of Wikipedia’s disadvantages: • Significant omissions and uneven of articles’ quality: Unlike the traditional way of making the encyclopedia, there is no systematic process to make sure that “obviously important” topics are written about, so Wikipedia may contain unexpected oversights and omissions. Also, though Wikipedia has a large diversified contributor base, yet most of its articles are written by certain demographic (younger rather than older, male rather than female, rich enough to......

Words: 390 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Wikipedia and Its Credibility

...Wikipedia and its Credibility Wikipedia and its Credibility The Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia that lets every individual with Internet connection write and edits its articles. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched their creation in 2001 giving an opportunity to all willing people to work together to develop a common resource of knowledge. Many people have different believes and ideas about Wikipedia, therefore, some tend to think of it as a credible and valid source of information, others strongly disagree. “Since all the books and articles have been chosen for publication, each one has presumably undergone some form of selection and review” (Spatt, 2011, “p.”339-340). Unfortunately, this statement is simply not enough to say that one can trust Wikipedia just because it exists. Issues with “Vandalism” In 2003 IBM researches conducted a study to find how rapidly the editors remove the false information in the articles of Wikipedia and discovered that “vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly-so quickly that most users will never see its affects” and that Wikipedia had “surprisingly effective self-healing capabilities” (IBM, 2003, para. 3). This statement is not always true. Waldman (2004) tells the following story to disprove the above point: one blogger who goes under the name of Frozen North, made a point of deliberately making a number of minor errors on a number of entries at the start of September. He made five changes and it took at least 20......

Words: 1136 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wikipedia Swot

...Wikipedia SWOT Analysis and Competitors Wikipedia has a lot of strengths and a great field of opportunities; can be qualified as a Encyclopedia and as a Wiki, in both categories has competition and could be surpassed by a Chinese version of a free encyclo-pedia; Wikipedia as we will see encounters opportunities that are great but that could be a weakness too, the global nature of Wikipedia can make the community unmanageable and prone to corruption; Wikimedia counts with more than 30 chapters in more that 280 languages ; Wikimedia is part of a global network of individuals, organizations, chapters, clubs and communities and all work together to maintain Wikipedia . Wikipedia has many competitors, many are “dead” but many others are making it’s own way in the knowledge field. Sites like Veropedia and Citizendium were created with the same objectives of globalize and share the knowledge, but with few differences like the information should be enhanced by experts, these models have been less successful. Veropedia was created in October 2007 and shut down in January 2009, their principals were very much like the Nupedia project, the idea was to enhance articles coming from Wik-ipedia and to fill the Veropedia servers with more accurate information, its revenue would come from user donations but at the end the project was supported exclusively by its creators ; as of today the Veropedia project has disappeared and its web page is hosting spam. Citizendium is an online......

Words: 2036 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Wikipedia Birth

...The pros and cons of Wikipedia This month Wikipedia celebrated its sixth birthday. Earlier this month the number of articles in English on Wikipedia crossed 1.5 million (the number stands at 1,587,588 as of this writing). This number grows by almost 2000 every single day. Compared to this the number of articles in Encyclopedia Britannica (over 122,264) is a far cry. More than a million people visit Wikipedia every day (more than half of whom visit the English language pages). 5 out of every 100 internet users visit Wikipedia daily. Only 11 other sites are visited by more people. Wikipedia is very often at the top of Google search results (almost always in the top 10 results) for things ranging from ideologies (communism - 1, capitalism - 1); sports (cricket - 2, football - 3); sciences (economics - 1, literature - 3); places (India - 1, France - 1, Budapest - 2); people (Sachin Tendulkar - 1, Einstein - 2); objects (water - 2, chair - 1). Many things are taking place here. On the one hand, articles are being created at a rate, depth, and detail, which are utterly unprecedented. For instance, Wikipedia has detailed and easily accessible articles about "Triskaidekaphobia" and "Perfidious Albion" while a careful search did not reveal any relevant articles in Britannica. On the other hand, more and more people are consulting, quoting, referring to Wikipedia on any number of issues. It is rare to see a blog post these days which does not link to Wikipedia for the background info...

Words: 1185 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wikipedia Case Study

...1. Who is the founder of Wikipedia? When was it found? Where is the company located? How many servers store the information? Who owns Wikipedia? Define Wikipedia. The founder of Wikipedia are two internet entrepreneurs named Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Wikipedia was launched on January 15th, 2001. The Wikipedia company headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. As of 2012, Wikipedia has 339 servers. There is no one person that owns Wikipedia. It is a crowd sourced encyclopedia with over 75,000 active registered editors from around the world, plus an uncountable number of unregistered editors who are all working together to try to make sure the information on Wikipedia is truthful and accurate. Wikipedia is a free, open content online encyclopedia created through the collaborative effort of a community of users known as “Wikipedians.” Anyone registered on the site can create an article for publication; registration is not required to edit articles. 2. Describe the criticisms regarding Wikipedia. Why does the site generate controversy? The most prominent criticism of Wikipedia is that it is not a primary source. For that reason, much of the information that is provided on the site often cannot be trusted. Because the website is an open content encyclopedia, any person in the world can log in to the site and edit any topic within the encyclopedia. This can, and often does, lead to incorrect postings containing faulty information. For instance, some......

Words: 900 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Why Wikipedia Is Not a Valid Source

...Wikipedia started as Nupedia in 2000 and became Wikipedia in January 2001. Wikipedia is known as the free, user complied, open edited encyclopedia written by people who have not done extensive research on a subject. As Wikipedia has become more and more popular with students, some professors have become increasingly concerned about the online reader produced encyclopedia. Plenty of professors have complained about the lack of accuracy or completeness of entries and some have discouraged or tried to ban students from using it. Wikipedia has been the subject of considerable debate for some time now. Several people think the site is not quotable, while others argue that it is. Many teachers do not accept Wikipedia pages as a source of information because any one can add or remove information from such pages. Also, this online encyclopedia does not always cite sources for its articles. Plus it is difficult to find the credentials of the authors. A huge part of credibility is attributed to a sources currency, indicating how recent a certain source has been updated. Wikipedia’s credibility lies within its immediate opportunity to alter, and update a specific topic. One may argue the fact that almost anyone can be an editor of this reference site, which allows opportunity to diminish the validity of certain information. However, once an editor posts information on a topic, the information is examined and removed or edited. With thousands of pages being edited daily, how is it......

Words: 725 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source

...Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information? Management 521 July 25, 2011 Is Wikipedia a Credible and Valid Source of Information? Abstract Team A debated on whether Wikipedia is a credible and valid source of information. The team was divided into two groups, one side for and one side against. Among the five team members only one (the author) sided for Wikipedia as a credible and valid source. The debate lasted for seven days. Great points were raised by each team members to prove what they sided for. Is Wikipedia a credible and valid source of information? Wikipedia is an online source of information; it is the counterpart of Britannica in the modern computer world. “Wikipedia is about as good a source of accurate information as Britannica, the venerable standard-bearer of facts about the world around us,” according to the study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica by Daniel Terdiman. The modern computer world brought major changes around us; it introduced a modern way of doing research through the evolution of Wikipedia. “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain” (Stevenson Jr., 1900-1965). “Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, but it is not helpful in many ways. It is uncomfortable to use as source of information for both academic and professional writing because of the fact that anybody with access to the internet...

Words: 1083 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wikipedia Faces Down Britannica

...Part 1 1. How could a business use information technology to increase switching costs and lock in its customers and suppliers? a. A useful investment in information technology can make customers and supplies more dependent on the use of innovative information systems. This allows the customer or supplier to become more reluctant to pay the cost in time, effort, and inconvenience that it would take to change to the competitor. Also, the relationship the business has with its consumers will deter them from leaving. 2. How could a business leverage its investment in information technology to build strategic IT capabilities that serve as a barrier to new entrants into its markets? b. By investing in more advanced computer-based info system to improve the overall efficiency, businesses will be able to develop newer products or services that could have not otherwise been possible without the information technology capabilities available. Also, by increasing the possible complexity of information technology, the business can often discourage other companies from entering the same market 3. How could a business use Internet technologies to form a virtual company or become an agile competitor? c. In order to form a virtual company, the business most form well developed internets, intranets, and extranets in order to affectively link the people, their assets, and ideas. In order to become more of an agile competitor, the business must follow the four...

Words: 594 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Is Wikipedia Really a Reliable Source

...Is Wikipedia Really A Reliable Source? Is Wikipedia Really A Reliable Source? The task or writing a research paper or completing a project that requires research can often be daunting and time consuming especially for those who are not in a research field. Because of this, many people will look to find a shortcut through this process. Wikipedia can be considered one of these shortcuts. According to Wikipedia (n.d.), “Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model” (1). Wikipedia undoubtedly provides a more rapid way to research. The site contains 8.2 million articles in 283 different languages (Wikipedia, n.d.). The site is free to use and has very simple, straightforward navigation. If one were to write out all of the pros of Wikipedia, it would be a very long list, but the question is – is Wikipedia really reliable? Are we sacrificing reliability for shortcuts? Are we giving up quality of information for quantity? The argument for reliability These questions are a part of an ongoing and seemingly not ending (at least not any time soon) debate. According to a debate with classmates, many who are for the reliability of Wikipedia believe it to be as reliable if not more than traditional sources; however, during the debate classmates were found to list pros of the site as opposed to actual reasons that information found on the site could be deemed reliable. Some classmates pointed out that...

Words: 1117 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Is Wikipedia a Legitimate Research Source

...and even Houdini as contributors. The names helped the encyclopedia bolster its credibility.”(Stross 331) The new millennium of college students has since abandoned the gothic ruins of brick and mortar for modern technology. Hence, as an evolving community of college students, we must consider the use of websites such as Wikipedia for credible sources or not use them at all. The Internet contains a history of creditable sources. It also contains a legacy of anonymous sources. We have relied on the reviews and opinions of others to prove the validity of said information on the Internet and stop challenging it when we read the answer that strikes a chord in our cognitive judgments. If this process continues to be the norm, printed sources such as encyclopedias will leave people saying “This was written by one person? Then looked at by only two or three other people? How can I trust that process?” (Stross 332) Websites such as Wikipedia have become a challenging debate amongst students and professors to be of use as a creditable source from the Internet. This kind of trend has evolved because of history. History can always be re-examined and edited. Wikipedia has proven, through its supervising editors, that history is a set of events in a place and time that can be edited...

Words: 624 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Is Wikipedia a Valid Information Source?

...During the course of exchanging information with my learning team on whether Wikipedia is a credible source of information, my team mates have expressed doubts and concerns about the validity of using Wikipedia as an information source for writing papers. The ability of anyone to edit the information posted on Wikipedia and the question of whether the sources cited in these articles are truly valid are two main sticking points. Wikipedia itself has acknowledged “Allowing anyone to edit Wikipedia means that it is more easily vandalized or susceptible to unchecked information.” (Wikipedia, 2008) While my team mates acknowledge that Wikipedia has interesting information in general, they view it as more of a current events site. They do not believe that information that can be randomly added to or edited by just any person is a verifiable source. They are against using the information obtained from Wikipedia as a valid reference source. My position is that I believe Wikipedia is a credible source of information when used as part of a research mechanism for the following reasons: 1. Research on the reliability of Wikipedia has consistently shown that the online encyclopedia’s accuracy is similar to traditional Encyclopedia Britannica. (Messner and South, 2011) In a comparison between traditional German encyclopedia Brockhaus and German-language Wikipedia, it was shown that Wikipedia rated higher overall in accuracy, completeness and currency. (Guentheroth and Schoenert,......

Words: 580 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Why Wikipedia Is Not a Source of Scholalry Research

...Wikipedia is the largest and most heavily used online encyclopedia in the 21st century. In this essay I will discuss the impact of Wikipedia as a primary source of information, and the effects this has on a fragmented audience. When used as a research tool, user generated content within Wikipedia can have a negative impact on the academic community. The nature of Wikipedia represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between the reader and the publisher. Through illustrating the ease to which Wikipedia offers this information transfer and how this constantly changing state impacts on culture and creative identity and place, I will expose the fraudulent nature of this over exhausted resource. The Hawaiian word for quick, Wiki Wiki is the basis for the name Wikipedia. Every article has an edit capacity, which allows any user, to add or delete content on any page. This Shortens the time frame needed to create, edit and publish content, making it the preferred tool for many people worldwide seeking answers and a path for basic research. Unfortunately it is also interpreted by some, as an authoritive source of information. However there is no gate keeping function in the program to ensure the authenticity of the information which is contributed. In defence, the functionality of the program which allows it to be constantly updated allows quicker access to many audiences and could be argued that it is a good way to stay informed and in touch with current issues. Although......

Words: 1445 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Wikipedia Is a Credible and Valid Source of Information

...Wikipedia created in 2001 tagged the free encyclopedia is a multilingual web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model written collaboratively by a largely anonymous internet volunteers who write without pay. (Wikipedia:About, 2012) Wikipedia has at least 4.8 billion visitors annually, over 85,000 active contributors working on over 21 million articles in 280 languages. (Wikipedia:About, 2012). As a result of this open model, Wikipedia has emerged as one of the largest repository for information besides the encyclopedia Britannica, but does the high number of contributors and volume of information guarantee the credibility of the authors and validity of the information in the Wikipedia encyclopedia? This is one challenge that the owners of Wikipedia will have to contend with for a long era. Credibility strengthens a research work (Spatt, 2011, p. 347) and greatly depends on the author’s qualification (Spatt, 2011, p. 348), regrettably, Wikipedia is written largely by amateurs because they have more free time on their hands and are make rapid changes in response to current [ (Wikipedia:About, 2012) ] events rather than people with relevant educational background and professional experience. The fact that anonymous contributions are allowed on Wikipedia is another source of concern around its credibility and when those with expert credentials make contributions they are given no additional weight which could have assisted the users to judge......

Words: 653 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Citation in APA style, as recommended by the American Psychological Association: [1] Plagiarism. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from[3] Note that in APA 5th Edition style, the following rules apply for the reference: For reference books, which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries, the book title is preceded by the word In. It is not italicized, but the book title following it is. The book title appears in sentence case. You capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns. The URL must go to the exact page that you reference. No punctuation follows the URL. The term or article title appears in the author position. Use sentence case for multiple-word terms or titles, where you capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns. The proper in-text citation is ("Plagiarism," 2004) for a paraphrased passage or ("Plagiarism," 2004, para. #) if you directly quote the material. Note that para. # represents the paragraph number in the page where the information appears. If there are multiple headings on the page, it is also acceptable to place the subheading and then a paragraph number within that heading. For example, proper in-text citation for a direct quote of fewer than 40 words is: "Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work (this could be his or her words, products or ideas) for personal advantage, without proper acknowledgment of the......

Words: 290 - Pages: 2