“Know it All”-Wikipedia

Wikipedia is unique in many ways, for example a traditional encyclopedia is written and revised several times by paid employees and then printed into a collection of books. Wikipedia on the other hand, is an online only source that anyone with an interest in a subject can contribute to for no pay. Anyone with access to the internet can log on and submit information on pretty much anything, from Taylor Swift to Neurosciences. However this could lead to a problem when researching because again, anyone can contribute, giving mislead or even completely made up information on the topic, because they either were misinformed or simply want to start trouble on the internet.

While Wikipedia stuff works hard to make sure the information being presented is as accurate as possible, it is impossible to keep track of the topics being changed or added 24/7. That is why I have always used Wikipedia as more as a jumping off point when starting to research a topic and as my go to source of information. For example when starting a new research project I look at Wikipedia’s article on the topic if one exists or has enough information worth a look at. I then look at the references present at the bottom of the page and go to them. Also while reading an entry I may find a particular part in the article that interests me, I then search specifically about that point to make sure A) Wikipedia’s information is accurate and B) if there are any credible articles regarding that point. By doing this it helps me judge if actual thought and research was put into the information presented or if someone was bored and decided to make up facts about the Queen of England.

Wikipedia is a valuable source when researching, if you know how to use it smartly. Always double check information presented on a Wiki-post and never use it as your only source on a topic. By following these steps you will be able to use Wikipedia to its fullest extent and build proper researching skills.