Many students assume that the online, free encyclopedia, Wikipedia is a valid, authoritative and useful reference source for their scholarly work as a student at NVCC. Many teachers say that Wikipedia is garbage and should never be used. Which is it?In this assignment, we will be examining just how authoritative (and stable) Wikipedia (aka wiki) is. First, you will examine a specific entry from Wikipedia and check for changes that have occurred over a period of six months, and then you will compare the information from the Wikipedia entry with the information from an established reference source such as the Encyclopedia Britannica (EB).Since you may have never really looked carefully at a Wikipedia entry, I want you first to look at my Explanation of Using Wikipediabefore you start this paper assignment.
Wikipedia: good or bad? That is partly what you are answering in this assignment, but I would also like to point out that a “Wikipedia” article can often be an excellent starting point (not the end point) for research on a topic or a quick source of general information. For example, I often check Wikipedia if I am looking for the birth or death dates of a historical figure. I would also point out that a Wikipedia entry is especially valuable when it includes footnotes, citations of sources and suggested sources for further information (often in the form of external links). Finally, Wikipedia can be extremely useful on topics of relatively newer historical events. For example, in my HIS 242 (History of Russia II) course, I ask that students check the entry for the Beslan School Hostage crisis. This is an exceptional article–although its quality varies a bit from month to month.
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