Wikipedia is one of the most used sites by students, maybe more than any other group. Although the academic community advises not to use Wikipedia for academic purposes, statistics say that it is the most used website for research among students.
Wikipedia has millions of pages with a lot of information. But is it a platform that provides valid information? Of course, no one can be fully objective. There are billions of people in the world and so many points of view. History itself is subjective. Let’s find out why it is important to use educational websites for academic purposes.
What is Wikipedia and Why to Avoid It?
The main characteristic of Wikipedia is that it is built on a wiki platform. What does this mean? It means that everyone can edit every article on the site. This can be a good point if there would be only professionals to edit them. But, among those highly-skilled people are also ones who have the goal of spreading false information. This is especially obvious when you look for celebrities Wikipedia pages. There are a lot of celebrities who said that the information about them on Wikipedia is false and asked to be deleted.
These being said, it is obvious why you cannot trust the information on Wikipedia. Although you cannot know which information is valid and which not, you can use Wikipedia for research instead.
It gives you a starting point and you can follow the citations from the bottom of the page to further investigate the issue. Do you remember the saying “If you say something long enough, someone will start to believe it is true”? An Irish student conducted an experiment on the globalization of information. He posted a fake quote on Wikipedia about a French singer who supposedly has died.
Of course, there was no reliable source for that quote, so it got deleted every time. But that student tried harder every time until the quote was accepted. And then, it was picked up by some important newspapers which published it in the obituary section.
Although he let the newspapers know that it was a piece of fake information, his hypothesis was confirmed. Also, there is little diversity among editors. And when you present a piece of information and you let out other information, it counts as a bias. Of course, every information on the internet is biased. That’s why it is necessary to develop your critical thinking skills.
To sum it up, Wikipedia is not a reliable source to cite for your academic assignments. But, it can be used as a starting point for research purposes. If you need academic writing help, you can use some educational websites that present valid and reliable information.
Why is it important to use educational websites?
Teachers nowadays argue that students need to develop their critical thinking skills. When using the internet, you interact with a lot of information.
This is the era where information technology is at its peak. So, you need to filter it. Reading from the first-time information that is accurate is important. The base of knowledge is built like this. And it is also useful for polishing your critical thinking skills.
Also, an academic essay writing must be built on solid arguments and valid theories. Even if students use Wikipedia for research purposes only, teachers do not accept Wikipedia as a reliable source. So, when you cite the sources of your ideas, you need to cite educational websites. You need to support your points of view with valid and empirical theories.
What is important about the information on educational websites is that it is written by professionals. It is written by people who have studied the topic and have done a lot of research. Usually, these educational websites are founded by top universities, like Harvard University or MIT. They offer a range of attached free books you can read online. There are also educational websites where you can choose a course and finish it. And you also get a diploma degree in the end.
These courses offer you a wide range of books and studies to learn from. If you start early, you can gather the information for your academic writing task. It is essential to carefully analyze the limitations of the studies you are reading for your research. You can polish your critical thinking skills and develop further directions to study.
Wikipedia is an open-source platform where everyone can become an editor. The number of editors has reduced drastically nowadays, and diversity is even smaller. These are obvious reasons that need to be taken into consideration before citing Wikipedia. Although there are downsides, Wikipedia can be used for research purposes.
It is important to use educational websites because you are sure that the information presented is valid. Usually, these websites have highly professional editors that provide valid information and cite trustful sources. You can polish your critical thinking skills by reading and analyzing the experiments presented.