Poll: Should we be allowed to cite Wikipedia on college+ level essays/projects/assignments?
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View poll results: Should we be allowed to cite Wikipedia on college+ level essays/projects/assignments?
Yeah, all the time
60 28%
No, never
52 24%
Depends on what topic, how the article is written, modification date, etc
100 46%
Other
4 2%
Voters: 217.
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#1
So, all but one of my college teachers are anti-Wikipedia. We can't use Wikipedia for sources, references, etc, which is really annoying.

Do you think they're right? I consider Wikipedia to be one of the most reputable sites on the net, yet most teachers seem to despise it.
#2
I think it's great for high school work, but I wouldn't be so comfortable using it for college courses.
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#3
If you can find enough citations in an article to write a college-level essay and bibliography and get a passing grade, I'll give you all the money I have saved in my bank account (it's not very much, like 500 Canadian dollars ).
#5


Nah. Wiki is great!
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#6
i hate it when teachers say no wikipedia, so i just go to the sources at the bottom of the articles
#7
well they kinda are right.you see wikipedia can be edited by anyone with an account and some people just want to screw it up.so some of the information may not be true.

For example i was looking up some emo bands and someone called Nirvana emo(which they are not!).I came back a day later and it was gone.So you see wikipedia isn't always right.
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#8
No you shouldn't be able to. Most colleges have databases now, I know we have a major one here at my college, that filter out all the bullshit websites and give you reliable sites that professors accept you just have to know what to put into the search. It is called research, don't be so lazy, start actually working to find your information.
#9
Quote by Emo_scene101
well they kinda are right.you see wikipedia can be edited by anyone with an account and some people just want to screw it up.so some of the information may not be true.

For example i was looking up some emo bands and someone called Nirvana emo(which they are not!).I came back a day later and it was gone.So you see wikipedia isn't always right.


There are bots to check for uncited edits. There are admins. Just try editing a major article, and count how long it takes for someone to undo your edit.
#12
there are a bunch of sources and external links on the bottom, so just go there instead.
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#13
This is so random that you posted this, I was talking about this earlier. My dad's a uni lecturer, and yet he seems to think it's fine to use it! Which is all good, I think it just depends on what subject you're looking for. If I was doing something really detailed, I wouldn't want to rely on it. I think, like all sources, you just have to make sure you're not relying solely on it, and look at other sources as well, which I guess is good practice anyway. I don't think people shouldn't be allowed to use it, 'tis silly.
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#14
All the important articles are locked, except for users. And any change made to any article is checked with the old one before they keep it. I consider it to be a very reliable source.
#17
Quote by Thornography
So, all but one of my college teachers are anti-Wikipedia. We can't use Wikipedia for sources, references, etc, which is really annoying.

Do you think they're right? I consider Wikipedia to be one of the most reputable sites on the net, yet most teachers seem to despise it.




Have you read some of the stuff on there?
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#18
I think it's a pretty legit source.

I just use it anyways. Then again I'm in high school.
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#19
well, you should be allowed to use it becasue wikipedia has a ton of poeple who check information to see if its correct so... yeah
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#21
Does it really matter?
All you do is cite where you got your material from. If the material is relevant to your work and explains or elaborates on your point then it doesn't matter where it came from.
No one ever goes and looks up your references in the bibliography. All the bibliography does is shows appreciation and acknowledgement of the work you put in. The fact that it is freely editable is irrelivent.

For example, I had an essay due in for today and I have referenced Wikipedia. I made a point that my chosen story paralleled Nazi Germany in it's foundations. I looked up some stuff on Nazi Germany and put it in (just some details).
Who cares if the details are wrong or tampered with? No one will check. You've made your point and backed it up with contextual (historical context in this case) evidence. That is all that is usually asked.
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Last edited by BlackLuster at Nov 7, 2008,
#22
I don't see at high school level why they would care as if you cite any other website its fine.
I don't know what makes wikipedia so much different then another website, if anything its better IMO because of the number of people reviewing edits. If you've ever tried to review edits and fix people's spelling errors you'll notice most stuff is fixed before you get the chance.
#23
no, but wikipedia is an excellent research tool since it cites sources that you can look up to get the information first hand, don't be lazy kids.
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#24
I'm not allowed to either, at my school.

I go onto the Wikipedia page, though, and just visit sites in the reference list to get information.
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#25
Quote by Avedas
Don't cite Wikipedia. Cite Wikipedia's sources.

This. Seriously, those footnotes are there for a reason

And if you college was cool, it would have it's own database like mines.
#26
I'm in high school and i can't use Wiki. Its not reliable, just read a book. You can google it but the internet as a whole has no standards.
#27
Quote by metaldud536
This. Seriously, those footnotes are there for a reason

And if you college was cool, it would have it's own database like mines.


It has databases but I'm too lazy to use them because they're uber confusing.
#28
Quote by Thornography
It has databases but I'm too lazy to use them because they're uber confusing.


most colleges make you take a research/basic library science class freshman year that tells you how to use those, if not just ask someone who works at the library, those things are infinitely better than Wikipedia for research.
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#29
Use wikipedia for general knowledge... like you want to do a report on black holes.. get the gist from wikipedia which really sums things up and makes it more interesting then reading an individual article. Then info you like go through sources cited and find where its mentioned and use it... I use it more for comprehension of the subject rather than a source.
#30
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
most colleges make you take a research/basic library science class freshman year that tells you how to use those, if not just ask someone who works at the library, those things are infinitely better than Wikipedia for research.


We had that course. Unfortunately the librarian showing us didn't explain very well.
#31
Read "The Wisdom Of Crowds".

It theorizes that a large group of independent people can more accurately calculate/come to a conclusion/handle a task than any single individual. This, along with the advantages of open source makes Wikipedia pretty reliable.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#32
Wikipedia is a great tool, and I use always for initial research, but I don't use it for quotations unless I really don't give a rat's ass about the paper. As said by others, just check wikipedia's sources. Besides your College probably has access to JSTOR and other online sources, which are much more "professional" than wikipedia, though they don't sum up stuff in a few paragraphs like wikipedia does.

edit:
Fun fact
Quote by Xiaoxi
Read "The Wisdom Of Crowds".

It theorizes that a large group of independent people can more accurately calculate/come to a conclusion/handle a task than any single individual. This, along with the advantages of open source makes Wikipedia pretty reliable.

Jimmy Wales, wikipedia's founder, says that it was the austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek's theories on spontaneous orders which made him think about the possibility of something like wikipedia. "The Wisdom of Crowds" is an example of what Hayek calls a spontaneous order.
Last edited by julio1987 at Nov 7, 2008,
#33
Quote by jmilli2
Anyone can edit up an entry so yes they are right.


Wiki has been proven to be as accurate as Britannica. i'll give you a link if you don't believe me.

i think the real reason they do this is because it's soo easy to look stuff up on Wiki it takes no effort at all...and all the information is laid out so nicely, it's basically a research paper without a name.

my theory is that the teacher's actually want you to do work

but **** that i use wiki and then find some other b.s. link on google about the same topic and use those as my references.
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#34
It's good if you want a basic idea about a topic, but not if you want accurate specifics.
#35
No, because Wiki's accuracy isn't garuanteed. If it's a good article, it'll have sources which you can then use legitimately. Wikipedia is not a good source, but is an excellent place to FIND good sources.
#36
I chose choice #3 because while some rather obscure topics on Wiki MAY have a tiny bit of incorrect information, all major topics are reviewed constantly by top-notch people in the fields and once all the information is verified, the articles are locked as in they can't be edited anymore.

Besides if they won't let you use Wiki, just go to Wiki and go to the bottom of the page where they always cite the sources (usually a lot of Internet sources), and use those.
#37
its really good if you need quick info, but a better idea would be to use the same sources that Wiki used. that's what i did once.
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#38
Quote by julio1987

Fun fact

Jimmy Wales, wikipedia's founder, says that it was the austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek's theories on spontaneous orders which made him think about the possibility of something like wikipedia. "The Wisdom of Crowds" is an example of what Hayek calls a spontaneous order.

More or less. The Wisdom of Crowds, though, emphasizes on the accuracy of results of direct human activity that is collectively averaged.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#40
Quote by Thornography
So, all but one of my college teachers are anti-Wikipedia. We can't use Wikipedia for sources, references, etc, which is really annoying.

Do you think they're right? I consider Wikipedia to be one of the most reputable sites on the net, yet most teachers seem to despise it.
1 - doesn't matter if their right. you gotta do what they say.

2 - wiki has great info and total bullshit.
depends on which user writes the section and who messes with it.
you never know what you're gonna get.

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