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Wikipedia is not a reliable source for academic writing or research.
Wikipedia is increasingly used by people in the academic community, from freshman students to professors, as an easily accessible tertiary source for information about anything and everything, and as a quick "ready reference", to get a sense of a Academic resources research papers or idea.
However, citation of Wikipedia in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not a reliable source. This is because Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any moment. Although when an error is recognized, it is usually fixed. However, because Wikipedia cannot monitor thousands of edits made everyday, some of those edits could contain vandalism or could be simply wrong and left unnoticed for days, weeks, months, or even years.
It is because these articles are reviewed heavily and edited many, many times, passing various "tests" before being confirmed Good or Featured, that they can be used for some deeper research than usual.
Even with Featured Articles, though, an uninformed editor may introduce incorrect information.
Follow two simple rules: Do your research properly and wisely. Remember that any encyclopedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.
An encyclopedia, whether a paper one like Britannica or an online one, is great for getting a general understanding of a subject before you dive into it, but then you do have to dive into your subject; using books and articles and other higher-quality sources to do better research. Research from these sources will be more detailed, more precise, more carefully reasoned, and more broadly peer reviewed than the summary you found in an encyclopedia.
These will be the sources you cite in your paper. There is no need to cite Wikipedia in this case. An encyclopedia is great for checking general knowledge that you have forgotten, like the starting date of the First World War or the boiling point of mercury. The capital city of Canada.
Citation is not needed for fact-checking general knowledge. Some details, such as the population of Canadacan be found on Wikipedia, but it is best to verify the information using an authoritative source, such as the CIA World Factbook. A very obscure detail, such as the names of the founders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Partymight be very hard to find without the aid of an encyclopedia like Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is ideal in these situations because it will allow you to find the information, as well as sources which you can research to confirm that information. In any case, you should not cite Wikipedia itself, but the source provided; you should certainly look up the source yourself before citing it.Congratulations!
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Papers and reports on plagiarism, publication ethics, and plagiarism prevention. The Guide to Grammar and Writing is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation, a nonprofit c-3 organization that supports scholarships, faculty development, and curriculum initiativeblog.com you feel we have provided something of value and wish to show your appreciation, you can assist the College and its students with a tax-deductible contribution.
Academic articles and scholarly research papers may also be available through the Internet's many library gateways, listed at right below. You may also want to try our invisible web resources, useful for searching databases.
As leaders in research innovation, we knew we had to implement best practices and the right technology to ensure our students understand the importance of integrity and are not misusing someone else’s work.
For the most complete information, check your campus library or writing center for the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed.