Let’s admit, this happened to all of us in the past. You crammed your history essay to the last minute, and you’re pulling off an all-nighter with hopes that you’ll manage to get at least two hours of sleep. You’re typing furiously at your laptop, coffee mug close by, and you sigh in exasperation. None of these Google searches are yielding the information you need! Panic consumes you, and you decide to take drastic measures. Your eyes shift to the very first website that emerged after your Google search. It’s the in-famous Wikipedia, enemy of school teachers and college professors all over the world. You’ve been through multiple in-class lectures about the multiple evils of this site, yet you know that Wikipedia offers an abundance of information pertaining to varying topics, making it a potentially excellent collection of information. Why, then, is it so incredibly wrong to use Wikipedia as a source?
Wikipedia describes itself as “an online free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit”. This implies that anyone, including you and I, can claim to be an authority on any subject and edit the content pertaining to that subject as we see fit. An expert in the field of botany can easily access Wikipedia pages and comment on the diameter of a spider-monkey’s head. Of course, the majority of editors probably mean well, but the plethora of incorrect information that constitutes Wikipedia makes it a highly unreliable source and an enemy of essay graders alike. This is the primary reason as to why this source is so hated by your history teacher, and probably the reason you received such a low essay grade.
Clearly, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia like any other. The amount of information it carries within must be attractive to people who are desperately look for information regarding an essay topic. However, it is still deemed as the wrong source to use simply due to its unreliable nature. So, the next time you’re working frantically on that history essay, remember that there are probably a million other sources that are more certified at the deliverance of information
By: Timour Razek