Miss Essay

1309 WordsMay 29, 20146 Pages
To what extent is Wikipedia beneficial for students’ research? Recently, Wikipedia has become a popular website to search information. The number of English articles on Wikipedia was more than 3.1 million in 2010 (Chandler and Gregory, 2010: 247). The huge coverage seems to state that everyone could find useful information on Wikipedia. In the aspect of students, about 70% of students use the information on Wikipedia for academic research (West and Williamson, 2009: 260). However, most tutors are against to use this information for academic research due to lack of reliability. This essay will argue that, although Wikipedia has some unconfirmed information and is biased in some ways, which is an enemy of students’ research, it has its own method to review and has up-to-date information, which can overcome the disadvantages of Wikipedia. This essay will firstly focus on reliability and secondly focus on neutrality. One of the most important criteria of a piece of students’ research is whether the sources are reliable or not. Through some research about Wikipedia, there are three reasons describing the credibility of Wikipedia. First of all, it can be proved as a fact that Wikipedia is reliable in most cases. Xiao and Askin (2012: 366) drew a conclusion that most articles on Wikipedia are accurate via analysis of numerous studies. Taking a study of Lewandowski and Spree (2010, cited in Xiao and Askin, 2012: 366) for example, over nine out of ten articles in Wikipedia are confirmed reliable. In addition, many citations and references make the articles in Wikipedia more trustworthy. According to Nielsen (2007, cited in Page, 2010:346), Wikipedia prefer to cite journals with high popularity and reputation. Moreover, Wikipedia is as accurate as Encyclopaedia Britannica (Giles, 2005, cited in Lamb and Johnson, 2013: 68). Based on a study, the rate of inaccuracies in

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