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Evaluating Websites: What about Wikipedia?

Use the C.R.A.A.P. test to help you idenetify qualified website

What is Wikipedia?

Started in 2001, Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia with entries that can be created, added, and edited by anyone. Wikipedia is great as a general encyclopedia, but at the college level, your professors are looking for more than that. When it comes to academic research, there are some great ways Wikipedia can help you, Wikipedia articles contain many links to newspaper articles, books (often with ISBN numbers), radio programming, web-based sources, etc. But using a Wikipedia entry as a source can compromise the quality expected in an academic assignment.

What Wikipedia is NOT!

Dos and Don'ts of Wikipedia

DO...

  • use Wikipedia to become familiar with a topic or as a starting point for research
  • use Wikipedia to find more search terms or keywords for your research topic
  • maintain a level of skepticism when reading Wikipedia articles

DON'T...

  • cite Wikipedia articles in your bibliography for assignments or papers
  • treat information on Wikipedia as facts, especially when concerning legal or medical advice