Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wikipedia

How do you decide which sources to use for an academic paper? Have you ever cited Wikipedia in your paper only to have points taken off? You probably have experienced this, but perhaps you wondered why Wikipedia was not appropriate. Take a look at the Cornell University Library guide to Using Wikipedia. This guide specifically answers the question, "Why can't I cite Wikipedia in my paper?" Mostly, the guide discusses how Wikipedia works, who writes the articles and the ever-changing nature of the information on Wikipedia. These very qualities are some of the reasons why Wikipedia should not be used in scholarly research.

The librarians here at PVCC are always glad to help you with your research. If you have questions about any particular resource, please let us know. The quality of your sources greatly impacts the quality of your paper, so start off on the right foot. Learn about Wikipedia, and then ask yourself how this can apply to other resources you may find on your topic.