Wikipedia

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Guild McCommunist, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    So it's always annoyed me that teachers say "DON'T USE WIKIPEDIA IT'S BAD!" and what not. I still use it anyway, but the fact is that schools blacklist it as a source for research. I thought this would be an interesting debate topic on that note: Is Wikipedia a legitimate source of information or not?

    There are cases of people making successful edits to Wikipedia that are indeed false, but a majority of the time the information is real and genuine. In the end it's really just a combination of information from various sites onto one page. Most info is sourced, and the info that isn't is usually irrelevant or on a topic that isn't documented enough to have sources. As for vandalism, most important pages are locked from edits (such as the pages of key people and events in history) and there are thousands of people undoing edits daily. Even then, most vandalism is obvious. Vandals aren't smart enough, most of the time, to make an edit that looks legit. Usually they'll just wipe the page with "____ LOVES DICK IN THEIR MOUTH LOLOLOL" or just insert stupid crap that's obviously fake.

    I use Wikipedia for a lot of my research, both for school and for personal study, and it has yet to misinform me. What do you think?

    Just remember, keep it civilized, keep it reasonable. Agreeing to disagree is always an option.
     


  2. Edgedancer

    Edgedancer Director of Moon based operations

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    I generally use wikipedia to get a general overview but I make sure that I cross-check the sources.
     
  3. Krestent

    Krestent What to post?

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    I agree. I seem to recall reading about a study once that had proven that Wikipedia is generally more accurate than scientific journals.
     
  4. macgeek417

    macgeek417 妁眼のシャナ

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    I use Wikipedia. I dont see why so many people hate it.....
     
  5. Law

    Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

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    before handing out an assignment a few of my teachers used to go on wikipedia and edit them to put false information in so people who used it would lose out on marks, but not obviously false information so sometimes it would sit there for a few weeks even after the assignment had been handed in
     
  6. TrolleyDave

    TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    This! Wikipedia is a great starting point for most things. I think most of the people who say "Oh yeah, wikipedia is so reliable" as a putdown are doing it because they've been shown info that proves them wrong and don't like it, so they discredit the source. If you're only port of call is Wiki then it might not be the most reliable source, but any good researcher will check everything they can. Hell, I sometimes quote Wiki to show people things or prove a point. The texts are written in a nice simple way and most can understand them, if you know the fact you're looking for and know it's right then Wiki is a nice easy port of call as well rather than trundling through loads of different sites.
     
  7. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Your teachers are total pricks.

    On another point, most teachers say you should use sites other than Wikipedia, like stuff you find in Google. But really, anyone can make a web page about the life of Abraham Lincoln and post false crap on there. What's the difference in the end? My history teacher requires students to have sources that are only .edu websites (meaning websites for schools and other educational resources) or from our school database/library. My other teachers don't (but I write 99% of my essays and sourced work in history).
     
  8. Splych

    Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

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    Wikipedia for some minor details or minimal information.
    when it gets to something that requires more research, search it up on Google and find a site that is dedicated or is at least more specific to the topic you are searching for.
     
  9. Law

    Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

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    I remember in computing one of the teachers said "You can write that the best way to connect a network together is with strings of liquorice, and as long as you credit a source you'll get the marks"

    I kind of feel bad that I never got around to making a website with 1000 uses for liquorice, with that being one of them, and then sourcing it in an essay.
     
  10. Slyakin

    Slyakin See ya suckers

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    Holy shit, your teachers are possibly the most gay teachers in existence.

    I use Wikipedia all the time, and my school encourages it too.
     
  11. elimist

    elimist GBAtemp Regular

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    I tried vandalizing a page once and it got removed in less than 5 minutes so I think wiki is more reliable than a lot of other sites.
     
  12. Pliskron

    Pliskron Banned

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    Wikipedia is the best thing ever. It's accurate enough that I use it all the time.
     
  13. flameiguana

    flameiguana that's not me

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    I don't use it for research but as an introduction to certain topics of interest.

    It also is a great source of information on discographies and bands.
     
  14. Jakob95

    Jakob95 I am the Avatar

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    Your teacher is a fucking bitch. She does know that this not only affects her class but the whole world... Why would anyone even do that? Other people probably researched something and your teacher gave other people bad grades to in the world.
     
  15. dinofan01

    dinofan01 Misses the old days...

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    Wikipedia is a good starting point like other's said but I never source it. Besides it really doesn't matter what you think. If your teacher says no wikipedia then no wikipedia. Its not just about getting the right info. Its about learning how to do proper research. If everyone can just wikipedia no one would know what to do if *gasp* wikipedia doesn't have enough info!
     
  16. mthrnite

    mthrnite So it goes.

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    I love it. Most of the stuff I look up is pretty arcane, so I squeal with glee when there's a Wikipedia entry for it. I kinda miss encyclopedias for nostalgic reasons, but I don't miss the space they take up, or the lack of hypertext. Heh, I just googled for Hypercard, because I remembered hoping it would be the base of electrical encyclopedias back in the day, and got the Wikipedia article first hit. Found this:

    Of course I read the whole article and am now monkeying around in the sources. I love the future!
     
  17. DeMoN

    DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    The only time I've seen someone vandalize Wikipedia was during one of the GBAtemp quiz competitions. Someone modified a page so that one of the answers would be wrong, and I believe quite a few people got screwed by it.
     
  18. myuusmeow

    myuusmeow GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Paraphrase Wikipedia, find sites with lots of info on your subject, and cite them. I doubt most teachers would check your citations this closely.
     
  19. Uncle FEFL

    Uncle FEFL OBJECTION!

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    Some kid in my class only reads Wikipedia for my teacher's APEuro tests. He sets the curve nearly every time. I'm not adopting his study habits, but I think Wikipedia is a great source of information.
     
  20. ZeroPF

    ZeroPF Member

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    Wikipedia is great. It can really save your life when you're doing an assignment for school.