Use of Wikipedia as an Academic Source

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The aim of this assignment

The aim of this assignment is to express my opinion about whether students can use Wikipedia as a scholarly platform for learning. In the article, I will ensure that I recognize the different facets of Wikipedia as an academic resource, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of using the source, and I will include my overall opinion. The precise specifics that the essay attempts to provide are whether college students can focus on Wikipedia for the majority of their readings when working on assignments or doing analysis. I am proud of this designation because it has given me the opportunity to find out more about research and the best research materials. It is not easy to obtain learning materials that are as useful and relevant as the information provided by Wikipedia, but the source does not always provide relevant information. In this regard, I am proud to undertake this assignment to understand more about the site, its usefulness and why I should or should not use it in my learning process.

Various challenges were experienced in the operation of completing this assignment

Various challenges were experienced in the operation of completing this assignment. One of the challenges was obtaining information about a source of information. Wikipedia is widely used by many students, gathering reasons why it should not be used was somewhat hard due to the biasing of responses. Another challenge was finding out information on the quality of literature, that Wikipedia provides and if this documentation is suitable as an academic resource. From the Instructor, I would require feedback on whether the overall judgment on the source was adequately developed and supported with the reasons provided therein. Moreover, I would like the instructor to supply feedback on the general construct of the essay as well as the quality of information provided.

Sincerely Yours,

Student Name


Wikipedia is among the various sources of information, which can be described as an encyclopedia of the majority of historical events from all countries and scientific information on the different science fields. The platform also fits the description of mathematical calculations, business related information and all other aspects related to education and are in literature and photographic form. The site is freely accessible and provides almost all of the information that one is searching. However, various people question the content and how useful the website is for college students to use it as a credible learning resource. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to develop a position on whether Wikipedia should be utilized as a learning resource for college students or not.

Reasons Why College Students should not use Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a resource for almost all fields of education. However, according to Selwyn, Neil and Gorard (29), most of the information engraved on Wikipedia sites do not provide the real names of the authors. When there is no proper information about who wrote various articles in the Wikipedia sites, then it is hard to verify the credibility of the information or whether the article was composed by just combining related information. As a result, the site cannot be used as an academic resource since the credibility of the information may not be verified under various circumstances.

Also, the work posted on the Wikipedia sites is not peer reviewed or examined by other professionals apart from those under the Wikipedia regime. Majority of the Scholarly resources are expected to be reviewed by experts in the given fields to guarantee credibility of the information and add in more relevant information to anchor the same. Therefore, with the lack of peer review, information in the Wikipedia cannot be entirely reliable mainly because various authors have not accredited it in the same field of study.

Moreover, Wikipedia site owners claim that they do not expect that readers obtain information from the site to trust the truthfulness of the information especially because some of the articles provided have errors. Moreover, the Wikipedia site also states that the platforms are not primary sources of information and hence the information obtained from the location should not be used in making critical decisions (Selwyn et al. 32). Under the 'about section' in the notes of the Wikipedia, the site claims that the articles provided are of the quality of an encyclopedia, and that these articles may contain information that is debatable. In this regard, the source fails to provide reliable information to be used for scholarly purposes.

Reasons Why College Students should use Wikipedia

One of the reasons why college students in their learning should use the Wikipedia is that it helps give the student's research a direction. According to Tomoko et al. (260), Wikipedia provides information that is useful in commencing research and developing the same. However, despite using the findings of the Wikipedia as the foundation of the study, the site helps to ensure that the learners have an overview of the various topics or information under investigation. In this regard, the site helps learners to undertake their research faster and more efficiently. Therefore, the sites should be used as sources of learning by the college students.

Another reason is that since Wikipedia is based on various articles, the site can be used to locate the primary sources of various information as well as the credible sources to undertake further research. The articles are referenced all through. These references are made from the primary sources of the information. It follows, therefore, that the primary resources can be located from within the Wikipedia articles and used for further research. Some of the sources used are credible sources. Students may as well use them for studying. Therefore, Wikipedia helps to obtain research sources for further studies, thereby enhancing the education process itself.

The resources obtained from Wikipedia contains information that is useful over the college years. Since Wikipedia is in the form of an encyclopedia, it contains general information about specific elements of study within a given topic, which may be explored in series over the college lifetime. In this regard, it can be used to review the learned information and for undertaking assignments. In this respect, college students undertaking their research should use Wikipedia in their learning process.

Overall Standpoint

From the various reasons on why Wikipedia should be or not be used as a literature source for the educational purposes especially for those in college, some aspects are evident. It is clear that the source is not only used by many students but it is also used for many purposes. Students utilize the website in undertaking research and obtaining materials that can be used as primary sources in research and other related studies. Moreover, it has been determined that the articles in Wikipedia may be utilized as sources for revising and re-reading information.

However, the major demerit state that the information obtained in this case is not reviewed by outside professionals and may not be credible. In addition to this, the same are not primary sources of information and may contain errors resulting from editing of these articles. Authors of the articles as well cannot be defined since these materials lack proper author naming.

Despite the demerits, however, I support the articles and the Wikipedia site to be used as a source of learning for college students. This is because the source explicitly claims that they should not be used as credible sources for critical decisions, but for research triggering purposes, which would be helpful to the students in carrying out their assignments and other studies. In this regard, the students using the Wikipedia sources should refrain from citing the same as a credible source but only use the platform as a trigger for obtaining an overview of various information and not as primary sources.


The specific purpose of writing this assignment aimed at providing my standpoint on whether students should use Wikipedia for learning as a scholarly resource. The study has revealed that Wikipedia is a resource for almost all fields of education. However, the information written in the Wikipedia sites do not provide the real names of the authors. The work posted on the Wikipedia sites is not peer reviewed or examined by other professionals apart from those under the Wikipedia regime. However, the source gives student's research a direction. It can be used to locate the primary sources of various information as well as the credible sources to undertake further research. Summarily, I support the use of Wikipedia as a source of obtaining overview information in studies but not as a reliable source of information.

Works Cited

Selwyn, Neil, and Gorard. "Students' use of Wikipedia as an academic resource—Patterns of use and perceptions of usefulness." The Internet and Higher Education 28 (2016): 28-34. From

Tomoko et al. "Changes in college students' perceptions of use of web-based resources for academic tasks with Wikipedia projects: a preliminary exploration." Interactive Learning Environments 22.3 (2014): 253-270.

January 13, 2023



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