| Wikipedia Evaluation
Write at least a paragraph for each of the first three bolded sections listed, then choose one from the last three.
Definition and Description of Wikipedia: Explain what Wikipedia is for a reader who has never used it. How is it different from other print or electronic encyclopedias? I suggest looking up these Wikipedia entries:
Wikipedia Evaluation Criteria: What standards are you using to measure Wikipedia and other academic sources?
Wikipedia as an Academic Source:
Find two short articles ON-LINE that discuss Wikipedia’s value as an academic resource. Hint: use Google scholar and / or news as well as general searching and the WSU databases. Find one article that primarily attacks Wikipedia, and another that primarily defends it. Be sure they meet the criteria you developed for evaluating articles. Now write a paragraph about Wikipedia as an appropriate academic source. Under what circumstances might it be a good resource? Why and how might you use it? Can Wikipedia be used ethically and responsibly in college? Give examples. Refer to and cite your pro/con articles. Come to a conclusion about the value of Wikipedia as a college tool. Include anything else you feel is relevant to the general question of whether / how college students should use Wikipedia.
Now choose one of these three:
Comparison of On-Line Encyclopedias: Use your own topic (or a sub-topic related to it). Look up a keyword in Wikipedia and one encyclopedia accessed via WSU’s library webpage. Try to keep the keywords equivalent—be sure you’re comparing apples to apples! Write an evaluation of how the topic is covered in the two places, and compare it to your own knowledge about the topic. By this stage of class, you should be close to experts on your topic, and qualified to assess whether an entry is adequate and fair. Include citations. Write a conclusion about the comparative merits of the two resources.
Wikipedia Founder’s Opinion: Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has commented that he doesn’t think college students should rely on his site. Find an article on-line that reports and discusses his remarks. Write a paragraph presenting the main point of the article using a quotation, and then reflect / respond to Wales’ ideas and the comments made about them. Include citations.
Nature Study: The journal Nature performed a study comparing Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Search on-line for an article discussing the results and critiquing this study – use your research skills! – then write an annotated bibliography entry for the article which includes an assessment of whether you feel the study’s technique, results, and criticisms about it were fair / adequate. Name three of the topics Nature used as their sample look up. Include citations.