The Wikipedia Challenge

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The Wikipedia Challenge
There is no dispute that Wikipedia contains a great deal of useful information. But how can you be certain of the credibility of that information? One way is to evaluate it. However, because of the nature of this information source, there are unique aspects that you must consider when evaluating it.

  1. Search Wikipedia to locate any article of your choice.

  2. Read about Wikipedia in it’s own article, “Researching with Wikipedia,” at In the section “Special research considerations concerning Wikipedia” read how to “Examine an article’s history.” Determine if anyone has made any changes or edits to your article.

  3. Evaluate your Wikipedia article according to Wikipedia’s recommended criteria at .

  4. Read about the policy from the history department of Middlebury College concerning using Wikipedia as an information source, from at . Be sure to read through the posted responses!

  5. In a short essay (100-150 words), answer the following questions:

    1. Does the article you selected meet the Wikipedia’s own evaluation criteria?

    2. Does this article have a history of changes and edits? Recently? Extensively? Can you determine who made the changes – and why?

    3. Check out how Microsoft tried paying a blogger to “correct” its Wikipedia entry as seen in this report from CBS news:

    4. Can you determine the author? The author’s credentials?

    5. Does the article provide any references, additional readings, or sources?

    6. If there are links to the other websites, what type of websites are they? Commercial? Educational? Other?

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