In recent discussions of research versus search, a controversial issue has been whether Wikipedia is a reliable resource or an untrustworthy aid to help students “cheat” on essays and other assignments. On the one hand, some argue that Wikipedia is a tool that doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. From this perspective, Wikipedia is viewed as an unbiased and wealth of information. On the other hand, however, others argue that since anyone can edit the information on Wikipedia its not a reliable source of information. According to this view, students should be using .gov cites or trustworthy websites written by scholar’s. In sum then, the issues is whether Wikipedia should be used as a resource or banned as an unreliable resource.
My own view is that there is no reason for Wikipedia to frowned upon, it should be treated as legitimate online resource . Though I concede that the possibility of misinformation is reason to pause, I still maintain that Wikipedia is a tool for students. For example, it provides a more unbiased view of history, which textbooks cannot even say because if a textbook wants to published it can’t offend anybody, and ” editors are urged to keep a Neutral point of view” (Marc Prensky). Although some might object that textbooks are what need to know and don’t contain the other information because it’s not necessary, I would reply that it is necessary especially in history classes to get the whole story, because one fact can change how people see history. The issue is important because students deserve unrestricted access to a non biased form of information, so that students can form their own opinions and ideas on whichever subject they choose to research. Teachers need to focus on a students ability to cite and learn to acknowledge a the difference between a reliable source and an unreliable source.
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