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I'm really starting to hate the elitism teachers have against Wikipedia:

Proud Canadian
The fact that I can't use wikipedia when further research from other websties that they'll like (that haven't been updated in 10 years) just verifies what wikipedia already told me in very concise terms.

I don't think a lot of teachers understand how the site works, and don't understand how quickly it is fixe dafter vandalism.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 2 De Marquis, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 6:31:57 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
As a teacher, I wont accept Wikipedia as a primary source, and I don't accept secondary sources. But I advise my students to use Wikipedia anyway, as they can find links to many primary sources on the page, and then read, and cite, those.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Hey their classroom their rules. Just use wikipedia as a jumping point and cite the reference links. Not that hard really.

Proud Canadian
But that require shaving to cite multiple websites, having to find the info, and having to re-verbalize it. Wikipedia presents in a way very easily absorbed and used in a setence (not copy and pasting, but in your own words.)
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
[up][up] & [up][up][up]Both of the above. Wikipedia’s nice, but research still needs to be done. Use it as a springboard for information.

edited 22nd Feb '11 6:45:09 PM by Newfable

They see me troll'n
Frankly, wikipedia is imo more reliable then most sources since it is constantly peer reviewed and the culmination of a collaboration of cited and easily accessible sources.
Everyone uses Wikipedia for research (right up to top levels in university). You just can't use it as a source, because it isn't one. It is however an excellent springboard for finding sources.

So you're whining because you're too lazy to go to a few more pages? Or is there more of a point to this thread then that?

Proud Canadian
[up]It adds up when you have several papers and a lot of sources.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
Long Live the King
Is it only because it's allowed to be edited by the masses that Wikipedia isn't allowed to be a source?

I mean, I have never heard of something like the Encyclopedia Britannica (which likely has less information on a topic than Wikipedia) being banned from citation in papers... and it's not a primary source either.

Wikipedia is not a cite-able source of information :)

Just because it is accurate in most cases doesn't make it a cite-able source. There are stringent rules on that and the teacher is trying to tell it to you in a horrible manner (DO THIS OR LOSE MARKS!). If you're intending to go to post-secondary education, they'll tell you the citing rules more clearly and the rationale behind them. But before then, most things you learn are taught through a big stick with no explanation.

 12 Chalkos, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 8:28:22 PM from The Internets
Sidequest Proliferator
[up]I'm intrigued, though— as far as I know the Encyclopedia Brittanica (for example) is cite-able, at least as a source of background information, i.e. the sort of stuff that's important to know when reading a paper but that's not 'common knowledge' and thus needs to be cited. Am I wrong on that?

In the strictest sense, you can't use an encyclopedia as a source.

You have the choice of a primary resource (some guy who was at an event talking about it in a memoir or a letter or something) or a secondary resource (a guy who has collected primary resources into a useful text). Encyclopedia is almost a secondary resource but is usually treated as a tertiary one because of its tendency to rely a lot on secondary resources.

Usually for research, only primary sources are acceptable.

For opinion pieces, you can use secondary sources.

I don't think anything can use tertiary ones, which is what an encyclopedia is.

edited 22nd Feb '11 8:39:26 PM by breadloaf

Failed Comic Artist
I never understood why people dislike Wikipedia so much. I used it all the time in school, its way easier. And what, the books cant be wrong? The private websites cant be biased and made by anyone?
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
It being wrong isn't a problem. If it is wrong, I can look up your cite, point out it is wrong and invalidate your work.

It's a matter of integrity by being closer to the source. If you're just repeating what other people say, you have no chance of being more accurate than the last person.

Failed Comic Artist
...so how the hell is that any different from reading a BOOK on the subject? You're just as close to the source there as you are when you read the Wikipedia entry, written by a person who also read the book.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
I edited my post to be more clear on the rules which you probably missed. Books are secondary sources which cannot be used for research purposes. You can however use them for opinion pieces.

 18 pvtnum 11, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 9:11:00 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Those of us not going to college and having to cite chapter and verse for things aren't likely to care about the "you can't use Wikipedia as a source" bit, though, for when we want to look something up. Although I do like being able to click on the reference documents and read about [whatever] in a more concentrated form.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
"But that require shaving to cite multiple websites, having to find the info, and having to re-verbalize it. Wikipedia presents in a way very easily absorbed and used in a setence (not copy and pasting, but in your own words.)"

Apart from the obligatory "that's not what constitutes research, " the risk you run here is inadvertently citing a point of view instead of objective information.
And better than thy stroke; why swellest thou then?
 20 pvtnum 11, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 10:02:20 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
^ True. All valid concerns for those engaged in serious research.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 21 Loni Jay, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 10:09:27 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
The other trouble with wikipedia is that it changes constantly. If your teacher wants to go and check out the sources you use - the wikipedia page you accessed when you wrote may have been drastically cut down or expanded and no longer say what you cited. Or it may have been merged with another page, or anything.
Be not afraid...
 22 Morven, Tue, 22nd Feb '11 10:44:00 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
@Loni: though Wikipedia articles retain all previous versions; if the article exists in any form, you can retrieve those older versions, and there are "permalinks" that will always refer to that version. If the article has been deleted, you can't do that, but in most circumstances deleted articles are still available for admins to retrieve and there's a place where you can request a copy if you want it; generally granted unless the content was libellous or something else like that.
A brighter future for a darker age.
In any case, one should always make a screenshot when citing something from the Internet. One other large problem - wikipedia arcticles don't have an author in the traditional sense - and you can bet that encyclopedias either include information on who worked on it as a whole and in some cases show you the author of each article.

 24 Caissas Death Angel, Wed, 23rd Feb '11 5:16:07 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
My university always allowed secondary sources. But then, I studied financial services and risk management, and primary sources are far fewer on the ground for the sort of topics our work covered. Almost all our sources came from journal articles, since it was hugely based around the analysis of a few key events, facts or concepts, and the practical implications thereof.

The problem with journal articles is that, while they're peer-reviewed, they also can be wrong. Which meant we had to get lots of journal articles in order to establish a consensus. We were told that if a single paragraph that wasn't in either the introduction or the conclusion didn't have at least once source cited within it, it probably needed one. Yes, every paragraph in a 3000 word report. Anything less than 20 sources cited in such an essay was too few, especially because any plagiarism whatsoever meant you got kicked out of the campus (zero tolerance).

So I can see why some teachers insist only on primary sources, because secondary ones bring a lot of hassle with them. Just wasn't an option for us!
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 25 De Marquis, Wed, 23rd Feb '11 6:59:41 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The issue isn't really how correct the source is. The issue is being able to check and determine for oneself how correct the source probably is. You do this by getting as close to the original source of the data or information as possible. Reading many different independent primary sources on the same narrow topic and determining what the consensus is, if there is one, as well as what the "minority' points of view may be, is most likely to result in a well-rounded, moderately informed perspective.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Total posts: 30
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