Wednesday, March 3, 2010


For the essay on Wikipedia I am taking the stance that universities should not allow students to use Wikipedia in academic writing. I have used Wikipedia in the past and just found out that a couple of years ago that anyone can edit the articles on it. After reading the article about John Seigenthaler and the incorrect information that was put up about him on Wikipedia I realized that really is not a reliable source. There are two main points that I have so far that I am thinking of writing about in my essay. The first is that college students doing academic writing should not rely on encyclopedias for their sources. The second point I will write about is how inaccurate Wikipedia is.

On one of the articles assigned to read for homework said that college students shouldn't even be looking at encyclopedias for their sources. It said something like college students should be looking at primary sources instead. So, that's what I'm going to base my first paragraph on. 

The paragraph about Wikipedia not being accurate is the one I did with the paragraph generator. This paragraph was: the university should not allow students to use Wikipedia as a source in academic writing because it is inaccurate. “I had heard for weeks from teachers, journalists, and historians about “the wonderful world of Wikipedia” where millions of people worldwide visit daily for quick reference “facts”, composed and posted by people with no special expertise or knowledge-and sometimes by people with malice.” (John Seigenthaler, 2005). Wikipedia is a site that millions of people worldwide visit and are able to add and edit anything they want from it. Any individual can edit it, they don’t necessarily need to have knowledge in that field. There are people who edit Wikipedia to add accurate information but there are also others who add incorrect information, sometimes purposely. The quote was said by John Seigenthaler, someone who experienced first hand the affect of incorrect information on Wikipedia. On Wikipedia, Seigenthaler was said to have been directly involved in Kennedy assassinations. This story was made up, it is false information. Just like this happened to John Seigenthaler, there are students that rely solely on Wikipedia on assignments they receive. They end up getting and using the wrong information and this affects their grade. In academic writing, students must use sources that are accurate. Wikipedia is an inaccurate source and inaccurate sources have negative impacts on students and their grades. 

I still have a lot of work to do but hopefully I'm on the right track. I know what my stance is and have information from the articles on iLearn to use. The paragraph generator was very helpful for me in getting started and I plan to use it for the other body paragraphs I will do.   

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear the paragraph generator was useful! It sounds like you have a couple of strong supporting arguments lined up. Have you considered addressing a counterargument? For example, are there some situations in which you DO think Wikipedia could be used as a source in academic writing?