Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Idea to Use Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an online free encyclopedia available in different languages (“Wikipedia: about.”). Most of the content is written by volunteers who have online access. Wikipedia have always had a negative review in the academic field. Most teachers and professors have forbidden the use of Wikipedia. They forbidden the usage of Wikipedia because Wikipedia information can be written or edit by anyone. However, Wikipedia is still a great source to use because of its easy accessibility, quick and simple search engine, RSS feed (Agarwal, et al.), quick way to get topic related links and able to download it and access it without internet access.

Easy accessibility means that one can access Wikipedia as long as a computer and internet is available. Most people have internet access on their mobile phone. Wikipedia becomes an essential tool for one to find nearby building names, quick information about a company one is going to have an interview with or definition for an academic term one does not understand. With a mobile phone one can find information quick and on the spot. Wikipedia also put definitions in simple English, which is really easy to understand. Not only is Wikipedia easy to access, its search engine is quick and simple.

Wikipedia have an easy to use and simple search engine bar available. One can type in literally anything and an entry will come up with most of the information one need. If the entry one types in is incorrect or Wikipedia does not have it, then a list of similar topics will show up. Sometimes by clicking on similar topics, one can find essential information. Not only does Wikipedia have quick search, if one want to keep on top of Wikipedia new posts, one could.

The RSS feed is a web-browser tool that is available to help one get the latest updates on certain websites. Instead of going to the website, the RSS feed brings the updates to a little corner of the web-browser and show all the new updates of the website one selected. If one want to know about new events happening in the world and just want quick information on certain changes or is just such a fan of Wikipedia, one can subscribe the RSS feed and have constant connection to Wikipedia (Agarwal, et al.).

When viewing a Wikipedia entry, the texts are mostly in black. However, certain words are in blue and if one clicks on the word one can get an entry (further explanation) on the specific word. At the bottom of each entry, there are external links or sources and one can click on them to find out more about the topic or simply reference the links posted instead of Wikipedia, since the information from a more reliable online source looks better on academic paper.

If one does not have internet access or is going somewhere without it, Wikipedia did not forget about you. Wikipedia is now available for download. Although it requires a lot of memory space, it can still be useful. For example traveling to another country might require quick information on certain attractions and Wikipedia can be one’s guide.

Overall, Wikipedia is a quick, simple, easy guide to any questions one might have. Of course, never to cite Wikipedia for an academic paper, but it does not mean one cannot use it. It is smart to start with Wikipedia on a topic one has absolutely no idea about and use external links or key words to do further research.


"Wikipedia: About." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 27 Sept. 2009.Web. 7 Oct 2009.

Agarwal, Amit. “Wikipedia Tips and Tricks: How to use Wikipedia more effectively” Digital Inspiration.19 May 2008. Web. 7 Oct 2009.

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