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Many students assume that the online, free encyclopedia, Wikipedia is a valid, authoritative and useful reference source for their scholarly work as a student. Many teachers say that Wikipedia is garbage and should never be used. Which is it?
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In this assignment, we will be examining just how authoritative (and stable) Wikipedia (aka wiki) is. First, you will examine a specific entry from Wikipedia and check for changes that have occurred over a period of six months, and then you will compare the information from the Wikipedia entry with the information from an established reference source such as the Encyclopedia Britannica (EB).
- For your comparison of a Wikipedia entry with the same entry in EB, you should choose a research term that is in some way relevant to the material that you have covered in your course, and that term must be clear, focused and doable.
- Your analysis paper should be no more than two pages. double-spaced, one-inch margins, font size 10 or 12. Your paper should assess the overall stability and authoritative nature of the Wikipedia entry for your research term. Consider such questions:
- How much has your selected Wikipedia entry changed (or not changed) over a period of at least six months?
- Do we have any idea of the credentials of the people who created the Wikipedia information, or who made the changes?
- Were any changes the result of sound, scholarly research?
- Why did the entry change?
- How does the Wikipedia information compare with the information in EB? This is the most important part of your analysis, and you should provide a specific explanation about the Wikipedia entry’s information in comparison to the information in EB.
The term that I picked to be researched is: Isaac Newton. Please compare that term with Wikipedia and EB and answer the above question. Please make sure to cite sources as well. Thank you!