Answered By: Lora Cowell
Last Updated: May 03, 2017     Views: 7

Using Wikipedia to do an initial "pre-search" can be useful in getting to know your topic. While it serves as a useful reference, it is an open-edited source and is not considered "authoritative."

Be careful in putting Wikipedia articles in your bibliographies.  If listing an article used for pre-search purposes, be sure you indicate why you used it and how you determined it's credibility in your annotation.  

DO NOT rely on multiple Wikipedia articles as your resources for a research project. Recognize that "quoting" Wikipedia as your source (either in upper-level classes/college work) or even in everyday conversation diminishes your credibility.  Always look for more authoritative sources to back up any arguments or claims you are making.

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