QUOTE(KamrynMatika @ Wed 4th March 2009, 8:54pm)
QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 5th March 2009, 3:28am)
Why Not Wiki?
A truly open society
By: Mitch Bradt, East High School Why is it that every time we have to do projects, papers, research, or whatever, we’re told that we can’t use Wikipedia as a source?
He does at a point with this:
No one cares if we use a site that is, say, set up by a 3rd grade history class, as long as it’s not Wikipedia.
I finished school not so long ago, and it's definitely true that whilst you can't cite Wikipedia, your teacher won't blink an eyelid if you cite, say, a random geocities webpage or some random Joe's personal website. Anything you find on Google is fair game, it just seems to be that teachers have a particular bone to pick with Wikipedia. Not that I think Wikipedia should be citeable. But I can see how from a kid's point of view it would seem unfair to not be able to cite it when you can cite just about anything else.
I think this misses the point. The teachers may SAY you can't use Wikipedia due to accuracy problems, but that's not the real reason.
In the old days before the internet and WP existed, students were often forbidden to use paper encyclopedias as article sources also. It was too much like catching fish in a barrel. The teacher would say "I can't stop you from looking, but if you do, we'll both wish you hadn't."
The real reason teachers don't like Wikipedia is that all (or most of) the work is often already done for you on Wikipedia, just as on Britannica. It's like buying research articles for college classes from those slimey research article sellers. It's cheating because it gets around the purpose of the assignment, which is to make somebody write their own article doing ORIGINAL RESEARCH. Which means finding a lot of sources, sorting through them for reliability, making judgements, doing synthesis.
In short, doing a lot of the stuff you're NOT supposed to do in writing a WP article (although in reality, as we've noted, it's just about impossible to write a good article on WP without violating OR and SYNTH.)