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Using Wikipedia Effectively for Your Research Paper

In writing a research paper, you have to gather sources and other materials to come up with a well-researched paper that you can submit to your professor with confidence. Thanks to the Internet, gathering primary and second data is now made easier. By effectively using search engines coupled with excellent research skills, there are is a broad range of websites that you can use for your research.

One of the most popular sites among students and those who are in need of pieces of information that covers a broad scope is Wikipedia. However, you should also not rely entirely on this site. It should not be the only source. In doing an academic work, you need to gather as many quality data as you can. Wikipedia is a good starting point. In using this site as one of your sources, how do you effectively use Wikipedia?

Use Wikipedia to give you a general overview.

Given a research topic, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start and how you can tackle your topic. Even though are given the chance to select a topic that interests you, it is still a challenge in the senses as to how you want your research paper to turn out. What are the sub topics that you want to cover? What are the necessary information and data that you need? What is the primary focus of your topic? These are the questions that you have to address. Keep in mind that your research paper will be graded based on your ideas, structure and content among many others. How do you create an interesting and well-research work that will earn you a high grade.

For those who are having a hard time exploring their topic, Wikipedia is a very useful site. With the help of Wikipedia, it gives you an overview of your topic. Wikipedia contains the basic information, definition and even history. It works like an encyclopedia. The only difference is that it contains much more detailed information. This can give you an idea as to how you can work your way around your topic along with the other information that you need.

Utilize the hyperlinks to explore your topic more.

What is nice about this website is that it provides hyperlinks that will lead you to other quality websites. Wikipedia contains the relevant information that you need about your topic. But you can also access the hyperlinks to see the other related topics. This allows you to explore other related topics that might be related or connected to your research paper. It makes it easier for you to explore the different topics and other references that you might want to include or cover. These hyperlinks can actually save you time since all of the hyperlinks are about the topic. You can just browse these links and read more information about your research topic.

Access references to get more sources.

Wikipedia makes it easier for you to see related topics. In addition, you can also use the references found in the website. Through these references, it is now much easier for you to access more sources related to your topic. That is why many would access Wikipedia since it is one of the best sites where you can get not just the basic information but also access other references. Access the References or the See Also section to view the different sources that you can use for your research paper. These links will take you to external sources and sites where you acquire data and other pertinent information for your research topic.

Use other sources for your paper.

There is no doubt that Wikipedia is a good site to start especially if you do not know how to work your way around your topic. However, you cannot entirely rely on this website. Professors recommend that you use multiple sources for your research work. Since we are talking about academic writing, you need to be able to synthesize and integrate various materials of scholars to support your research. And relying on Wikipedia alone is not sufficient since it can only give you the basic information that you need. There are also cases where the information found on the website might not be enough or might be lacking. In which case, you need to have other references that you can use. For you to come up with a comprehensive research paper, you need to gather as many quality and reliable references as you can. Apart from Wikipedia, there are other great sites that you can try. You can also use journals, encyclopedias, news, etc.

Gathering information and data for your research process is never an easy task. You really have to take time in finding various sources and other references that you can use to fully support your research topic. Among these sites, Wikipedia is a very useful tool. Although it might not give you all of the information that you need and although some might question its reliability and 100% accuracy, the site is considered to be a good starting point especially for those who want to explore their topic and find other related topics.

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