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Wikipedia for Course Research: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

How often do you look to Wikipedia for some quick facts? Probably pretty often given the stats: the site gets an average of 269 million page views every single day and is the fifth most visited website in the world. But while Wikipedia might be great for ending debates over which U.S. city has the largest population or what the song “Yankee Doodle” is actually about, Wikipedia has largely been banned as a source of research for academic papers.

How can such a popular and prolific site be so bad to use for research? Is Wikipedia always off limits? The answer is complicated, but makes a lot of sense. Read on to learn more about where Wikipedia can fit in to your academic career and why your professors aren’t trying to make your life more difficult by discouraging you from using it.

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