Dipping My Toe/ Jumping into the Deep End

After submitting my first edit (19th Century -> 19th century), I felt like I had given something back to a community from which I had taken so much. It was a good feeling, so good that I decided to buckle down and submit an article.

I am staunchly pro-wikipedia. I have had to bite my tongue while professors decry the untrustworthiness, when readers must always apply critical thinking skills when reading. Wikipedia is not different from any other source. The reader must carefully follow the argument, vet the sources, and determine the veracity of the information that is printed, whether that information is printed in a Harvard journal or on a Wikipedia page.

Professors who instruct their students to eschew Wikipedia because it is untrustworthy should be encouraging students to judge for themselves the truthiness of the information found on the collaborative encyclopedia. This is a lesson in critical thinking. Prohibiting the use of Wikipedia because it contains misinformation, but allowing the use of peer reviewed articles or monographs, does not teach a student to weigh information and make judgements based on critical source analysis, which should be the goal. There is also misinformation in peer reviewed monographs and articles, students should be encouraged to find quality sources no matter where they are published.

In around three weeks I will find out if my article is published on Wikipedia. The entry is about a Michigan artist whose career I have closely followed. Writing this document was offered valuable insight into how Wikipedia operates. Seeing behind the curtain helps to explain how these articles are formed and gives me more faith in the collaborative process.


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