A Fine Article about Wikipedia

Hi Class,

I know that you are all probably going over the final draft of Essay 1 for tomorrow’s deadline, but I have something interesting to share with you. No, of course you don’t have to stop working on your essay. When you finish up your final proofreading, glance at this article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/one-of-the-nations-top-historians-decides-its-time-to-embrace-wikipedia/252576/

Hardly a week goes by when a friend, or a parent of a college student, or a colleague rips into Wikipedia for its flimsy research, its weak documentation, its biased approach. Well, I’ve always thought that Wikipedia keeps gaining ground on other encyclopedias, and it looks like it has truly reached the tipping point, especially when esteemed historian William Cronon gives it the thumbs up.

Try this exercise: look up the terms “immigration”and “Brooklyn Bridge” on Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia and tell me which one is more complete with more footnotes and more resources.

Cheers,

Prof. Scanlan

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