How to Use Wikipedia for Study and Research: 4 Key Benefits

Everyone knows that you can add data to Wikipedia yourself, so they don’t really trust it. Still, Wikipedia can be useful.

1. To obtain background, surface information. Who participated in this or that war, the main data of the biography of famous personalities, etc. – all this is worth taking into account. But the interpretation of facts, positions, statements about the causes of events or phenomena, dates and quotes require rechecking. Please note that news from Wikipedia can also be read on wiki twitter.

2. Keywords. When studying a completely unfamiliar topic, reading a Wikipedia article will help form some basic conceptual apparatus. Having understood what keywords and terms are used, you can continue your search with the help of familiar search engines.

3. Links. As a rule, at the bottom of the article you can find links to materials on the Web. Often they lead to more authoritative and respected sources – magazines and newspapers. This data can be very helpful.

4. Footnotes. Footnotes (also located at the bottom of the article) are probably the most valuable. They provide information about which magazines and newspapers, books (i.e. offline sources) contain relevant information. Very detailed data is often indicated, down to the page and publisher. So you can try to find the edition in the library.

The main thing in working with Wikipedia is not to blindly accept all the data as truth. This encyclopedia helps to focus the search, but does not cancel independent work.

How to effectively use Wikipedia for study?

Download articles in PDF format. Imagine that you need to collect a lot of information, read it and analyze it. For example, you are looking for facts and articles for an abstract. To make it easier, download articles in PDF format, download them to any device, and read at your convenience. Or print them out and slowly finish your work. The Wikipedia page has a “Download as PDF” feature at the bottom left.

1. Compose your own book. Wikipedia has a bookmaker feature under “Create a Book”. This means that you can make a selection of your favorite articles by clicking “Add this page to your book.” The output is a PDF file for printing or for any other form of work. What to hide, the Wiki encyclopedia is so “free” that its full version can even be downloaded to a computer. Only it weighs about 64 gigabytes!

2. Save useful articles through Pocket. This application allows you to save any article from Wikipedia and then open it offline. Convenient if you travel out of town where the Internet does not catch, right?

3. Learn English. If you read books in English and sometimes there are unfamiliar words, you do not need to waste time looking for a translation. The Google Dictionary extension will translate a word with a tap of your finger. And why are we talking about him, if we are talking about Vicki? The fact is that the online dictionary, in addition, explains the meaning of the word, referring to articles from Wikipedia. This is how a foreign language is learned with the help of Wiki.

4. Take information for messages, abstracts, term papers and graduation theses. Wikipedia is such a huge reference book that you can easily prepare a good message or abstract from its articles. To do this, it is worth studying several articles on the topic so that a general idea appears and you orient yourself in the topic. And then, fueled by knowledge, write your own text. And yes, we do not recommend writing off everything cleanly for term papers and diploma theses. These are works of a level where you need to study the primary sources. Therefore, on Wikipedia you can find clues – a list of references. This will save you a lot of time looking for books. It remains only to download books on the Internet or go to the library for them.

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