Previously, we learned about reference resources. Wikipedia is also a reference resource, and is one of the most popular websites on the internet. However, most college instructors do not allow students to use Wikipedia as a reference resource in research projects.

Search for an article in Wikipedia on a topic that you already know something about. First, read the article and examine the information you find there. Next, explore the following questions:

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  • How accurate is the Wikipedia page?
  • What is the authority of the source material? How can you tell?
  • Do you have to be an expert to contribute to Wikipedia?
  • If you cannot use Wikipedia as a reference resource, how might it still be useful for college level research?
  • How is this the same or different from how you might use other reference resources?
  • Why do you think that instructors generally do not accept Wikipedia as a reference resource?

Include the name of the article and a link to the article. You do not need to cite the article for the purposes of this discussion, but you do need to use quotation marks if you use a direct quote to demonstrate a point.



Using the search menu worksheet, make any necessary revisions to your research questions and drop them into the top box. Then create a search menu following the steps listed below:

  • Extract main concepts
  • Create a list of synonyms and related concepts for main concepts
  • Link synonyms and related concepts with OR
  • Link main concepts with AND
  • Enclose phrases in quotation marks
  • Utilize truncation
Thesis/Research Question(s):








Concept One



Concept Two

Concept Three  


1)         Extract Main Concepts

2)         Create a list of synonyms and related concepts for each main concept

3)         Link synonyms and related concepts with OR

4)         Link main concepts with AND

5)         Utilize phrases (“”) and truncation (*)