Why you don’t want Wikipedia to do your homework

I know this may come as a shock, but people lie on the Internet.

Moral of the story: always question the source.

9 Replies to “Why you don’t want Wikipedia to do your homework”

  1. *sigh* I rely much too heavily on Wikipedia to do my quick, initial research for things (fictional things, granted, but still). Though I doubt someone intentionally lied about the year skeet shooting was invented… (last thing I remember looking up) But you never can know!

  2. Yikes, one of the first things professors tell new communications students at my school is “Don’t use wikipedia as a source.” It irks me to no end when my classmates try to use it in group projects–I was especially annoyed when one group member got ALL his information from wikipedia, but didn’t tell us until the day before the due date. This kid was 22 years old!

  3. I admit I use Wikipedia to look up intitial information, but I don’t rely on it as a citation. In fact, the first time I ever heard of Wikipedia was negative: someone had falsely claimed Laura Ingalls Wilder had a Downs Syndrome child who died when he was three years old.I think the entry even gave the boy the following name: “Claude.”

    Not as insidious as Diebold’s editing job, granted.

  4. I never really relied on Wiki, even though it does have a lot of good information, you really never know what’s true and what’s not. That must be why it’s blocked at our school, haha.

  5. This has nothing to do with Wikipedia

    I am having a much needed lazy day so I have been reading some of your old journal entries. You have such an amazing full healthy blessed life and the best part is you are very grateful for all of it, good and maybe the not so good. Can you share with us old 40 something fans how you have managed to have such gratitude clarity and calmness in your life? You after all have had your challenges, divorce, raising teen girls, being a single mom, becoming a step mom, balancing career and family, etc… etc… etc….. I know that you have an obvious passion and talent writing for teens but have you ever considered writing for some of us old folks? I’d be the first one to buy your book! I want to be just like you when I grow up. You are a real inspiration.

  6. Re: This has nothing to do with Wikipedia

    Well…. gee….. thank you! These are incredibly kind words. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond to them, but I have been struggling for the right words.

    I have always been an optimistic person – I was born that way. But I think it was a Serious Incident that gave me the perspective you allude to. About nine years ago, I was not taking care of myself, for a variety of dumb reasons. I wound up getting sick, and then sicker. And then they stuck me in the hospital with a fairly serious lung infection.

    They pumped me full of meds to open the lungs. A side effect was that my heart pounded like a race horse and I could not sleep. My roommate was an elderly woman who was very close to death. A nurse sat with her all night long and talked to her and held her hand. (There is a special place in heaven for nurses.) The elderly woman cried all night long because of how much she had messed up her life. None of her children would come to see her, her grandchildren didn’t know her, etc.etc. It was awful to listen to.

    And very instructive.

    That was the closest I’d ever been to Death, that night. I watched the clock tick away the last hours of my roommates life and I had to admit that I didn’t know how many hours I had left either. And that’s when I started to learn about what was really important to me: loving my family, caring for my community, doing good work, eating popcorn whenever possible, and trying (not always succeeding, but trying) to live in a state of kindness and appreciation for every day I have.

    Thanks again.

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