Can You Use Wikipedia when Writing an Academic Paper?

Wikipedia is the most extensive repository of knowledge in the world. It contains information about most subjects you can think about in the world. Students find it easy to use of Wikipedia in academic writing. When you study the site from far, its content looks credible and informative. However, most of them have been penalized for citing the source in their academic work.

Can you use Wikipedia in academic writing? Tutors raise a concern about the credibility of the site as a source of information. The site is a free encyclopedia. It means that anybody can write their idea and post on the site. You can also edit any information on the site without seeking permission from the authority. Because of the site’s unregulated posting, some tutors consider the site an unreliable source of information for academic work.

Wikipedia and credibility of information

Information credibility is the key in any academic writing. Before thinking of how to use Wikipedia, find out if your tutor or your institution approves the site as a reliable source of information for academic writing. Because anybody can post and edit an article on this site anytime without logging in, scholars have raised doubt about its credibility. Most institutions burn the use of academic writing wiki as a credible site for any literary work.

Any academic work should contain accurate content learned from class and be backed up with reliable sources from credible sites from their augment. As a result, learning institutions blocklist Wikipedia as a scholarly site for academic writing. If your institution has not openly spoken about it, understand that the site’s unspoken block listing is a credible educational site. Before using the site for your writing, countercheck with your institution.

The information on the site is not as bad as people may say. However, for the sake of the credibility of your work, follow your tutor’s instructions and recommendation on the citation.

How to use Wikipedia in the citation?

Like other credible cites of scholarly work, the academic writing wiki encyclopedia tries to back up its articles with the reference section. Most of the references used in the citation are from credible sources that you can trust. It uses more minor citations from incredible sources such as websites, blogs, and social sites. When writing your paper, go for the primary reference section and look at the credible sources.

Primary sources are the references that contain the primary information used in the article. They usually have information with a similar structure recommended by the scholars. You will find the introduction, abstract, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. The references are made in a text format instead of the convenient hyperlink form that is easy to access. In such cases, copy the whole text containing the authors’ name, article title, and the year of publication, then try searching on the search engine.

Use of Wikipedia in academic writing

When writing academic work, do not cite Wikipedia. The trick is to use the primary source information to cite it. Instead of using the cite itself, look at the reference section to find reliable sources you can use for reference. Get the details and type them on the search engine. You will get credible information with the details you can use to reference your content.


Can you use Wikipedia in academic writing? The answer is No! However, references on the cite citation can help cite your work. The referencing section of the paper has primary citations that you can use in referencing your academic work. Even if your supervisor does not instruct on using Wikipedia as a source, know that it is not part of the referencing. Most scholarly work needs reliable and credible sources that you can refer to. The fact that content on Wikipedia is editable without log in makes it unreliable for use as a source in writing academic work. The site can only be helpful when doing your preliminary searches.