What are the disadvantages of using Wikipedia as a reference in academic essays?

If you are a student, you probably know about capabilities of the internet for studying. This tool can be very useful for your work and can expand your learning opportunities. But another side of it is distraction and misinformation. Yes, not all information you find in the web is true and reliable. There is a lot of different uncertain information which is very difficult to verify.

Of course, you can judge website’s credibility. Many students found Wikipedia as a reference source because of its features. It is commonly cited. At first sight, this project can give you a great opportunity to start your researches; there is a lot of information there on probably every topic.

But there is a reason why it is not so reliable source of information as it seems. A lot of people don’t believe Wikipedia completely because anyone in the world can edit this encyclopedia on his way. Sometimes unchecked and vandalized pages can remain damaged for months. So your academic essay can be totally overwhelmed because of its incorrect or doubtful information.

So we can say that free encyclopedia is not totally reliable source, it can be used as a secondary information source. You can do your preliminary research with it; Wikipedia in that case will be your great helper. Also, you can find references to original information sources. You can find it in special references section of free encyclopedia. Primary sources contain information from credible authors and consistent results. As a conclusion, we must say that citing Wikipedia directly as a primary reliable source for your academic essay is not allowed. So, that is why you should avoid using it for such responsible and important work as your academic papers.