How to use Wikipedia - for secondary school students

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This page is a space to brainstorm and plan on what could be put on a poster to instruct secondary school students on proper use of Wikipedia in their studies and the classroom.

To have in mind:

Possible quotes?

  • A great starting point, but not the ending point for research.
  • Don't cite Wikipedia – not because it's Wikipedia, but because it's an encyclopedia.


  • Wikipedia used by top cultural institutions - Archivist of the United States, Smithsonian Institution, et al.
  • Medical schools, most consulted medical source

What to watch for in a Wikipedia page

  • Quality of lead section, grammar
  • Peacock terms, promotional language or exaggeration - best, outstanding, legendary, unparalleled, et al.
  • Number of citations per paragraph
  • Article rating
  • Warning banners at the top or in sections, [ctiation needed] warnings
  • Lack of blue colored links
  • Talk page discussion/warnings

Best practices

  • Using reference section, external links
  • Inspecting metadata - edits and number of editors, traffic report

See also[edit]

  • Wikipedia Space posters on English Wikipedia
  • Presentation by Andrew Lih and Newseum - "Believe It or Not? Teaching Media Literacy Should Include Wikipedia" [1] - June 14, 2017