Many professors will not let you cite Wikipedia, because Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" (honest, that's on their home page). But does that mean you can't consult it at all?

Actually, it can be a good place to investigate your topic at the very early stages of your research. Better articles will include a useful bibliography of other resources and it can be a place to explore whether you are interested enough in the topic to write about it.

Stay away from articles if there are notations like "Citation needed" or if the bibliography is merely a listing of other web pages.

Getting Background Information

Often you might know a little bit about a topic, but not know enough to search for information effectively. There might be scholarly jargon Jargon: the specialized vocabulary and idioms of a group of people engaged in the same activity or line of work. or special terminology with which you are not familiar. Here are some ways to get background information on your topic: