Monday, January 24, 2011

Wikipedia: The Muse

School is off to a roaring start. I had some webcam troubles (new fancy-fangled thing it is) for homework, but finally I can record and finish homework! Can't wait to use it for Signing Saturday.

Regardless, today's topic revolves around the ever controversial and useful Wikipedia. Being any kind of school, Elementary and up, you have to do research for things. Ever since the internet popped up, there have been warnings to take the information there with a grain of salt. I, honestly, love this tool. In my writing, I use a ton of mythology. I have to say, my biggest tool in doing my research is Wikipedia.

Now, tons of critics call Wikipedia unreliable, a good information source for casual browsing. I'm not saying I'll site the thing in my acknowledgements. It does work as a beautiful springboard, however. A lot of times, mythology books are expensive, offer broad stories rather than specific information, and go with conventional or popular things. With Celtic mythology or fairy lore, much of the resources I've come across aren't culture specific (either that or they're nothing but Greek stuff). Wikipedia, I can type in what specifically I'm looking for and get an entire profile of it. Their articles are really well informed too, especially if I click off from the resources. I've spent hours just going on Wiki-hunts, researching, soaking up all the info so I can shape my own ideas around it. The best thing about fantasy, also, is it's so flexible. I can tweak the myths however I like.

What do you think of Wikipedia, or even the internet in general to do your research? Is a quick Google search all you need or do you need research journals up the wazoo?


  1. Because I do so much academic research I can't rely on Wikipedia. My professors look down on it as a valid source for research, so journals books and such is the way to go if you want a good report for classes.

    I do think some of the information is very useful, and I allow my kids to research stuff on that site, because its easy and there.

  2. I love googling for the missing bits in my knowledge - which is vast, hahaha! - but i especially like googling for images. I like to see what i am writing.
    I dream of one day being able to do first hand research - flying, driving or shipping to places i research about. But that will be a long way in the future i think!