William the Conqueror – Wikipedia vs Encyclopedia Britannica analysis paper

Subject: William the Conqueror

In this assignment, we will be examining just how authoritative (and stable) Wikipedia (aka wiki) is. First, you will examine a specific entry from Wikipedia and check for changes that have occurred over a period of six months, and then you will compare the information from the Wikipedia entry with the information from Encyclopedia Britannica (EB).

Since you may have never really looked carefully at a Wikipedia entry, I
want you first to look at my Explanation of Using Wikipedia before you start this paper assignment. http://www.ctevans.net/Nvcc/Resources/Usingwikiped…

  1. Your analysis paper should be no more than three pages. double-spaced, one-inch margins, font size 10 or 12. Your paper should assess the overall stability and authoritative nature of the Wikipedia entry for your research term. Your paper should compare the specific information contained in both the Wikipedia and EB entries. Consider such questions:
    • How much have the Wikipedia and EB entries changed (or not changed) over a period of at least six months?
    • Do we have any idea of the credentials of the authors who created the Wikipedia and EB entries?
    • Do the entries footnote sources of information and provide suggested reading and websites?
    • Why did the entries change?
    • For your topic, how does the Wikipedia information compare with the information in EB? This is the most important part of your analysis, and you should provide some specific examples.
  2. Since you are writing a comparison, you need to be fair. For example, if you examine how many times Wikipedia changed, then you should examine how many times EB changed.

Below is an example of a well written paper (not the current subject matter) to use as an idea you are on the right path. www.ctevans.net/Nvcc/Campus/HIS135/Media/LutzWIkiP…

Is Wikipedia good
or bad? That is partly what you are answering in this assignment,
but I would also like to point out that a “Wikipedia” article can often be an
excellent starting point for research on a
topic or a quick source of general information. For example, I
check Wikipedia if I am looking for the birth or death dates of a
historical figure. I would also point out that a Wikipedia entry is especially valuable when it
includes footnotes, citations of sources and suggested sources for
further information (often in the form of external links).
Finally, Wikipedia can be extremely useful on topics of relatively
newer historical events. For example, in my HIS 242 (History of Russia
II) course, I ask that students check the entry for the Beslan School Hostage crisis.
This is an exceptional article–although its quality varies a bit from
month to month.

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