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Grade 10 Interdisciplinary Unit Social Studies and English: Background Reading

Background reading

In order to find a contemporary issue that interests you and that will carry you through your research, you will need to do some background reading. This means accessing literature, such as magazines and newspapers, that inform about a topic rather than critically analyze it. Then, when you have found the issue that will sustain your interest throughout the research, you will be able to look for articles to support your thinking. Below are some resources for background reading.

What about Wikipedia?

Even though academics and teachers tend to discourage students from using crowd-sourced resources like Wikipedia, students still continue to use these for research purposes. Is this really a bad thing?

The article below discusses the reliability of Wikipedia in 21st century research.

Navigating the online information maze: should students trust Wikipedia?

According to Wikipedia ...

  1. it is a pioneer in group learning
  2. its articles are tightly controlled to ensure quality information.
  3. has five pillars that contributors agree to conform to
  4. it is an encyclopedia, this means summarized information
  5. it is written from a neutral point of view
  6. it is free content that anyone can use, edit and distribute
  7. its editors should treat each other with respect and civility
  8. it has no firm rules

How to use Wikipedia in research

  1. Explore Wikipedia articles during the pre-search. In order to home in on a topic or question, you need to first have a broad understanding of your area of interest. This means that you need to find sources that give you an overview and a wide understanding of the issue you want to research. Wikipedia articles can provide this background as they give summarized information. They should also be a source of current information as they are edited on a regular basis.
  2. A Wikipedia article is a good source to find keywords for future searching.
  3. A good Wikipedia article will have a list of references. You will find these at the bottom of the article. Use these to find the original sources.
  4. Remember that a Wikipedia article will never contain original research, or a scholar's insights into an issue. Wikipedia articles are supposed to give neutral content. Consider if this is what you need.
  5. Ask your teacher whether you can cite a Wikipedia article. Remember that a Wikipedia article is summarized information, taken from other sources. Would it not be better to follow the original sources?

Explore the talk tab

Wikipedia'as grading scale

HS Librarian