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History papers

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Neomega, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Volum

    Volum The Zapper

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    I'm studying history too, and right now im supposed to be writing about the Great Depression. I chose the subject myself, and alltough it intrests me i've been playing Battlefield all day :/ My professors all hate Wikipedia with a passion too and don't want us to use it. But several times they have handed us articles about people printed straight from Wikipedia :lol:
     
  2. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    reminds me of my architecture class. Guy hated wikipedia, but his slide picture website for various buildings, had explanations of them taken straight from wikipedia. I guess he should check what his TA is doing next time he asks him to write some captions.
     
  3. ParangBoi

    ParangBoi Chieftain

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    :lol: Oh well, I guess that happens to us at least once in a while. :king:

    Personally, if I'm doing a serious project, I'll use Wikipedia to scratch the surface (find related/relevant topics, basic details, basic information), and hit the books or trusted printed materials for the specific stuff.


    Speaking about opinions and education, (as of your original first post), here's a link on Sir Ken Robinson ranting about education.
     
  4. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    I never use Wikipedia as a source. I use it as a stepping stone to start research.
     
  5. Annex

    Annex Tyranny and Mutation

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    Sourcing isnt there to show it is something you just learned, it serves much more important purposes.

    It will help prevent you from getting kicked out of school. In the "real world" this is equivalent to obeying intellectual property laws which helps prevent you from being sued. It is also there so that the person reading your paper can, if they so desire, look up the source for their own purposes.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Wiki can lead you to other sources. But it is not allowed now because a lot of professors have found it used as a source, and as a source there is a real possibility of it being wrong. It's actually fairly accurate much of the time. But there are no guarantees that any particular article will be. And when it is wrong, it can be spectacularly so. And when it is spectacularly wrong, 1/2 the students in the class will reference the same article. :mischief:
     
  7. Shekwan

    Shekwan Kim Chi Quaffing Celt

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    Wikipedia's only use academically is if you don't have a clue about what you're meant to know about you can use it get a good overview.

    If you're looking at wikipedia whilst writing a paper/essay then you're doing it wrong. Your professors are right, wikipedia is just not a useful source. Sure you can get a few links from it, but there should be more than enough sources available at your library (electronic and paper).

    Plus when you're getting those sources at the library you're honing your research skills, which is probably the main thing you should be learning from doing the paper.
     
  8. Mowque

    Mowque Hypermodernist

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    Pfft, that is what us librarians are for. ;)
     
  9. Shekwan

    Shekwan Kim Chi Quaffing Celt

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    Really? :eek:

    Judging from my college, librarians spend 90% of their time teaching people how to swipe their ID card on the way in.
     
  10. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Old style research skills.

    There is this new thing called the interweb, where you can find information via this "universal" coding language called html. It's pretty neat and convenient.

    And in 20 years time, it will be where 90% of research is done.
     
  11. Mowque

    Mowque Hypermodernist

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    As a librarian, (well one in training) and therebye (somewhat) knowledgeable in what your talking about. Your both right and wrong. The Internet is an AMAZING source of info. But it has its faults...many of them. And not all will be fixed with time.

    Edit- Irish Caesar....you hit the nail on the head
     
  12. Irish Caesar

    Irish Caesar Yellow Jacket

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    Electronic databases are more "the way to go."

    Generally, though, it seems you've gotta go to a library to make use of one of those.
     
  13. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    You know, when professional historians get together they tend to agree that the stuff that gives you lasting power as one are the traditional virtues of massive learning and that thing already old Thukydides named "akribeia", his "painful attention to detail".

    Everything else, more or less fad-like academic fashions in theory etc., tends to take second place. Doing yesterday's kind of history is always a boring idea of course, but the general consensus tends to be that if a historian is knowledgeable enough, and pays his dues as far attention to detail is concerned (and that includes supplying all the information another historian might need to reverse engineers his argument), then he will write interesting books and articles.

    Wikipedia might make you faster today, but you either acquire the old fashioned virtue of acriby, or your output will suck.

    And wikipedia lacks identifiable authors and publishing dates. That in itself is a confidence killer. It introduces a chaotic element in a situation where professional historians have been hard at work erecting structures that allow reverse engineering of arguments and accountability. Of bloody course they hate it!:run:
     
  14. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Most wikpedia articles I have seen are well sourced. Its not just wikipedia. A lot of times, there are college websites too, where people have posted long essays. Yeah, the guy may not be published, but seeing how he is a professor from Stanford, if he quotes Immanuel Kant as having said something, I'm going to believe him, even if he doesn't provide which particular page he got the quote from.
     
  15. Shekwan

    Shekwan Kim Chi Quaffing Celt

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    Ever heard of the likes Jstor, ISI Web of Science? They're these handy websites that store academic data online. The great thing about them is that they are reliable and can't be edited by Joe Bloggs just 'cos he reckons he's smart.
     
  16. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Yeah. Unfoturnately, those do not have much more than what is already assigned in class.... and their search function sucks ass.
     
  17. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    The thing to do when taking information from wikipedia is to check the original source material. A worthy wikipedia page will be well-cited, and it should be easy to find the source document for a particular fact or statistic. This has the bonus of sometimes giving you a worthy location to cite in your own work, as well, particularly if that source is scholarly or media-based in nature.
     
  18. Shekwan

    Shekwan Kim Chi Quaffing Celt

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    I'm not sure what you mean? They don't have much more than whats assigned in class?

    As for the search function gripe, I'd rather have a search function that sucks ass than information that sucks ass.
     
  19. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    The JSTOR database isn't that large, for subjects like "history of Science"
     
  20. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Wikipedia shouldn't be consulted about subjects in which people are opinionated or passionate about. Unfortunately, that includes almost all of history. Best chances for a good history article are relatively recent, well-known, and well-documented events, such as World War II.
     

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