week 6- wiki

The intention of Wikipedia is overall a good one, and for it being a free source it is a good place to start. I think we can all agree that if you don’t know anything about a subject Wikipedia is a great place to start to get an idea or a background about that subject, person,event, or topic. The idea of Wikipedia is to present topics without bias and to only present the facts of the subject. As historians we know that without bias rarely ever happens, and its very hard to keep ones on opinion or thoughts out of whats being written about. In class we used Wikipedia to look at the controversial topic of the black hills land claim between the United States government and the tribes of the that area including the Lakota and Sioux. The topic being presented through Wikipedia was completely factual and gave a sense of what the dispute was about, and presented the different documents and hearings between the U.S government and the tribes of the area. It kept the bias as neutral as possible however going through it one could tell it leaned just a bit more to the Lakota side overall. However it did include ┬áboth sides of the argument, which is what the whole idea of Wikipedia is suppose to do. It provides the main argument as well as a counter-argument. This is good because it allows people to see both sides of an argument and provide them with background of the topic. Overall I personally don’t find Wikipedia as bad as my past professors have put it out to be, I think that if people use it knowing that they shouldn’t solely rely on it as a source, they can use common sense to find the significance in it.

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