What is Wikipedia?

What is Wikipedia? It's a website, a free encyclopedia, and more. Learn all about using Wikipedia in this free lesson.

What is Wikipedia?

If you want to find a few facts or are trying to understand a new concept, Wikipedia can be a great place to start. Wikipedia has grown to be one of the top 10 most visited sites on the Internet, making it the largest encyclopedia in the world. Because it incorporates modern Internet tools like a search engine and hyperlinks, it's easy to use and find information quickly.

Wikipedia works because anyone can edit it. You can view past revisions, discuss the current state of articles, or learn how to become an editor yourself. This open, inclusive process is part of what has made Wikipedia so popular.

Wikipedia article

Wikipedia has many advantages and disadvantages when compared to traditional encyclopedias.

Advantages of Wikipedia

Disadvantages of Wikipedia

The key to using Wikipedia effectively is to read critically and understand how it works. This is similar to understanding traditional encyclopedias and other sources of information, but it's important to understand how Wikipedia's structure and focus are different. When used carefully, Wikipedia can be a valuable and useful tool and a gateway to vast amounts of new knowledge.

Learn more about Wikipedia:

Wikipedia's help page

7 things you should know about Wikipedia by Educause

Effective research with Wikipedia