Survey reveals how many students use Wikipedia to write their essays
85% of students use Wikipedia for essays or revision, our survey of over 1000 students has found. The survey, conducted by Student Money Saver, found that well over three quarters of students used the user edited encyclopedia for essays and/or revision.
One student, who chose to stay anonymous, said defended their use of Wikipedia:
"I think Wikipedia is seen as a lot more trustworthy than it was. Any inaccuracies are quickly questioned or removed, and all the citations are right there at the bottom, which you can virtually cut and paste into an essay once you've found the quote you want."
Another said it was great for last minute revision, giving a "last minute, extremely brief overview of most topics. It reassures me to look at a Wikipedia page just before an exam, and realise my knowledge is more in depth. I'll occasionally procrastinate by updating any inaccuracies I find".
Only 12% of students said they hadn't used Wikipedia for revision or essays, making them by far the minority. A breed of super nerds who find all of their research in libraries and books, or people who are thus far unaware of Wikipedia.
Is it cheating?
A former lecturer at the University of Warwick told us - not really.
"It depends on how you're using it. If you're looking up a topic, checking the references at the bottom are actual books, and then - and here's the key thing - you're actually reading those books - then it's not cheating. You're basically just treating Wikipedia as a reading list. But if you're using those references without reading the books, just to bulk out your reference section, then yeah that counts as cheating."
When asked whether it counted as cheating, a former Birmingham student said:
"Is it cheating to pretend you've read more than you have? - like when you go on a date with a guy you like and you pretend you've read all the Jack Reacher just so you can bed him - is that cheating?"
"Yeah, I guess it is cheating then. But now I have a 2:1, am in bed with a beautiful man and I didn't even have to read any Dan Brown."
"Lee Child wrote those? God that guy sucks."
For revision help, check out these 5 apps that actually help you revise...