Although Wikipedia articles are not intended for serious academic, technical, or professional use, some aspects of the site’s pages may be tremendously useful in helping you get started with your topic. Each Wikipedia entry contains a list of references that will point you to the original sources used by the entry’s authors. Some links will direct you to the source online. This is most common with articles available for free on the Internet. If access to the source requires a subscription, you should search for the book or article in the library’s collections. You can find full instructions for finding specific sources in the links below. Because the entries in Wikipedia are constantly changing, the site provides an easy way to follow those changes over time. The View History tab shows you all the edits that have been made, with a brief description, and allows you to compare different versions of the entry. The Talk tab is a place where the various authors can exchange thoughts about the entry without these edits appearing in the main view. The Talk page can be a great place to find interesting ideas, undervalued topics, and controversial viewpoints. Because the Talk pages aren’t part of the actual article, the ideas you find here are deliberately subjective and can even include significant opinion, sometimes to the level of ranting. Exercise caution when pursuing any of these ideas further. While using Wikipedia to gather information is quite common, most students that I’ve asked have never actually edited an entry. The whole purpose of keeping Wikipedia open is to allow users like you to correct, add, or otherwise improve the information. If you see an error somewhere, feel free to make corrections under the Edit tab at the top of the page. Also, once you have a firm grasp of your topic, say for example, once you’ve finished writing your paper, you may want to go back and look over the entry for any mistakes or misconceptions. Making these edits will improve the entry for the next person who reads it.