Biography - Using Online Sources

Assignment: Research the founder/personality/scoundrel in your field using both an online database and Wikipedia. Write a brief evaluation and comparison of the information in the two sources. Consider the similarities and differences of the approach to the topic, completeness, timeliness, reading level, sources given, qualifications of the author, objectivity, writing style and any other factors you find important.

How to:

  • Select "Articles, Indexes, Databases" on the Library's homepage. Scroll down the alphabetical list of databases, choose "Biography Reference Bank." Choose it again once you have entered Wilson Web. Type first name and last name of person you are researching. Read the entire entry.
  • Then do a search for this person on Wikipedia.org. Read the entry.
  • Then check out the "discussion" page linked on a tab near the top of the Wikipedia entry.
Support: Offer students a list of famous and infamous people in your field.

Use: This works as a short writing exercise and can be used to learn to chart differences. Try it yourself and do not be surprised if Wikipedia supplies the better article overall.

Objective: Begin to discriminate between online databases and public Internet sites while investigating the personalities in the history of the field.