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Wikipedia.

My chosen article is about Feminizing Hormone Therapy for trans women. As a trans woman, this topic is especially important and relevant to me. This is also a topic that I know so much about. The Wikipedia article about the topic stated that Feminizing Hormone Therapy helps feminize or widen the hips when started at an early age. It is possible; however, it is exceedingly rare that hormone therapy contributes to the widening of the hips. I used myself as a source because I am in fact a trans woman, and I also begun hormone therapy at an early age, and I did not experience the widening of my hips.  

The entire experience of editing a Wikipedia article was remarkably interesting. It is, however, alarming as well. Why? Because anyone can edit anything. I think that could cause a lot of issues and disadvantages. It can strengthen the spread of fake news, because anyone who has a computer and internet connection can edit a Wikipedia content and article.  

I understand students are told not to use Wikipedia for research purposes. It can be a trustworthy source, but it would not be like that all the time. In that case, I would personally not use the website on any of my academic writings or homework. Many teachers argue that the information from Wikipedia is too basic, particularly for tertiary education and its students. This argument supposes all fact-checking must involve deep engagement. Although, this is not the best practice for conducting initial investigation into a subject online. Deep research needs to come later once the validity of the source has been established. 

I also feel relieved for everyone because even Wikipedia itself admits that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for citations elsewhere on Wikipedia. Per Wikipedia, it stated that: As a user-generated source, it can be edited by anyone at any time, and any information it contains at a particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or simply incorrect. Biographies of living persons, subjects that happen to be in the news, and politically or culturally contentious topics are especially vulnerable to these issues. Edits on Wikipedia that are in error may eventually be fixed. However, because Wikipedia is a volunteer-run project, it cannot constantly monitor every contribution. There are many errors that remain unnoticed for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Additionally, it is possible that some errors may never be fixed. Therefore, Wikipedia should not be considered a definitive source in and of itself. 

Since Wikipedia is proven not to be reliable, what should students use during research? Based on my research, I have learned that one of the most reliable sources about anything is scholarly articles. A “scholarly resource” describes a type of resource (usually a journal article or a book) that is written by an expert in a field of study or subject. Many of these resources, particularly journal articles, go through a rigorous process to be published. The information in the article must be verified by other experts in the same field before it gets published. This process is referred to as “peer reviewed.”  Because the information is written by experts and verified by other experts in that topic, scholarly resources are considered the most appropriate resources to use at any level, especially in higher education. Also, these articles often report the process and the results of studies conducted by the authors. If you have ever seen or heard anything that stated, “studies show” – these articles are those studies. 

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