Critiquing Wikipedia Entries- Cabeza de Vaca

Source: Wikipedia”

The Wiki is structured such as to allow the reader to easily trace the story of Alva Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and after gaining and understanding of the synopsis of his life, to gain an appreciation of his heritage, his upbringing, his actions, and the way various forms of media have framed his story and recorded his actions. While the article is neutral in tone and does not adopt a view that praises Cabeza de Vaca or his actions, it fails to completely qualify all the information and facts it provides in telling his account.

The Wiki article frequently mentions ” some sources” without specifically citing which exact sources which implies to the reader an absence of the said sources. Terms and words that may be unclear to the reader as well are not explained or cited such as the “Muslim Moors,” “conquistador, ” and other terms used throughout the passage.  Additionally, the citation to “Capoques” links to a dead page.


The article’s consideration of a film drama about Cabeza de Vaca demonstrates the Wikipedia entry’s exhaustive detail. Its coverage of books about him as well further emphasize this. The article does not come across as biased, instead adapting a very objective tone and citing both Cabeza de Vaca’s triumphs, and his failures. It validates its assertions with facts from various independent sources which it links back to, although one of the links does not work. The use of images, as well as portrait of Cabeza de Vaca also helps the article in its detail, although a description of the origins of the portrait and other images used in the article would benefit the overall article.


The article appears to be part of various WikiProjects of varying activity and from various times. It discusses Cabeza de Vaca and his journey differently than we do in class because it does so very objectively, without the biases that we assume when we discuss it. The article has been written to and moderated by a variety of writers, including Professor Katherine Holt, with the contributors engaging in generally constructive and polite discourse on the talk page- a key feature of Wikipedia that differentiates it from other encyclopedias and journals. Finally, the article cites the facts and information it utilizes while our in-class discussions focus only on the content itself and we sparingly refer to a wide range of other sources.

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