Here is a dilemma I have been always faced with over the course of my learning chemistry, and perhaps other studies.

For me there are two ways of learning something (for the sake of this discussion) : 1. Go over the whole subject as quick as possible, and afterward come back to focus on specific topics.

  1. Focus on specific topics along the way

I often went onto Wikipedia for help to understand some topics on chemistry, but then there are always terms in that particular explaination that I had never heard of. I was tempted to click on the link, but also afraid that I might waste too much time on that.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia is the worst online tutorial! Instead, I find chemwiki.ucdavis.edu pretty informative. In addition, what's wrong with Khan Academy? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Khan won't really go deep into any topic $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ Although everyone's talking bad about wiki. I actually found that some of the stuffs can only be found on wiki. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. It depends on what you call as deep. But I get what you mean. Still, citable wikipedia articles are written for chemistry PhDs and not us. Wikipedia is just a collection of what's found in the Net. If you want to dig into some topic, it's not really sensible to do it using wikipedia. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but most answerers here cite from wiki. So I think they automatically assume that we understand those articles $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia links are usually "side-links", which means that answerers have given an opportunity to the asker to "study" more about the topic. There are two problems: 1. Answerers aren't fully certain that at what level of understanding the concept you are. 2. You may ask a seemingly "easy" question with an advanced answer and the answerer won't be able to do anything about it. 3. Wikipedia articles are references, but aren't tutorials. If you got an answer to your question, googling about it and finding a site that's more tutorial-like is the best option to study online about it. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


What's wrong with asking questions on Chemistry.SE?

You mention that there are often terms or topics that you don't know on Wikipedia. Isn't that the point of a question-and-answer site? Ask away and you have a small army of chemistry professionals willing and able to answer your questions?

There are many sites out there with great articles to learn a bit about a topic (e.g., Wikipedia, chemwiki.ucdavis.edu). But if you have deeper questions, ask them here.

Personally, I'm much more interested in answering a deep question than in dealing with more homework to moderate. And you can ask the question at the level you want. (See this.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ About your last sentence, I added a nice post link. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 22:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .