How to Properly Cite a Wikipedia Page

2022-06-27

Last updated: 2 months ago

Read this guide to the end for a comprehensive look at how to cite a Wikipedia page.

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Introduction

When you're writing a paper or creating a presentation, you may want to use Wikipedia information. While it's fine to use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research, you shouldn't cite it as a source. Citing Wikipedia could cause your teacher or professor to think you didn't do your research.

So how can you properly cite a Wikipedia page?

While there are a few different ways to cite a Wikipedia page, the most important thing is to ensure you include all the necessary information so your reader can find the page you're citing.

If you're wondering how you can get all the information you need to properly cite a Wikipedia page, don't worry! We've got you covered.

Read this guide to the end for a comprehensive look at how to cite a Wikipedia page.

Is it Okay for Students and Researchers to Cite Wikipedia Articles in their Academic Work?

Yes, it is okay for students and researchers to cite Wikipedia articles in their academic work as long as they get their information from a reliable source. Wikipedia is a reliable source of information because it is written by experts and is constantly being updated. However, students and researchers should always check the references listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles to ensure they use reliable sources.

When citing a Wikipedia article, students and researchers should include the date they accessed the article and the URL. For example: (Wikipedia, "Citing Wikipedia", n.d.)

Students and researchers can show that they are using the most up-to-date information by including the date that they accessed the article. If stuck, you can hire our professional Wikipedia editors to help you out.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Cite Wikipedia

Before citing content from Wikipedia in your research work, you should consider the following factors:

Accuracy of information: Any given Wikipedia page may be edited by anyone at any time. This means that the accuracy of the information on Wikipedia can vary greatly from one page to the next. If you're using Wikipedia as a source for your research, check the accuracy of the information on the page against other sources.

The uniqueness of content: Given that anyone can edit a Wikipedia page, it's not unusual to find multiple pages on the same topic with slightly different information. So, if you're looking for unique content, Wikipedia is not the best place to look, as some contributors make mistakes when editing the articles. 

Stability of content: Wikipedia pages are not static. They are constantly being edited and updated by users. This means that the information on a given page can change over time. So, if you're citing Wikipedia in your research work, check the date of the last edit to ensure that the information is still accurate.

Uncertainty of authorship: Wikipedia pages do not have a single author. Instead, they are created and edited by a community of users. It can be difficult to determine the expertise of the person or people who wrote a particular page.

The originality of information: Wikipedia pages are often based on other sources. While this means that the information on a particular page is likely to be accurate, it also means that you will not be able to get original information from Wikipedia.

Recommended: How to Make a Wikipedia Page for an Artist

How to Cite Wikipedia Articles

There are several ways of citing a Wikipedia page. This section will highlight two of the most common methods.

1. Use of citation generators

Using citation generators is the quickest and easiest way to create a citation for a Wikipedia article. Citation generators are software programs that create citations for you. There are many different citation generators available, both free and paid versions. Some popular citation generators include EasyBib and Mendeley.


To use a citation generator, you need to enter the URL of the Wikipedia page you wish to cite. The citation generator will create a citation for you in the desired format.

Citation generators are quick and easy to use. However, they can sometimes create inaccurate citations. It is always best to check the generated citation against the desired citation style guide to ensure it is accurate.

2. Citing a Wikipedia Article Manually

If you prefer to create the citation manually, you will need to gather information about the article to help create the citation. You will need the following information:

-The title of the article

-The article URL

-The retrieval date of the article

-The name of the author (if available)

With this information, you can create a citation in any desired format. There are various citation styles to help you manually cite your Wikipedia article and in-text citation, including APA, MLA, and Chicago.

(i) Citing a Wikipedia Article using the APA Style

To cite a Wikipedia article in APA format, you will need the following pieces of information: the title of the article, the date you accessed the article, the name of the author (if available), and the URL.

The template for an APA citation of a Wikipedia article would look like this:

Name of the author (s). (Date you accessed the article). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from URL

Here is an example:

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, March 13). Cat. In Wikipedia. Retrieved 18:02, March 15, 2020 from en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cat&oldid=949744081

As you can see, the template includes the title of the article ("Cat"), the date you accessed it ("March 13, 2020"), the name of the author ("Wikipedia contributors"), and the URL (en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cat&oldid=949744081).

(ii) Citing a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format

When citing a Wikipedia article in MLA format, you will need the article's title, the author's name (if available), the date that the article was published (if available), the name of the website, and the date that you accessed the article.

The template for an MLA citation of a Wikipedia article is as follows:

Article Title. Author Name (if available). Date of publication (if available). Name of website. Date of access.

Here is an example of an MLA citation for a Wikipedia article:

"The Battle of Gettysburg." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.

Notice that the author's name is not included in the citation because it is unavailable. The publication date is also unavailable, so it is omitted from the citation.

If you are citing a specific section of a Wikipedia article, you will add the section title after the article title. The template for an MLA citation of a specific section of a Wikipedia article is as follows:

Article Title. Section Title. Author Name (if available). Date of publication (if available). Name of website. Date of access.

Here is an example of an MLA citation for a specific section of a Wikipedia article:

"The Battle of Gettysburg." "Gettysburg Address." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.

Notice that the author's name is not included in the citation because it is unavailable. The publication date is also unavailable, so it is omitted from the citation.

(iii) Citing a Wikipedia Article in Chicago Style

Chicago style is very similar to APA style, but there are a few small differences. When citing a Wikipedia article in Chicago style, you will use the following template:

"Article Title." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Date of access, URL.

Here is an example of how to cite a Wikipedia article in Chicago style:

"Cicero." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed January 18, 2020,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero.

Conclusion

Citing a Wikipedia page is relatively simple, but there are a few things to remember. First, you'll want to use a citation generator like EasyBib or Citation Machine to create your citation. Second, format your citation according to the appropriate style guide (APA, MLA, or Chicago).

Remember, when in doubt, always consult your professor or instructor. Our Wikipedia writer services can help you create, edit, or improve your Wikipedia page.

With these tips in mind, you'll be citing Wikipedia like a pro in no time! Thanks for reading. If you need to learn how to create a Wikipedia page, check out our blog post on the subject.

FAQs

Q: Is Wikipedia a credible source for research work?

A: Wikipedia is a collaborative platform with articles written by anonymous volunteers who write without pay. While some question the validity of the information found on Wikipedia, the website does have a process of fact-checking and editing by users. In addition, many colleges and universities allow students to use Wikipedia as a source for research papers.

Q: How do I generate citations for Wikipedia articles?

A: You can generate citations for Wikipedia articles in MLA, APA, and Chicago style. To do this, go to the bottom of the Wikipedia page you want to cite. Under the "Cite this page" heading, click on the style you need. A pop-up box will appear with a citation for the article. You can then copy and paste this citation into your paper.

Q: Is it necessary to include the last update date when citing a Wikipedia page?

A: The last update date is not always necessary, but it can be helpful in some situations. If you are citing a Wikipedia page for its timeliness, then including the last update date is a good idea. However, if you are citing a Wikipedia page for its general information, then the last update date is not as important.

 


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