To confirm the validity of the information you provide in an essay, you must include all sources you used on a reference page. Note that there are different formats to cite sources and you should specify this with your supervisor. Also, if you plan Wikipedia in your research, ask your professor whether you can do that. And then stick to the required format when citing this resource.
So, how do you cite Wikipedia in a text?
Citing Wikipedia: what you should know to do it properly
No matter which standards you use, whether this is APA or MLA, you must include parenthetical in-text quotes when you use words from a certain source. However, this puts certain problems when you need to quote Wikipedia because all information there doesn’t have credited authors, publication dates or page numbers. But both formats provide special guidelines on how to cite words without standard information.
Citing Wikipedia in MLA Style
Put your citation after the quoted words. Follow the next steps:
- Since the article you quote wouldn’t have an author, start with the article title. It should be put in quotation marks within parentheses. Put the period inside the quotation.
- The next step is to mention the bigger source. It should be written in italics. In this case, it is Wikipedia. Put a period in the end.
- Then you have to say who the publisher is. In the case of Wikipedia, you must write Wikipedia.org as the publisher. Put coma after that.
- Then mention the date when the article was published, if possible. It might be difficult to find the date when the material appeared in Wikipedia. So it is a good idea to write “n.p.” which means that the publication date is unknown.
- Write the URL where the article is published.
- Finally, if you know how to cite Wikipedia, you will mention the date when you came across this source. In MLA style you must write the date first, then month and year. No commas.
So, this is how the final citation will look like:
“Organization.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org, n.p., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization. Accessed 29 March, 2018.
When citing Wikipedia in APA Style, you should follow different requirements.
- The first thing which you should write is the title of the article in Wikipedia. You shouldn’t use quotation marks or italics. Just write the title and put a period.
- Write down the date, if you can find it. Letters “n.d.” in parenthesis will work if you have no clue about the publication date.
- The next thing you must do is mention the source. In our case this should go like this: “In Wikipedia”. Then put period.
- Then mention the date when you found the information. Use the word “Retrieved” and put the date. APA citation Wikipedia requires the following format: “Month, Date, Year”.
- And finally, if you know the rules how to cite Wikipedia, you will provide the URL where you found the article. It should go after the coma and start with “from”.
So, our example will look the following way:
Organization. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 29, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization