how to cite wikipedia
APA recommends linking to a specific archived version of the Wikipedia article so that the reader can be sure they are accessing the exact same version. This can be accessed by clicking the “View history” tab at the top of the article and selecting the latest revision:
In APA style, only the first word of the title is capitalized, and there is no period after the URL.
Does this mean Wikipedia contains bad information? Not at all. It is a great way to get an overview of a topic that might be new to you. And, because many Wikipedia entries contain thorough citations, they can be good starting points to find the original source materials you do want to use. Don’t quote or paraphrase from the Wikipedia entry in your paper, but check the entry’s Reference section to find links to more authoritative sources. And be sure to find and read these sources to verify the facts, figures, and points of view they present.
But, of course, there are times when citing a Wikipedia entry itself is appropriate. For example, let’s say you are writing a paper on how social media and crowdsourcing influence definitions of common psychology terms. Wikipedia would be one excellent source for this topic!
- The title of the article
- The name of the website (Wikipedia)
- The name of the publisher (Wikimedia Foundation)
- The date the article was published or last updated
- The date that you accessed/read the article
- The URL
Structure to follow to cite a Wikipedia article in MLA style:
- Since the authorship is unclear, move the entry title to the author position
- Use “sentence-style” capitalization for entry titles
- Copy and paste the website address (URL) to create a retrieval statement
> Option 1 – Johnson (2008) argued that the Calgary stampede is rooted in conservative political ideologies (as cited in Smith, 2013, pp. 102-103).
Critically evaluating the accuracy of a Wikipedia article can be challenging. It’s always a good idea to verify the information of references on any Wikipedia article and trace it back to its original source. The original source may present more clues and evidence to evaluate the information, and reference other important scholarship in that area.
Stability of content