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How to Cite Wikipedia in APA, MLA, Chicago Styles

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Have you found exactly what you searched in Wikipedia and don’t know how to cite Wikipedia? We welcome you; you landed on the right page. It is very helpful in looking for proper sources and writing an academic paper.

As soon as a writer finds an article proven by other sources, they can insert it into a reference list or page. Depending on the subject area they write, they can choose different citation styles, whether MLA, APA, or Chicago. Next, we will focus your attention on citation and presenting a correct reference in your paper. So, get concentrated and follow our guide next.  

Where to Find Information for Wikipedia Citation

Once a writer opts for appropriate information, they must use Wikipedia citation format in accordance with a citation style they follow. A reference entry usually includes data about Author, Article Title, Date, Website Name, and URL address. So, they will find Title at the top of a page and a date at the bottom of a page. Date can be updated that should be mentioned in work. Often, the articles uploaded have no author or multiple authors. Therefore, the rule of writing them correctly depends on citing style chosen. So how to present all it properly as a reference in the text and separated list? Keep your eyes on the next section.

How to Cite a Wikipedia Article Automatically: APA, MLA, Chicago

What makes it more helpful is its option of how to cite a Wikipedia page automatically. The option’s use involves two simple steps.

  1. Clicking the link. Once the writer finds relevant sources, they will see the link on the left of the screen, “Cite This Page”. It helps to create a citation in the format they need.
  2. Selecting a style. When clicking the link, Wikipedia will offer a range of citing styles to choose from. It incorporates eight styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago.

By these two steps, the writer will get a quick citation created by Wikipedia. But often, it may require some editing, especially when it comes to Article Title.

How to Cite Wikipedia Page Manually

Citing a Wikipedia page doesn’t cause any problem to a writer or researcher. It's better if you understand how to accomplish it manually. This way, a reference to a primary source will be accurate. Automated created citation by Wikipedia is fine, but it should be checked for mistakes that might appear.

Another thing considered is the citation style a writer uses within a paper. APA, MLA, and Chicago styles are more common. Let’s look through an explanation of them with an appropriate example of each style.  

How to Cite Wikipedia: APA

Reference list

  Article Title. Date (Year, Month Day). In Website Name. URL address.  

APA format style involves such points: the first word in titles is capitalized, Website Name is italicized, and no period is used after URL. If there is no date identified, then “n.d.” should be input.

How to Cite Wikipedia in APA Style: In-Text

How to cite Wikipedia APA in text is simple as cake. An in text citation involves giving Article Title in quotation marks and Year separated with a comma. When no date is found in an article, then “n.d.” is inserted. When Article Title is too long, there is a point to shorten and present it in a format of in-text APA citation.

In-text citation

("Shortened article title", Year)

Here we have an example of a proper APA citation of Wikipedia for your better understanding:

How to Cite Wikipedia: MLA

The MLA format is frequently used in many schools and institutions, and one should simply be aware of how to cite Wikipedia MLA. It differs from the previous style by the way entry elements are presented: format, order, punctuation.

MLA citation includes titles with headline capitalization, publisher, and use of a period after URL. The general format is as follow:  

Works Cited

  “Article Name” Website Name, Publisher, Updated Date, URL.  

In MLA style, each position, beginning with the 2nd, is divided by commas. An Article Name is given in quotes, Website Name is in italics. Updates Date sticks to format “Day-Month-Year”, where Month is presented in a shortened form.

MLA Citation Wikipedia: In-Text

In text citation Wikipedia MLA is very easy to comprehend. Once a citation is inserted in reference list, it can be cited in the text by selecting appropriate information. MLA in text citation includes only parenthetical Article Name that is also given in quotes. When Name is long, it should be shortened in a few words.

In-text citation

("Shortened Article Title")

Below you can find an example of APA in-text citations for Wikipedia.

How to Cite Wikipedia: Chicago

When dealing with the Chicago style paper, one should know how to cite Wikipedia Chicago. Created by the University of Chicago, this style primarily focuses on citing sources in history and humanities.

It allows presenting a formal and informal reference. The formal citation incorporates two reference styles like author-date and notes and bibliography styles. We will go through each of these styles.

Author-date style involves the following entry elements:  

Reference list

Website Name. Year. “Article Title”. Date (of last modification) (Month Day, Year). URL.

In-text citation

(Wikipedia Year)

If there is no date mentioned, then “n.d” is given instead of Year, and a retrieval date is written instead of modification Date.

Notes and bibliography style involve inserting cited sources in footnotes. They are mentioned at the bottom of some pages or endnotes. Full note is provided when citing a source for the first time. Short notes are used for further citing the same source. Short note includes only Website Name and Article Title divided by a comma. Chicago style annotated bibliography is practically the same in structure as author-date style. Nite, that it doesn't have Year in it.  


Wikipedia. “Article Title.” Last modified Date. URL.

Full note example

Wikipedia. “Article Title.” Last modified Date. URL.

Short note example

Wikipedia, “Shortened Article Title.”

Do you need to better understand how to cite Wikipedia in Author-Date using an example? We've got you covered:

How to Cite Wikipedia Chicago: In-Text

Chicago Wikipedia in text citation is found only within author-date style. Its format is pretty equal to other citation styles. It is parenthetical and appears in the text. Accordingly, Chicago style contains Website Name and Year with no comma between. Its view is seen in the example below.

It is possible to provide an informal citation in Chicago style as well. Write it explicitly within the text. Mention Website Name of article and probably a topic revealed in it. Take a look at the example below.

Wikipedia Citation: To Cite or Not to Cite

How to cite from Wikipedia in terms of data accuracy can be challenging. Wikipedia is compared to an online encyclopedia. It contains even more different data than a traditional encyclopedia. Some writers doubt its reliability. After all, it's accessible publicly and new articles can be added by everyone. And the challenge lies in the correctness and truth of written or modified articles. But we want to comfort you and say that Wikipedia is a good source to use in research. And here are some tips on using it wisely.

  1. Explore such sections as references, further reading, and external links on its page. That's how you can get more relevant information.
  2. Verify any data you find when citing it on work. Even if it is a piece of general or specialized information.
  3. Pay attention to warnings found at the top of an article. If there's an indication of unreliability, you shouldn't use it.

How to Cite Wikipedia: Bottom Line

Wikipedia takes the top position in most searched sources. So, it is essential that you know how to cite Wikipedia in various styles. It is considered a good source of information to use in research. Although, it should be checked and verified by writers and researchers for accuracy.

We have shown you that there is nothing difficult in citing this online encyclopedia. Formats and examples on most common styles as MLA, APA, and Chicago are presented as a handy tool in the process.  

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Article posted on:May 3, 2022
Article updated on:Jul 22, 2022


Leave your comment here:
6/24/2022 11:09 AM
Hi! Reading your article I just started wondering why most schools and colleges choose not to allow students to cite Wikipedia directly.
6/24/2022 12:34 PM
Hi Sven,

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. Encyclopedias are meant to provide a brief overview of a topic, but may gloss over or omit details that students may need to know about. In addition, Wikipedia is a user-generated source, it can be edited by anyone at any time. That's why it cannot be counted as a reliable source. Anyway, Wikipedia has a very significant advantage. Each article will have a list of sources that were used to write those articles themselves.