How to Cite Wikipedia in MLA Format
Citing sources is an essential part of academic writing. Just like all sources need to be cited, Wikipedia is no exception. While Wikipedia can be a useful starting point for research, you need to do your due diligence before citing any source. So, if you do use information from a Wikipedia article, it is important to cite it properly to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to the original author.
Are you interested in learning more about how to cite Wikipedia in various formats? You’re in the right place, and we have got you covered.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through how to cite Wikipedia articles in MLA format and additional information you need to know about this.
How to Cite Wikipedia in MLA Style?
Are you wondering how the MLA format for citing Wikipedia pages works? Then, you need to know one thing—citing Wikipedia in MLA can be a bit tricky, as the site is constantly updated, and the information found there can vary in quality and accuracy. However, if you need to cite Wikipedia in your paper, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your citation is accurate and properly formatted.
Just keep in mind that Wikipedia is sometimes not considered a scholarly source and is often avoided in academic writing. However, if you do feel that the information you have found on Wikipedia is reliable and relevant, you can cite it using the following format:
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Date of Last Revision. Web. Date of Access.
For example, if you were citing the Wikipedia page on the history of the internet, your citation might look something like this:
- Smith, John. “History of the Internet.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 June 2022. Web. 28 June 2022.
In this citation, “Smith, John” refers to the name of the author of the Wikipedia page, “History of the Internet” is the title of the page, “Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia” is the name of the website, “Wikimedia Foundation” is the name of the organization that maintains the site, “15 June 2022” is the date that the page was last updated, “Web” indicates that the page is a web resource, and “28 June 2022” is the date that you accessed the page.
One thing to be wary of when citing Wikipedia articles is that the date of access is a critical component of your citation, as the information on Wikipedia is constantly changing and may be different from what you saw when you accessed the site. By including the date of access, you’re letting your reader know exactly when you accessed the information and can help them find the same information in case they need to.
In general, it is a good idea not to restrict yourself to using Wikipedia as a source in your academic writing, as the site may not always be considered a reliable source since they are several authors contributing to it. However, if you do need to cite information from Wikipedia, following the guidelines above can help ensure that your citation is accurate and properly formatted.
What a Wikipedia Citation Looks Like in MLA Format?
Ideally, Wikipedia citation in MLA format consists of 2 main components—the “works cited” part and the in-text citation. Wikipedia citations in MLA format are a tad bit different than in other formats. This is often because Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that is accessible to each and every individual around the world.
As a result, this means one article or page can have different authors. So, the author bit cannot be mentioned in this citation for Wikipedia. Here is a general structure showcasing how to cite a Wikipedia article in MLA format:
“Page name.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Day Month Year last updated, permalink.
Here are some examples you can take a look at:
- “World War II.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Dec. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II.
- Wikipedia contributors. “Grammy Awards.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Jun. 2023. Web. 28 Jun. 2023.
Do You Need to Cite Wikipedia Articles?
Whether or not you need to cite Wikipedia articles depends on the context in which you are using them. In general, Wikipedia may not be added to your academic work, and most instructors and professors don’t recommend Wikipedia as a source for papers or research projects. However, there are some cases where citing a Wikipedia article might be appropriate.
If you are using Wikipedia as a preliminary source or as a jumpstart for your research, you may want to cite the article in order to give credit to the source of your information. However, you should always verify the information you find on Wikipedia with more authoritative sources before using it in your work. If you do use information from a Wikipedia article, you should try to find the original source of information and cite that source instead of citing Wikipedia directly.
Another situation where you might want to cite a Wikipedia article is if you are writing about the history or development of Wikipedia itself. In this case, citing Wikipedia can be a useful way to give your readers context and background information about the subject you are discussing. However, you should still be careful to verify the information you find on Wikipedia with other sources and to use Wikipedia as your initial research rather than a definitive source.
Normally, it is best to cite Wikipedia as a source for academic work whenever you are using it. While Wikipedia can be a useful tool for finding general information or getting a quick overview of a topic, its reliability can be questionable in certain cases. To back up your research or to make it stronger, you should try to find information from more authoritative sources such as academic journals, books, and primary sources.
If you do decide to use information from a Wikipedia article in your work, you should be sure to cite it properly according to the citation style required by your instructor or professor. This will help ensure that you are giving credit to the source of your information and that your work is properly documented.
To sum it up, whether or not you need to cite Wikipedia articles depends on the circumstance in which you are using them. Wikipedia can be a useful tool for finding general information or getting a quick overview of a topic.
Just make sure you should verify the information with other sources and cite it properly according to the citation style required by your instructor or professor.
How to Cite a Wikipedia Article Properly?
Usually, there are two ways to cite a Wikipedia article properly, but the simplest way to do so is through Wikipedia’s tools. Citations can be pretty confusing, especially since they are various formats to do it. As a result, you may want to keep things simple and avoid going the extra mile for citations.
If you are aiming for just that, then this method is just what you need.
The first step is to open Wikipedia. So, open your laptop and head to the platform’s homepage.
After you are on the homepage, quickly type the article or topic in the search box, the one you wish to cite, and enter. If you already have the link to the topic you are interested in, you can skip this step and just visit the link directly.
Once you are presented with the page, try searching for the tools section on the webpage. You will be able to see it on the left side of the webpage, right below the logo of Wikipedia.
When you find the tools section, you’ll see that are various options in the drop-down menu. Amongst those, there will be a “cite this page” option too. Once you click this link, you will be presented with citations for this Wikipedia page in various formats.
Once you scroll down, you can spot the citation in MLA style. It will be available in the following format:
- Wikipedia contributors. “Christmas.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 May. 2023. Web. 28 Jun. 2023.
- Wikipedia contributors. “The Avengers (2012 film).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Jun. 2023. Web. 28 Jun. 2023.
You can now copy this citation and paste it wherever you need to include the citations. You will notice that when you cite a Wikipedia article via the tools provided by Wikipedia, it shows Wikipedia contributors in place of the author.
How to cite Wikipedia in APA Style?
Unlike MLA format, APA is entirely different. However, with these steps, you can nail this too:
- Add the Wikipedia page’s titles; don’t forget to include a period after that.
- Now, you add the publication date. If there are no data available on Wikipedia, you can add (n.d.).
- Add the retrieval date, plus the website’s name and the URL.
- Wikipedia contributors. (2023, June 27). Russia. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:18, June 28, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia&oldid=1162221519
- Wikipedia contributors. (2023, June 28). Titan submersible implosion. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:19, June 28, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Titan_submersible_implosion&oldid=1162346017
How to cite Wikipedia in Chicago Style?
Chicago style has a simple format for websites without authors, like Wikipedia. But keep in mind there are several ways to cite Wikipedia in this format.
- Select the format that you wish to use. After you’ve done that, start citing the Wikipedia page. In Chicago style, you can begin with the website instead of using the title and vice versa. The choice is totally yours; it depends on your preference. However, remember that you must place the page’s title in quotes and italicize the website’s name.
- After doing that, including the revision date, it will be located at the end of the page.
- Finally, add the website’s URL, and you’re all done.
- Wikipedia contributors, “Russia,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia&oldid=1162221519 (accessed June 28, 2023)
- Wikipedia contributors, “Titan submersible implosion,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Titan_submersible_implosion&oldid=1162346017 (accessed June 28, 2023)
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
The correct way to cite a Wikipedia article in MLA format is to include the title of the article, the name of the website, the name of the publisher, the date of publication, the URL, and the date of access.
Citing Wikipedia articles is important because it allows readers to verify the information you have used in your work and to find additional sources of information.
You can evaluate the reliability of a Wikipedia article by checking the sources cited in the article and by looking at the history of the article to see if it has been edited by multiple users.