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How to Cite Wikipedia in Text

by Forest Time, Demand Media

    Both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) require that you include parenthetical citations within the text whenever you paraphrase or quote directly from a source. This can be problematic when citing Wikipedia articles, which have no credited authors, no date of publication and no page numbers. However, both the MLA and APA publish guidelines for the in-text citation of sources that lack standard publication information.

    Citing Wikipedia in MLA Style

    Step 1

    List the title of the article in quotation marks, within parentheses. For example: ("Relativity")

    Step 2

    Position your citation directly after the quoted or paraphrased passage. For example: One Wikipedia article defines association as "the relationship between things" ("Relativity").

    Step 3

    Do not include a paragraph number in your citation. Be sure that your reference list citation begins with and is alphabetized according to the title of the Wikipedia article. This ensures that your reader will be able to easily locate the reference entry for the article, based on your in-text citation.

    Citing Wikipedia in APA Style

    Step 1

    List the title of the article in quotation marks, followed by "n.d." because there is no date of publication. This should appear in parentheses. For example: ("Relativity", n.d.)

    Step 2

    Position your citation directly after the quoted or paraphrased passage. For example: One Wikipedia article defines association as "the relationship between things" ("Relativity", n.d.).

    Step 3

    Include a paragraph number if you want to direct your reader to a specific passage. For example: One Wikipedia article defines association as "the relationship between things" ("Relativity", n.d., para. 7).

    Step 4

    Be sure that your reference list citation begins with and is alphabetized according to the title of the Wikipedia article. This ensures that your reader will be able to easily locate the reference entry for the article, based on your in-text citation.

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    About the Author

    Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.

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