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How to Write a Bibliography for Wikipedia


Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit or add articles to; despite its public and fluid nature, studies have found its content to be just as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica. Still, because Wikipedia's intended audience is the general public (not academics or industry professionals), and because it takes just seconds for anyone to add incorrect or misleading information to an entry, professors often discourage its use as a reference. The bibliography rules for APA, MLA, and Chicago styles call for treating Wikipedia as an organization website. Wikipedia has its only guidelines for how references are to be cited.

Citing Articles from Wikipedia

Use the following format for APA style:

"Page Title." Date of Access. <URL>

For example:

"Cosmic View." 31 March 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_View>

Use the following format for MLA style:

Page Title. Wikipedia. Retrieved Date, from: URL

For example:

Cosmic View. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2010, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_View

NOTE: Italicize the word "Wikipedia."

Use the following format for Chicago style:

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. s.v. "Page Title." URL (accessed Date).

For example:

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. s.v. "Cosmic View." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_View (accessed March 31, 2010).

Citing Articles for Wikipedia

Load the Wikipedia page to which you want to add a citation.

Click "Edit This Page" at the top of the screen.

To add a General Reference (not specifically quoted, but used to provide background information), add the following to the bottom of the page:

== References == *[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]. ''[Title of Piece]'', [Publisher Name].

The marks around Title of Piece are two single quotes (' '), not one double quote mark. Do not include the brackets.

For example:

== References == *Miller, E (2005). ''The Sun'', Academic Press.

To add a specific citation, insert the following exactly where you want the footnote to appear:

<ref>[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]: ''[Title of Piece]'', page [Page #]. [Publisher], [Year Published].</ref>

The marks around Title of Piece are two single quotes ('), not one double quote mark. Do not include the brackets.

For example:

<ref>Miller, E: ''The Sun'', page 23. Academic Press, 2005.</ref>

About the Author

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