Citing Wikipedia in MLA Style: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

Citing Wikipedia in MLA Style: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
Citing Wikipedia in MLA Style: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
Anonim

Citing Wikipedia can be tricky because the articles are constantly changing and the authors are anonymous. However, Wikipedia has adhered to the standard for MLA citations for years and can help you generate a correct citation. Wikipedia is not usually considered a good source for scientific papers. Before basing a substantial part of a paper on a Wikipedia article, consult with your publisher or teacher.

Steps

Part 1 of 2: Citing a Wikipedia article in your citation

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 1

Step 1. Start listing authors who contributed to a Wikipedia article

Since Wikipedia articles are written by several volunteers, there is not one single author to cite. However, you can mention that many writers contributed to the article.

If you like, you can omit this citation and just start with the name of the article

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 2

Step 2. Next, state the name of the article in quotes

The title of the article is the subject of the article. For example, if you're referring to an article about blueberries, the title of the article might be "Blueberries." You should find the title of the article at the top of the Wikipedia page.

  • Place a period after the title, and put the title and period together in quotation marks.
  • The citation now looks like this: Wikipedia Contributors. "Blueberries."
Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 3

Step 3. Mention Wikipedia in italics

Wikipedia's full name is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Put this in italics and after the title of the article, followed by a period.

The quote now reads: Wikipedia Contributors. "Blueberries." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 4

Step 4. Mention Wikipedia without italics

Wikipedia is both the website and publisher of your article, so you should mention it twice. This time mention Wikipedia, but do not italicize the free encyclopedia. Then put a comma (instead of a period) after this entry.

Now you have: Wikipedia contributors. "Blueberries." Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 5

Step 5. Finish with the date and the word "Web"

Include the date of the last revision of the page. This can be found by clicking on the "History" tab to the right of the title. The top entry is the date of the last edit.

  • First state the day of the month, then the month abbreviated (eg Sept, Oct, Nov), followed by a period.
  • Then write the word "Web" followed by period.
  • Then the date again, followed by a period.
  • Example: January 11, 2017. Web. January 11, 2017.
  • Your citation now reads: Wikipedia Contributors. "Blueberries." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, January 11, 2017. Web. January 11, 2017.
Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 6

Step 6. In some cases, include the URLs

MLA once required the listing of URLs, but not anymore. However, with a general topic such as "blueberries," you can put a URL at the end of your citation. In this case within "".

  • For example, you could write: Wikipedia contributors. "Blueberries." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, January 11, 2017. Web. January 11, 2017.
Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 7

Step 7. Use the Wikipedia Citation Generator

Instead of writing all this out, you can also use Wikipedia's page citation generator tool. Go to the article you want to cite, and find the 'Tools' menu on the left side of the article. Click 'Cit this page'. Scroll down until you see the quote in MLA format. You can copy this to your Citation.

You can also search for the name of your article in Wikipedia's Cite this page tool:

Part 2 of 2: Citations within the text

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 8

Step 1. Place your brackets

At the end of a sentence where you cite the citation or paraphrase, or otherwise use information from a Wikipedia article, you must cite the article. Place parentheses before the period at the end of the sentence, but after the quotation marks, if used.

Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 9

Step 2. Place the beginning of your citation inside the parentheses

If you list Wikipedia contributors, put them in parentheses. If you chose not to cite any of the authors, and instead started your citation with the title of the article, put that in parentheses.

  • For example, you could write: Blueberries are a great source of nutrients (Wikipedia contributors).
  • Alternatively, you can write: Blueberries are a great source of nutrients (Blueberries).
Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format Step 10

Step 3. Cite multiple Wikipedia articles

If you cite more than one Wikipedia article, you can include both the contributors and the title in parentheses.

Popular by topic