How to Properly Cite a Wikipedia Page (with Pictures)

wikipedia citations

How to Properly Cite a Wikipedia Page (with Pictures)

Despite educators teaching students to not cite Wikipedia as a source in articles and research papers, students are likely still going to use the website for some background information.

The important thing students need to know is the importance of citing any information they use that is not their original work. Any new ideas, information, or media needs to be cited in a citation page or bibliography at the end of your work.

Plus, not citing someone else’s ideas or thoughts is considered plagiarism, a form of stealing someone else’s words. Properly citing Wikipedia is important for avoiding potential plagiarism.

In school we’re taught different forms of citing outside works, so always use your best judgment when deciding what style to use for your citations. Popular styles of citations include MLA and APA but there are many more.

How to Cite a Wikipedia Page with No Author

It might be difficult to determine how best to cite a Wikipedia page that has no author. Most of the time, Wikipedia content is published collaboratively and anonymously. This means that it’ll likely be difficult to find an author of the page or article you’re reading.

The good news is that Wikipedia offers a free citation tool on every wiki page! The tool is found on the left side menu under the “tools” section.

how to cite on wikipedia
Image Source: Wikipedia

This tool is great because it creates the full citation for your desired wiki page in tons of different style manuals; MLA, APA, Chicago style, and more.

Not only does it provide you the proper citation, it gives you the correct format you can use for future reference material. This makes it the perfect template you can use.

How to Cite a Wikipedia Page with Multiple Authors

In general, Wikipedia will use the general term “Wikipedia contributors” for the authorship part of the citation. This is because Wikipedia understands that it often has multiple authors and editors making changes to Wikipedia pages, so it uses this umbrella term to save a lot of headaches.

With the “cite this page” tool, you don’t have to worry about messing up your citation because of there being multiple authors.

cite a wikipedia article
Image source: Wikipedia

How to Cite Wikipedia: In-Text

Once you know how to cite full Wikipedia citations, it’s good practice to learn how to create in-text citations. 

In-text citations are the smaller citations you see next to the text that is borrowed from someone else, generally in parentheses. These are used to immediately notify the reader that the idea presented is from another source, and the credit given in the parenthesis helps the reader find the full source in the bibliography or citation page at the end of the work.

Be sure to ask your instructor what style of citations to use because that will impact what your in-text citation looks like. In general, the in-text citation should be placed right after the borrowed information in parentheses with the article name and year of publication.

How to Cite Wikipedia in MLA Format

MLA is a commonly used style manual for educational purposes. MLA is most often used for language arts, cultural studies, and humanities disciplines, per the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

For this type of citation, you do not need to use the publication year for in-text citations. You can use the “cite this page” tool to help you format your MLA citations.

How to Cite Wikipedia in APA Format

Citing Wikipedia in APA format is exactly the same process as you would for any other style of citations. You want to include in-text citations after any passage of text that is an idea you’re representing that is not your own, and the citation should be in parentheses with the article title and year of publication.

For full APA citations, you can again use the “cite this page” tool to see the full, proper citations for your sources in APA style.

How to Cite an Image on Wikipedia

Interestingly, Wikipedia prefers that users do not include copyright holder information from images borrowed from the site. This is because for images to be used on Wikipedia, they must pass Wikipedia’s fair-use guidelines.

Historical and culturally significant images pose a different set of rules, however. These images are generally seen as primary sources of information and should be cited for further research. This citation can be done by describing the scene of the image, the portrayals within the image, the historical context around the image, and by linking to the article in the text.


Adding citations to a paper or project you’ve been working hard on doesn’t have to be daunting. Manual citations can be tricky to memorize, especially if you’re working with multiple manuals of style, but thankfully you don’t need to memorize anything on Wikipedia.

As long as you look for the “cite this page” tool on the left-hand side, you’ll have all the citation styles you’ll need at your fingertips. If you’re truly stumped on citations, it’s best to ask your instructor how they’d like you to proceed. Every educator is different so what might work for one might not work for another.

If you’re curious to learn more about Wikipedia, check out our Wikipedia blog where we post articles that help bridge the knowledge gap between Wikipedia users and Wikipedia publishers and editors.
If you’re interested in hiring expert Wikipedia writers for your next project, visit us at and let us know what you’re looking to complete.

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