Some academics don’t consider Wikipedia a credible source for research papers. As Wikipedia articles are authored and revised by public users, the content might include incorrect or biased information, or important information might be missing. Additionally, since the material is updated by various users, it could include typos or grammatical errors that alter its meaning of the material. Even though Wikipedia articles are community-vetted for bias and accuracy, academia still considers them unreliable.
However, Wikipedia can serve as a practical way to introduce yourself to an unknown topic when writing a research paper. When used as a preliminary reference, it can help direct you toward credible primary and secondary sources that bolster your ideas.
If you need to cite Wikipedia in APA format, be aware that it’ll look slightly different from a conventional APA website citation. A Wikipedia citation in APA format includes the Wikipedia page title, version date, website, and URL specific to the entry version you’re referencing.
How to cite Wikipedia in APA format
Write the title of the Wikipedia entry in sentence case. Since Wikipedia pages can be updated frequently, use the date of the entry version you’re referencing as well as the URL unique to that version. The website will always be formatted as “In Wikipedia.” This is what a Wikipedia citation in APA format should look like:
Wikipedia entry title. (Year, Month Day). In Wikipedia. Version URL.
Dual process theory (moral psychology). (2022, April 22). In
To find the URL for the exact version of the entry that you accessed, click on “View history” at the top of the page. Then click on the version date that you want to cite. The URL in the search bar is now the entry version’s specific URL to include in your Wikipedia citation.
When citing the Wikipedia source within your narrative, place it within your sentence by shortening the entry’s title and enclosing it in quotation marks. Include the version year in parentheses immediately after the entry’s title.
The concept of “Dual process” (2022) . . .
To cite Wikipedia parenthetically in APA format within your research paper, keep the shortened title of the Wikipedia entry inside parentheses. Then add the version year, separated by a comma.
(“Dual process,” 2022)