Cite a Wikipedia article in Harvard, APA, or MLA

When working on a research paper or project, Wikipedia can be a great launch point. The online encyclopedia is chock-full of information on a wide range of subjects, and it’s often one of the first listings to appear on Google.

After plucking information from Wikipedia, it is important that you take the extra few minutes to put together citations for whatever entry you’ve used. But how should you go about citing an article found on Wikipedia?

As it turns out, citing information found on the website isn’t all that tricky—especially if you use our below breakdown! We’ve laid the citation process step by step below, explaining how to cite in three popular citation types: MLA format, APA format and Chicago style. (If you’ve ever cited another online encyclopedia, like Britannica or World Book, this will be familiar to you.)

To make your citation process even smoother, we’ve used the “Special relativity” entry from Wikipedia as an example. See how to cite this entry in MLA, APA and Harvard referencing below.

To cite a Wikipedia article properly, you’ll need to find and include the information below:

  • The title of the article
  • The name of the website (Wikipedia)
  • The name of the publisher (Wikimedia Foundation)
  • The date the article was published or last updated
  • The date that you accessed/read the article
  • The URL

Harvard (Cite Them Right 10th edition)

Structure to follow to cite a Wikipedia article in Harvard style:

‘Article title’ (Year last updated) Website Title. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). 

Reference example:

‘Special relativity’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity (Accessed: 5 August 2019). 

APA

Structure to follow to cite a Wikipedia article in APA style:

Article title. (Year last updated). Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL. 

Reference example:

Special relativity. (2018). Retrieved August 5, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity. 

MLA

Structure to follow to cite a Wikipedia article in MLA style:

“Article Title.” Website Title, Publisher, Day Month Year updated, URL. 

Reference example:

“Special Relativity.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 July 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity.


Need a Chicago style citation instead? Wondering how to write an annotated bibliography? Cite This For Me has various resources to help with your bibliographic needs.