How to Cite Wikipedia Entry in APA

Wikipedia has emerged as a go to resource for quick information on a wide range of topics, including oil painting. However, citing Wikipedia in academic papers requires careful attention to detail to ensure accuracy and credibility.

This article will guide you through the process of citing a Wikipedia entry in APA style, from accessing archived versions to understanding its suitability for academic use.


By incorporating these elements into your citation, you can accurately and comprehensively document the source of information from a Wikipedia entry, adhering to APA style guidelines and academic integrity standards.

  • Title of the Entry: The title of the Wikipedia entry is the name of the specific page you are citing. It should accurately reflect the subject matter of the page and help readers identify the content they are referencing. Titles on Wikipedia are typically descriptive and concise, providing a clear indication of the page’s topic.
  • Date Format: The date, such as (2024, April 19), shows when the Wikipedia page was last changed. This helps readers know how current and reliable the information is. Since Wikipedia pages get updated a lot, mentioning the date tells readers which version of the page you looked at.
  • Source Label: Including the phrase “In Wikipedia” in the citation indicates that the information is sourced from the Wikipedia platform. By italicizing “Wikipedia,” it highlights this specific origin within the citation, helping readers understand the nature of the source being referenced.
  • URL: The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) provides the web address of the specific Wikipedia entry being cited. Including the URL allows readers to access the original source directly, facilitating verification and further exploration of the topic. It’s important to ensure that the URL is accurate and leads to the correct Wikipedia page.

How to Cite Wikipedia Entry in APA

Primary vs. Secondary Source: Wikipedia acts as a secondary source since it compiles information from various other sources. Before citing it, check with your professor if it’s acceptable. Most instructors prefer primary sources, which offer original data or firsthand accounts.

Verification of Information: Because Wikipedia is collaboratively edited, its accuracy can vary. It’s crucial to double-check any facts you find there using reliable primary sources. This ensures the information’s reliability and guards against errors or biases.

Use as a Starting Point: While not ideal as a primary source, Wikipedia can kickstart your research by providing an overview of a topic and suggesting primary sources for further exploration. It’s a good place to begin familiarizing yourself with a subject before delving deeper with more credible sources.


To cite a Wikipedia entry in APA style, adhere to the following format:

Leonardo da Vinci. (2023, June 12). In Wikipedia.
Entry Title. (Year, Month Day). In Wikipedia. URL


When citing a Wikipedia entry, it’s essential to use an archived version to ensure that readers can retrieve the exact information you referenced. Follow these steps to access the archived version:

  • Locate the Page History: Visit the Wikipedia entry you wish to cite and select “View history” located at the top right corner of the page.
  • Choose the Desired Version: From the page history, identify the specific version of the article you used. This may include selecting a date and time corresponding to when you accessed the information.
  • Obtain the URL: Once you’ve selected the desired version, note the URL of that specific version. This URL will serve as the citation link in your reference list.


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Hannah Berry (Ph.D.)

Hannah Berry has lectured at several colleges and teaches at the WEA. Besides publishing extensively, she has taught citation skills and written multiple style guides.

Learn how to cite in APA