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Q. How do I in-text cite Wikipedia in APA?

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Answered By: Alyssa Mitchell Last Updated: Oct 31, 2023     Views: 324029

When citing Wikipedia in-text, all you need is the article title. This is because Wikipedia is a collaborative website and there is no author or published date. The citation, which will be in parentheses, will have the title of the page or article in quotations. In place of the published date the common practice is to use n.d., which stands for no date.

To put an in-text citation for Wikipedia in APA, you would use the following format: ("Title of article," n.d.)

An example would be:

("World War II," n.d.)

If you want to direct your reader to a specific section of the Wikipedia article, you can include the paragraph number at the end of your citation. For example:

("World War II," n.d., para. 5)

Comments (69)

  • what does n.d mean? by a student on May 31, 2018
  • A student, N.d. is the abbreviation for the phrase no date and is used when there is no publication date for a source. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask! by Alyssa Mitchell on May 31, 2018
  • how insert the date? only the year? should we also include the day and the month? by Jack Tuen on Aug 18, 2018
  • @Jack Tuen - According to APA style, you technically don't need a publication date since Wikipedia is a collaborative website that results in changes on the various pages on a frequent basis. That being said, it is recommended to include the retrieval date in your reference page citation. For more information, check out the APA Style Blog, http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/10/how-to-cite-wikipedia-in-apa-style.html. by Alyssa Mitchell on Aug 21, 2018
  • Where can I find the DOI on Wikipedia by Sara on Oct 15, 2018
  • @Sara - some articles have DOIs and some do not. If a DOI is included use it, otherwise don't worry. A website would not have a DOI. by Katie Hutchison on Oct 15, 2018
  • How would I do this in MLA format? I know how but the problem is I'm not sure what the publisher is. Is it Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,? It said that Wikipedia is a trademark of that...so I'm not sure what to put as the publisher. by a wondering student on Mar 20, 2019
  • While I support whatever is the current state of the globally agreed notation, the comma inside the double quotes, as in ("Title of article," n.d.) is just horrible.. Pinker approves going with human logic in this situation and therefore there is no force compelling me to ever keep the comma on the inside. ("Title of article", n.d.) is the only way to go - for me, subjectively. Feel free to adapt for your citations as needed. by Pavel Karady on Mar 21, 2019
  • @a wondering student - For the publisher, you would put Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. For more information on citing Wikipedia in MLA, here is a link to their citation guide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia#MLA_style. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with! by Alyssa Mitchell on Mar 21, 2019
  • @Pavel Karady - For the placement of the comma, either in or after the quotes, it really just depends on how you were taught. Personally, I think having it outside the quotes looks more aesthetically pleasing, but that goes back to how I was taught. In American English, we are taught that punctuation always goes within the quotations, but in British English you can do either. That being said, I have worked with professors who say they don't mind which way a student follows as long as they are consistent throughout their paper! So it really is subjective! :-) by Alyssa Mitchell on Mar 21, 2019
  • where to put the information which i want to citation???? by Ali aden Gabow on Mar 26, 2019
  • @Ali aden Gabow - I am not sure I understand your question completely. Are you asking where to put information from a source into your paper or where you place the in-text citation in regards to the information? If it is the latter of the two, the in-text citation would come at the end of the information from the source (usually the end of the sentence). I hope this helps! by Alyssa Mitchell on Mar 27, 2019
  • in-text citation what to do if the information of a wikipedia has citation as number and i want to make it as auther & date ? is it ok to do that? by Ali Aden gabow on Mar 28, 2019
  • @Ali aden Gabow - From what you are describing, it sounds like the information you are trying to cite from Wikipedia actually came from another source. In Wikipedia, if there is a small number at the end of the sentence, which is called an end note, it is showing where that information came from. So I would try to find the original source, which should be listed at the bottom of the Wikipedia page. by Alyssa Mitchell on Mar 29, 2019
  • Actually on the very bottom of each Wikipedia website the is a "last edited on...", but I don't think that it is accurate. by Student on Apr 17, 2019
  • @Student - You are correct. Even though the last edited date is available, it changes to frequently. So best practice is to avoid using that date and going with the (n.d.) for no date. by Alyssa Mitchell on Apr 17, 2019
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  • If you’re sure you want to cite Wikipedia, make sure to correctly format the citation according to the citation style you’re following. There are many different styles of citation: APA, MLA, and Chicago style are three of the most commonly used. by kris smith on Dec 24, 2019
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  • Hi, how would you reference Wikipedia in the report main text for Harvard Referencing please? Im not sure if its the same as the other Referencing styles? Great Blog, really helpful, thank you. by MP on Apr 17, 2020
  • @MP - Check out this Harvard Referencing style guide: https://www.mendeley.com/guides/harvard-citation-guide - I recommend using the website example. by Walsh University Library on Apr 19, 2020
  • Do i have to put URL link in the citation for this one? by Syawany on Jun 06, 2020
  • @Syawany - For the in-text citation, you do not need to include the URL as it is just an abbreviated citation. That being said, you would include the URL in the full citation, which will be listed on your reference page/bibliography/works cited. I hope this helps! by Walsh University Library on Jun 08, 2020
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  • then how can i know if the text citation is refer to wikipedia by masya on Sep 22, 2020
  • @masya - Thank you for your question! So even though the in-text citation does not specifically say Wikipedia, the reader of your paper will still be able to refer to the full citation on your bibliography or reference page. The title included in the in-text citation will also be listed on your reference page. For guidance on how to cite Wikipedia on a bibliography or reference page, please refer to this link: https://libanswers.walsh.edu/faq/147832. I hope this helps! by Walsh University Library on Sep 22, 2020
  • first of all, i see that you responded to every inquiry therein, which is awesome! i just have one question, wikipedia has a lot of paragraphs, if i want to direct my reader, should i start counting the paragraphs beginning from the top? by John on Sep 28, 2020
  • @John - Thank you for both your compliment and question! To answer your question, yes you would start counting the paragraphs from the top of the page, even if the Wikipedia page you are using is split into sections. The topmost paragraph on the page would be #1 and then you would continue until you get to the paragraph you are referencing. I hope this helps! by Walsh University Library on Sep 28, 2020
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  • @Alwali, You won't put Wikipedia anywhere else but the container for your article. Here's an example of where Wikipedia would go in your APA 7th edition style citations: Oil painting. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oil_painting&oldid=929802398 Parenthetical citation: (“Oil Painting,” 2019) by Michael Jundi on Feb 11, 2021
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How to Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format

Last Updated: September 1, 2021 Tested

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Jack Lloyd . Jack Lloyd is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. He has over two years of experience writing and editing technology-related articles. He is technology enthusiast and an English teacher. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 876,061 times. Learn more...

This wikiHow teaches you how to create an MLA-style citation for a Wikipedia article. You can do this manually, or you can use Wikipedia's automatic citation option. Keep in mind that Wikipedia articles aren't often accepted as reputable sources for academic papers.

Using a Handwritten Citation

Step 1 Understand the format for online articles with multiple authors.

  • Name of the article
  • Name of the publication (in this case, Wikipedia)
  • Name of the publication's company
  • Date on which the article was last edited in DD Month YYYY format (e.g., "10 Jul. 2017")
  • Publication format (in this case, Web)
  • Date on which the article was retrieved in DD Month YYYY format
  • The article's web address (do not include the "https://" part of the address)

Step 2 Find the article which you want to cite.

  • When writing your date as a citation, you'll need to abbreviate the current month's name to three letters and a period (excluding May).

Step 5 Note the current date.

  • Click View history at the top of the article.
  • Below the Compare selected revisions button, click the most recent date.
  • Click the website's address in the bar at the top of your browser to highlight it.
  • Press Ctrl + C (Windows) or ⌘ Command + C (Mac) to copy the URL.

Step 7 Create the citation.

  • "Plagiarism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 May 2018. Web. 16 May 2018, en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=841301291
  • Make sure you delete the "https://" section from the address before including it in your citation.

Step 8 Reference your citation in your paper.

  • For example, a line referring to the Wikipedia article on Plagiarism might say "While plagiarism isn't a crime in and of itself, it does constitute a major ethical violation in most academic fields ("Plagiarism")."

Using the Wikipedia Citation Tool

Step 1 Open Wikipedia.

  • Wikipedia contributors. "Article Title." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, date last edited. Web. Date retrieved.
  • For example, the citation for "Plagiarism" would be as follows: Wikipedia contributors. "Plagiarism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 May 2018. Web. 16 May 2018.

Step 6 Copy the citation.

  • The citation begins with "Wikipedia contributors" listed as the "author". You can keep this section or delete it before adding the citation to your Works Cited page—both options are okay per MLA's rules.
  • You'll notice that the citation here doesn't include the Wikipedia article's address. While including a URL is helpful, MLA style doesn't require the URL, so Wikipedia's official citations don't either.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • If you're pasting a citation into Microsoft Word, Word will retain the formatting (e.g., the text size, font, and color) of the citation, meaning that you may have to change the pasted citation to match the rest of your paper's formatting. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

can you quote wikipedia in an essay

  • Due to its community-influenced nature, Wikipedia is typically forbidden as an academic source. Check your course's list of unacceptable resources before writing a paper or report based on a Wikipedia article. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Cite a Website Using MLA Format

  • ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/

About This Article

Jack Lloyd

To cite a Wikipedia article in MLA format, start by locating its full title at the top of the page. Then, scroll to the bottom to find the date the article was last edited, which is its publication date. Next, click “View History” at the top of the article, then the “Compare Selected Revisions” button to get the most recent URL, which is the address you’ll use. Finally, create a citation using the following format “Article Title.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Publish Date. Web Retrieval Date, web address. To learn how to use the Wikipedia citation tool, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What Amazon, the F.T.C. and C.I.A. Won’t Say When You’ve Been Scammed

New York magazine’s money columnist wrote about being conned out of $50,000 by crooks pretending to be from Amazon and government agencies. We asked the company and agencies for comment.

A woman holding money facing a shark wearing a human mask.

By Ron Lieber

When New York magazine’s finance advice columnist dropped an article that went viral on Thursday about falling victim to a $50,000 scam, my heart skipped a beat.

My own financial planner had gone to jail years ago, which I’d chronicled in a few columns . Nearly all of us are vulnerable to scams, at least sometimes. What would I have done if someone called and insisted that my children, in particular, were in grave danger?

The writer, Charlotte Cowles , who once had a weekly business column with The New York Times, described crooks spinning a fantastical tale: First, they impersonated Amazon and told her she’d been a victim of identity theft. Then, one thief passed her on to someone who impersonated a Federal Trade Commission investigator, who told her that nine vehicles, four properties and 22 bank accounts were registered to her name. Finally, a supposed Central Intelligence Agency “lead investigator” persuaded her to withdraw money from her bank and give it to them for safekeeping while her husband and son watched.

But what would any of those entities do if they thought that any one of us was actually a victim of some kind of identity fraud? What would they say, request and tell us to do?

I called them all and asked. Here’s what they said.

Amazon has no direct line to the Federal Trade Commission.

Ms. Cowles’s story begins with a call in October that was supposedly from Amazon, when a woman on the line told her about $8,000 of fraudulent purchases and said she was a victim of identity theft.

The woman then offered to connect Ms. Cowles with Amazon’s liaison at the F.T.C. Soon enough, he was on the line.

But Amazon does not transfer customers to the F.T.C. or any other government agency, according to Tim Gillman, a spokesman.

The company will sometimes call people to verify account activity, which will likely get much harder to do as Ms. Cowles’s story continues to go viral. But if the call seems fishy, just hang up and reach out directly via the Amazon app or website.

“Do not call numbers sent over text or email or found in online search results,” Mr. Gillman added. And if someone suggests that you download or install Amazon customer service software, don’t.

The F.T.C. won’t offer a badge number.

Once Ms. Cowles was on the phone with the supposed F.T.C. investigator, he offered up his badge number and asked about the contents of her bank account.

On Thursday afternoon, Lina Khan, the Federal Trade Commission chair, posted on X : “Being the victim of a scam can be devastating. A reminder that nobody from @FTC will ever give you a badge number, ask you to confirm your Social Security number, ask how much money you have in your bank account, transfer you to a C.I.A. agent, or send you texts out of the blue.”

By coincidence, the F.T.C. on Thursday finalized a new rule giving it more powerful tools to combat criminals who impersonate businesses. Consumers reported fraud losses of over $10 billion for the first time in 2023, according to the agency, up 14 percent from the previous year.

Last month, the F.T.C. issued a warning about fraudsters trying to persuade you to move your money someplace safer. It sounded a lot like what had already happened to Ms. Cowles.

The C.I.A. probably isn’t going to call you.

Before inducing her to move her money, the F.T.C. impersonator wanted to pass her on to the lead investigator on her case, who purportedly worked for the C.I.A. She had her doubts, but he called from what appeared to her to be the F.T.C.’s main phone number.

She thought he might be “spoofing,” using tools to pretend he was indeed calling from that number. But he quickly moved on to telling her not to talk to her husband or a lawyer about the situation. Soon, the exchange turned to the freezing of her assets and the issuance of a replacement Social Security number.

“C.I.A. is a foreign intelligence organization; this is simply not the kind of matter we would be involved in,” a C.I.A. spokesman said.

The C.I.A.’s website makes a few points that are relevant. The agency collects foreign intelligence and conducts covert action. “We are not a law enforcement organization,” the site says . And while it may work with law enforcement entities, it tends to be on things like counterintelligence and terrorism.

Its F.A.Q. goes into even more detail, noting that it “does not require employees/contractors to obtain assurances of money or any personal information (such as your Social Security number, driver’s license or banking information) to initiate a relationship.”

Nevertheless, Ms. Cowles’s contact told her to go to her bank and take out $50,000 — and not tell the bank why.

Banks may not stop you from leaving their branches with a backpack full of $100 bills.

Ms. Cowles did as her C.I.A. minder told her. At a Bank of America branch, someone directed her up a set of stairs, where a teller handed over the money and a piece of paper with some warnings about scams.

“Going in, I was honestly hoping that they would say no to my withdrawal or make me wait, but they didn’t,” Ms. Cowles told me via email. “The fraud warning DID give me pause, but since the scammers hadn’t yet told me to give the money to them, I didn’t feel like it really applied to my situation. What’s more, I was so terrified of what would happen if I didn’t follow instructions that it overrode my skepticism.”

Ms. Cowles is not a senior citizen. If she were, perhaps the bank teller might have slowed things down. Banks worry a lot about elder fraud and will shutter every account a person has if it suspects anything untoward.

Ms. Cowles said that she did not hold it against Bank of America, given that it was, in fact, her money she was withdrawing. But do banks typically hand over large amounts of cash?

“We have extensive efforts to warn clients about avoiding scams,” said a Bank of America spokesman, William P. Halldin, via email. The bank declined to comment further.

“We don’t restrict customers from accessing their money,” said Justin K. Page, a Chase spokesman, via email. “However, there are instances where funds are held for additional verification. This includes instances where one of our bankers suspects that our customer may be accompanied by someone who appears to be pressuring them. We train our bankers to look for that.”

Hijackers are in brains, not planes.

The thief impersonating the C.I.A. agent did eventually tell Ms. Cowles to hand over the cash. After all, he said, she was going to be charged with money laundering; allowing the agency to convert the money to a government check using her new Social Security number would render her $50,000 clean.

This sounds preposterous. It also, however, created a conflicting internal dialogue.

“People who have always used their brains are not paying attention to their emotions, and I think we need to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us,” said Amy Nofziger , director of fraud victim support for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network. “The gut is actually a scientific dumping of chemicals. I’ve heard countless victims tell me, ‘My gut told me I shouldn’t do this, but my brain told me I should.’”

Eva Velasquez, who has seen it all as the president of the Identity Theft Resource Center , viewed the situation similarly. “The bad actors hijack our brains,” she said. “And it works, because we are all, after all, human.”

Tara Siegel Bernard contributed reporting.

Ron Lieber has been the Your Money columnist since 2008 and has written five books, most recently “The Price You Pay for College.” More about Ron Lieber

A Guide to Making Better Financial Moves

Making sense of your finances can be complicated. the tips below can help..

The federal financial aid formula used to give a break to families with two or more children in college at a time. That’s gone now, and some schools may not fill the gap .

Student loan borrowers who have access to a 401(k)-type plan, may soon generate retirement savings contributions from their employer by paying off their loans. Here’s how it works .

Are you trying to improve your credit profile? You can now choose to have your on-time rent payments reported to the credit bureaus  to enhance your score.

Americans’ credit card debt and late payments are rising, and card interest rates remain high, but many people lack a plan to pay down their debt. Here’s what you can do .

When banks close checking and credit-card accounts because of “suspicious activity,” chaos and anxiety ensue. It doesn’t have to be this way .

There are few challenges facing students more daunting than paying for college. This guide can help you make sense of it all .


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  1. The Movie Quote You NEED To Hear


  1. Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia

    If you decide to quote or paraphrase Wikipedia text (despite all the warnings above applying to the in Wikipedia), then you cite Wikipedia appropriately; otherwise you plagiarise, which is against academic norms and may subject you to censure. Such failure also violates Wikipedia's CC BY-SA license, which is a violation of copyright law.

  2. How to Cite a Wikipedia Article

    If you're certain you're allowed to cite Wikipedia, the citation usually includes: Title of the article "Wikipedia" and/or "Wikimedia Foundation" Date the article was last updated URL The specific format differs depending on what citation style you're following: APA, MLA, and Chicago style are three of the most commonly used.

  3. How do I in-text cite Wikipedia in APA?

    To put an in-text citation for Wikipedia in APA, you would use the following format: ("Title of article," n.d.) An example would be: ("World War II," n.d.) If you want to direct your reader to a specific section of the Wikipedia article, you can include the paragraph number at the end of your citation. For example: ("World War II," n.d., para. 5)

  4. 4 Ways to Cite Wikipedia

    1 Open the article you're citing. Go to the Wikipedia page for the article that you want to cite. 2 Click Cite this page. This link is in the "Tools" section of the column of options that's on the left side of the page. 3 Find your citation style.

  5. How to Cite Wikipedia in MLA Format

    When incorporating an in-text citation in your research paper, use an abbreviated version of the Wikipedia entry title in quotation marks. Below is an example of how an in-text citation might look for the same Wikipedia source In-text citation example: ("Fellowship")

  6. How to Cite Wikipedia in APA Format, with Examples

    Write with Grammarly 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."

  7. Wikipedia:Quotations

    Yes: quote marks or formatting clearly indicate where the quotation begins and ends No: paraphrases are not distinguished from the running text Both quotations and paraphrases must be supported with a citation reliable source Quotation examples

  8. Can I cite Wikipedia in my paper?

    Most academics agree that you shouldn't cite Wikipedia as a source in your academic writing, and universities often have rules against doing so. This is partly because of concerns about its reliability, and partly because it's a tertiary source.

  9. Wikipedia entry references

    Narrative citation: "Oil Painting" (2019) Use this format to cite any wiki page, including pages for Wikipedia entries. If you are a student, ask your professor whether Wikipedia is an appropriate source for you to use in your paper. Wikipedia reports information from other sources, making it a secondary source.

  10. Citing a Wikipedia Article

    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.

  11. How to Cite a Wikipedia Page in 4 Easy Ways

    For citing Wikipedia in MLA, you are going to use the rules for citing a web source without an author. Step 1: Find the title and put it in quotes. Step 2: List the name of the publisher in italics. In this case, it's Wikipedia. Step 3: Include the date of the page, typically found at the bottom.

  12. How to Cite Wikipedia in MLA

    You might use in-line citations to introduce a statistic, quote, or finding along with the author's name, and then you would cite it by including the year in parentheses. A parenthetical citation is similar to an in-line citation—it appears in the body text, and the author's name and year of publishing are cited in parentheses.

  13. How to Cite a Wikipedia Article: MLA, APA, and Chicago Style

    The answer here is absolutely yes. Any information or ideas that you do not create yourself (unless common knowledge) must be cited in your referenced materials. That includes citing Wikipedia articles you use for research or which get quoted as part of the writing process.

  14. APA Style 6th Edition Blog: How to Cite Wikipedia in APA Style

    Don't quote or paraphrase from the Wikipedia entry in your paper, but check the entry's Reference section to find links to more authoritative sources. And be sure to find and read these sources to verify the facts, figures, and points of view they present. But, of course, there are times when citing a Wikipedia entry itself is appropriate.

  15. The Best Way to Cite a Wikipedia Article in MLA Format

    1 Understand the format for online articles with multiple authors. Since Wikipedia articles often have hundreds of contributors, you don't need to lead with an author name. You'll need the following information: Name of the article Name of the publication (in this case, Wikipedia) Name of the publication's company

  16. Can I cite Wikipedia in my paper?

    Can I cite Wikipedia in my paper? Published: Feb. 12, 2019 What place does Wikipedia have in academic writing? When you start a research paper, you may not be very familiar with your topic.

  17. How to cite Wikipedia

    Academic papers and essays require you to cite your sources of information, dates, book, page numbers and other information required depending on the citation style. In scholarly literature, you must mention the original source of your information any time you make reference to, quote, or paraphrase another person's work or use their ideas ...

  18. Wikipedia:When to cite

    1 When a source is needed 2 When a source or citation may not be needed 3 Citations in leads 4 Text-source relationship 5 Challenging another user's edits 6 See also

  19. Learn How to Cite Wikipedia in Five Minutes

    How to Cite Wikipedia in APA As Wikipedia does not have a defined author and its content can change, you should cite articles from there as a web resource without an author when you are asked to use APA style. You should take the following steps when citing the Wikipedia page: Indicate the publication name with the date next to it.

  20. How to Cite Wikipedia in Chicago Style

    That said, Wikipedia can be a useful place to start your research, as many of its pages cite primary and secondary sources that you can explore in more depth. If you're allowed to directly source Wikipedia for your paper, citing a Wikipedia page according to the Chicago Manual of Style can be done using either the author-date format or notes ...

  21. How to reference a Wikipedia article in Harvard style

    A Wikipedia article is essentially just a webpage, so you should reference it in the same way you would usually reference a webpage. For Harvard style this is as follows: First, locate these details for the article: article title, published date, access date, article URL (web address).

  22. Wikipedia:Academic use

    It is the goal of Wikipedia to become a research aid that all students can trust. If you, in the course of your research, find that there is misinformation on Wikipedia, look over the basic guidelines of Wikipedia and especially what the community considers a reliable source and please consider editing the article (and even creating an account ...

  23. Why You Can't Cite Wikipedia

    So don't quote Wikipedia. Usually you shouldn't quote the dictionary either (again, it's too simple, often doesn't fit the nuance of an advanced topic, and is also a pretty tired cliche. Go bigger!) If you don't know very much about something, go ahead and start your research with Wikipedia or the dictionary.

  24. What Amazon, the F.T.C. and C.I.A. Won't Say When You've Been Scammed

    New York magazine's money columnist wrote about being conned out of $50,000 by crooks pretending to be from Amazon and government agencies. We asked the company and agencies for comment.