Wikipedia:Tutorial (External links)

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As explained in About Wikipedia, "if you add information to an article, be sure to include your references, as unreferenced facts are subject to removal." It is best to use inline citations so that other editors and readers can verify the information you add. Also, make sure that the sources you use are trustworthy and authoritative.


The easiest way to create an inline citation is using footnotes. You can create footnotes with Wiki markup (under the edit box on your Wiki GUI) by adding

  • <ref>YOUR SOURCE</ref> ref tags around your source, and
  • {{Reflist}} or <references/> under the heading ==References== near the bottom of the page.

If your source is a website, you should create an external link to the website address. Do not use other Wikipedia articles as sources.

To create an external link to your source, put the website address (URL) in square brackets after the text you add, such as

  • <ref>[ Google search engine]</ref>

It is a good idea to provide a short description just after the external site address. This description will be displayed in the reference list as the title of the external site, rather than the actual URL of the site.

Inline citations without footnotes

Enclosing an external link in single square brackets without providing a description, like this:


will display the link as a number in brackets, like this: [1].

If you simply type in the full URL for the page to which you wish to link:

The wiki will automatically treat this text as a link (as has been done with the URL above) and will display the raw web address, including the "http://" part. It is recommended that you do not use this format much, as raw URLs are ugly and often give no clue to what the site actually is.

By including a space after a URL and inside a single set of brackets you can decide what text will be visible, for example:

[ Google search engine]

will make only the text following the space visible, yet will still keep the link seen here:

Google search engine

Avoid this usage: "According to [2], the last full moon of the second millennium occurred on December 11, 1999." Do this instead: "The last full moon of the second millennium occurred on December 11, 1999. [3]"

If you do not use ref tags to create a footnote for the source, you must also add the source to a list of References or Notes and references near the bottom of the article.

The external links section

Many Wikipedia articles have a separate section labelled External links. This section is for linking to websites with significant and reliable additional information on an article's topic. Before adding a website to an External links section, you should suggest it on the article's Discussion (talk) page.

Test what you have learned in the sandbox

Continue the tutorial with Talk Pages