This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are notWikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
When writing articles, consider using citation templates to construct your references. While, current Wikipedia consensus is neutral on the question of citation templates, they provide several advantages compared to hand-written references. Please see Wikipedia:Citation templates for a how-to essay on using citation templates.
Ease of use - Simply copy and paste a citation template from WP:CIT and fill in the values to create references. It is much easier than writing references by hand.
Uniformity - Citation templates automatically format references uniformly. If consensus changes about the how the templates or references should look, those changes can be easily implemented.
Encourages interlinking - Entries, like author and publication, can be easily wikilinked to give more context to each reference, making it easier for the reader to judge the reliability and accuracy of each reference. Wikilinking to author and publication pages allows users to use the "What links here" links to see where these resources have been used as references within Wikipedia articles.
Fight linkrot - Citation templates have parameters for |archiveurl= and |archivedate= that makes it easier to use web archiving services to prevent linkrot. Certain bots, like User:WebCiteBOT, use these parameters to automatically archive sources.