Help:Referencing for beginners with citation templates

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Here is an easy way to cite sources, using an online newspaper source as an example, and the template {{cite news}} for formatting purposes (see {{Citation Style 1}} for many others). Simply copy and paste the following immediately after what you want to reference:

<ref>{{cite news
| author =
| title =
| quote =
| newspaper =
| date =
| pages =
| url =
| accessdate =  

If the source is not online – it is a paper source – then leave the parameter for the url blank or remove it. Also, there is no utility to providing an accessdate if the source is paper or the url links to a scan/photo of a paper image. An example of a filled-out citation for a source that is online appears below.

Simply put as much information as you can to the right of the equal signs.

Inflation seems unlikely in 2010.<ref>{{cite news
| author = Patricia Sabatini
| title = Inflation unlikely to be a threat as economy emerges from recession
| quote = ...the Federal Reserve would continue to leave interest rates at record lows.
| newspaper = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
| date = October 16, 2009
| pages =
| url =
| accessdate = January 5, 2010

Reporter Patricia Sabatini goes to the right of the "author =" field. Leave fields like "pages =" blank if they don't apply. The accessdate is when you fetched the online reference; the date is when the article was published. The url is the web address, like ''http://www.etc''; copy and paste the url, if available.

When editing, you'll see your reference citation next to the text; but after saving, readers will only see a footnote number there; your reference should appear near the bottom of the page in a references section – wherever you have placed the <references /> tag or, to enable more complex formatting, the {{reflist}} template. The reference should look something like this:

Inflation seems unlikely in 2010.[1]


  1. ^ Patricia Sabatini (October 16, 2009). "Inflation unlikely to be a threat as economy emerges from recession". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 5, 2010. ...the Federal Reserve would continue to leave interest rates at record lows. 

That's it! You're done. Good luck!

If you get a warning about a missing "References" section at the end of the page, just add it:

== References ==

Quick note: while this reference method is popular, some editors prefer alternatives (see below). It varies by article. When possible, use the citation style already used by others in the same article. See Citing sources for further discussion.