A citation, also called a reference, uniquely identifies a source of information, e.g.:
|This page documents an English Wikipedia content guideline.|
|This page in a nutshell: Cite reliable sources. You can add a citation by selecting from the drop-down menu at the top of the editing box. In markup, you can add a citation manually using ref tags. More elaborate and useful ways to cite sources are detailed below.|
|New here? Welcome! There is a simplified version of this page at Help:Referencing for beginners.|
A citation or reference in an article usually has two parts. In the first part, each section of text that is either based on, or quoted from, an outside source is marked as such with an inline citation. The inline citation may be a superscript footnote number, or an abbreviated version of the citation called a short citation. The second necessary part of the citation or reference is the list of full references, which provides complete, formatted detail about the source, so that anyone reading the article can find it and verify it.
This page explains how to place and format both parts of the citation. Each article should use one citation method or style throughout. If an article already has citations, preserve consistency by using that method or seek consensus on the talk page before changing it Help:Referencing for beginners", for a brief introduction on how to put references in Wikipedia articles; and cite templates in Visual Editor, about a graphical way for citation, included in Wikipedia.. While you should try to write citations correctly, what matters most is that you provide enough information to identify the source. Others will improve the formatting if needed. See: "