Help:Referencing for beginners without using templates

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Here's a popular reference method which doesn't use templates so it speeds loading time. Copy and paste the following immediately after what you want to reference:

<ref>author, [article_link "article_name"], ''publisher'', publication_date. Retrieved retrieved_date.</ref>

Put information between the reference markers. Copy and paste the author's name. Paste the publication name inside the apostrophes so it's italicized. Paste the publication date. Inside the brackets [] paste the url first with the article title to the right, and put both url and title inside the brackets. Remember to leave a blank space between url and title. For example, in editing mode if you type this

This is the fact we're trying to reference about inflation being unlikely in 2010.<ref>Patricia Sabatini,[ "Inflation unlikely to be a threat as economy emerges from recession"], ''Pittsburgh Post-Gazette'', October 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-21.</ref>[1]

You get this. It appears in the "references" section automatically:

  1. ^ Patricia Sabatini, "Inflation unlikely to be a threat as economy emerges from recession", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-21.

The Retrieved date is when you fetched the reference; the publication date is when the article was published. The url is the line like ''http://www.etc''; copy and paste the url in if available since it makes it easy for checking references. You can also put in the ISBN, co-author names, page numbers and such; see citing sources.

That's it! You're done. When editing, you'll see your reference next to the text; but after saving, readers will only see a reference number there; your reference should appear below. Good luck!

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

== References ==

Experiment on sandbox pages or your user talk page.

Remember many referencing styles are possible. Some editors prefer alternatives (see below). When possible, use the style others prefer. See Citing sources for further discussion.