How to Cite a Website in MLA Style

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NARRATOR
This short presentation breaks down the parts of a simple website citation in MLA style.

(and the appropriate elements brighten as the narrator reads.)



NARRATOR
This is the basic format for citing a website. There are MANY possible variations to this format, depending on the information listed on the website.

First you have the names of the authors or editors. Put the author’s last name, a comma, then the author’s first name, and a period.

If you’re using a specific article, section, or post with its own title, put it next with a period inside quotation marks.

Then put the title of the website in italic type or underlined, and a period.

Next is the publisher or sponsoring institution and a comma.

Then the date of publication or revision followed by a period.

Then the medium of publication which is usually "Web" and a period.

Then you have the date you viewed the website and a period.

If your instructor requires the web address, put it last inside angle brackets followed by a period.

Of all of these parts, the few you’ll have for certain are the title of the website and the date you accessed it. And, if required, the web address.

Including the other parts depends on what is listed on the website. You may have to look around on the webpage to find details like the publisher or publication date.



NARRATOR
A web citation can be very short, like this one for the front page of Census.gov:

This one includes only the title of the site, the institution behind it, and the date it was accessed.

It doesn’t have an author, article title, or publication date. Notice that we used the abbreviation "n.d." to indicate there is "no publication date", but we simply leave off the other bits.

A web citation can also be longer, like for this page on Jack the Ripper:

This citation includes just about everything you can put in web citation. It just depends on what information is listed on the web page.

It’s always a good idea to check the MLA Handbook for the proper format when citing online sources to make sure you get it right.



NARRATOR
These are just two examples of website citations. There are special rules for different kinds of websites.

You can find more information and examples of MLA style online. Use the "links" tab to see some recommended sites.


The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is the ultimate source for all of the guidelines of MLA style. There are copies available in the library.