Cite Web Pages in MLA Format
The Modern Language Association, or MLA, is the dominant American professional association for scholars of the humanities. The MLA’s citation style provides guidelines for the documentation of research in the humanities and has been widely adopted by academic departments and professors. The Internet is one of the newest sources of information for scholars and students, and the documenting of such sources is covered by the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook.
In-Text Citation of Internet Sources
1. The MLA format typically requires that the author or editor and the page number of a source appear in the text of your work. You can include the author’s name in either the sentence or in the parenthetical citation that follows:
Wordsworth argues that Romantic poetry is characterized by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions” (263).
Romantic poetry is characterized by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions” (Wordsworth 263).
2. Include any page numbers in the parenthetical citation only:
Ortiz argues in his online essay “Werner Herzog’s Beautiful Lie” that Herzog is the best director of his generation (12).
3. If your Internet source does not specify the author’s or editor’s name or a page number, include in the text the entry that you use on the Works Cited page to refer to the citation. In this case, a parenthetical citation is not required. (Do not include the URL or the page or paragraph number given by your print-preview function.)
The Works Cited Page: Internet Sources
4. The MLA style requires you to include a Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your paper. All entries must correspond to an in-text citation. Double space all citations, but maintain a single space between entries and indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by five spaces. Include the medium of publication for each entry (e.g.s, web or email). Finally, italicize the titles of larger works like online magazines or websites and use quotation marks for the titles of shorter works like articles.
5. Begin a new entry by typing the author or editor’s last name, then a comma, first name and period. If there is more than one author or editor, the first name given follows the last-name/first-name format while subsequent names appear as first name, then last name. If there are more than three names, type the first name followed by the phrase “et al.”
If the author or editor’s name is not provided, begin by typing the article’s name in quotation marks followed by a period and/or the website or journal name in italics also followed by a period.
6. If you are citing from an online scholarly journal, type any information about the volume and/or issue number followed by the year in parenthesis. Type a colon and enter any page numbers followed by a period. If no page numbers are specified, use the abbreviation “n.pag.” If you retrieved the article from an online database like ProQuest or JSTOR, include this information in italics followed by a period:
Smith, Mark. “Theory and Use of Color.” Art: International Online Journal of Art History (italicized) 5.3 (2008): n.pag. ProQuest (italicized). Web. 23 May 2009.
7. If you are not citing from a scholarly journal, enter the publisher’s name or the name of the institution or organization affiliated with the website and the publication date separated by a comma and followed by a period. If this information is not available, use the abbreviation “n.p” for “no publisher” or “no sponsor” and “n.d” for “no publication date.” Dates should appear as “date month year” (no commas):
“Cite Web Pages in MLA Format.” eHow.com (italicized). eHow, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2010.
8. Finish by entering the medium of publication (e.g., web) followed by a period and the date you accessed the website (date month year), also followed by a period. If you are required to include the full URL, enter it at the very end of the citation. Break URLs after slashes if necessary.
Some additional examples:
Kamil, Karly. “Find Your Calling.” Spirituality (italicized). Spirituality Mag., 13 Oct. 2009. Web. 15 Oct. 2009.
Fowler, Robert. “10 Ways to Play Better Football.” Score: The International Online Scholarly Football Journal (italicized) 3.4 (2009): n. pag. Web. 3 Dec. 2009.
Cnn.com (italicized). CNN and the Turner Broadcasting Network, 2010. Web. 26 June 2010.
Ling, Zang and Robert McGovern. “Marriage in 14th-Century France.” Journal of Medieval History (italicized) 30.2 (2007): 65-74. ProQuest (italicized). Web. 16 May 2008.
Close, Gilbert. Survey of Hispanic Literature (italicized). Yale U., 15 Sept. 2006. Web. 30 June 2008.