Citing an Internet Source in a Research Essay

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Citing an Internet source is similar to citing a book or periodical. There are different rules for different types of citations (MLA, APA or CSE, for example). In this article, we will look at MLA citations. There are also many variations of websites (web pages, forums or newsgroups), and each has a slightly different way for citing the source. Here we will look at citing a typical web page article.

Name the author, last name first. If no author is listed, then skip this Step.

Put the title of the work next. This is not the title of the website but the title of the page within the website that you are accessing. Put this information in quotation marks.

Place the title of the overall website next and underline it. Look at the web address or find the link to the homepage in order to find the title.

List the publication information. Most articles (or web pages) have a “last updated” date if you can’t find an actual date for the specific article you are quoting.

Include the date of access. This is the date you accessed the Internet source.

Place the URL (the website address) at the end of the citation. Copy and paste the URL so that you ensure you have it down accurately.

Check your Internet citation for accuracy. The final Internet source citation should look like this: Handschuh, Judith. “Author Profile: Harper Lee”. Teen [underlined]. 2003. August 8, 2008 .

Use parenthetical documentation. This means placing the source and page number directly after the quote or fact cited in your essay. Place the author’s last name and the page number of the quote or fact in parentheses following the quote. For example: “80% of students are not adequately prepared to write a research paper when entering college” (Smith 4). Note that the period for the sentence falls after the quote and citation.

Ignore the page number placement in parenthetical documentation if there are no page numbers listed.

Break hyperlinks in your document by first pasting it to Notepad, then copying from Notepad and pasting the text into your Microsoft Word document.

Follow the instructions from your MLA handbook.

Consider using an online citation generator like the Citation Machine.


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