MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources // Purdue Writing Lab (2022)

MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)

Summary:

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

The MLA Handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.

However, this guide will highlight a few concerns when citing digital sources in MLA style.

Best Practices for Managing Online Sources

Because online information can change or disappear, it is always a good idea to keep personal copies of important electronic information whenever possible. Downloading or even printing key documents ensures you have a stable backup. You can also use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to build an easy-to-access reference for all of your project's sources (though this will not help you if the information is changed or deleted).

It is also wise to keep a record of when you first consult with each online source. MLA uses the phrase, “Accessed” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so, but it is encouraged (especially when there is no copyright date listed on a website).

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA

Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.

Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.

Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.

Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources

If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. would be used for a single paragraph, while pars. would be used for a span of two or more paragraphs.

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible:

(Video) Citing Electronic Sources Using Purdue's OWL

  • Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
  • "Article name in quotation marks."
  • Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
  • Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
  • DOI (if available, precede it with "https://doi.org/"), otherwise a URL (without the https://) or permalink.
  • Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed). While not required, saving this information it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.

Use the following format:

Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Citing an Entire Web Site

When citing an entire website, follow the same format as listed above, but include a compiler name if no single author is available.

Author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 10 May 2006.

Course or Department Websites

Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title.

Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England. Purdue U, Aug. 2006, web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/241/241/Home.html. Accessed 31 May 2007.

English Department. Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/. Accessed 31 May 2015.

A Page on a Web Site

For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.

(Video) Purdue OWL Citing Electronic Sources

Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.”eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.

Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.

An E-Book

Citations for e-books closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an e-book by putting the term "e-book" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).

Silva, Paul J.How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.

If the e-book is formatted for a specific reader device or service, you can indicate this by treating this information the same way you would treat a physical book's edition number. Often, this will mean replacing "e-book" with "[App/Service] ed."

Machiavelli, Niccolo.The Prince, translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

Note:The MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device (e.g., a Kindle) or a corresponding web application. These e-books will not have URLs or DOIs. If you are citing book content from an ordinary webpage with a URL, use the "A Page on a Web Site" format above.

An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)

Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, and the date of access.

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado, www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-family-of-carlos-iv/f47898fc-aa1c-48f6-a779-71759e417e74. Accessed 22 May 2006.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive, www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.

If the work cited is available on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.

Adams, Clifton R. “People Relax Beside a Swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928.” Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016, natgeofound.tumblr.com/.

(Video) Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

An Article in a Web Magazine

Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.

Bernstein, Mark. 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.

An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a DOI if available, otherwise provide a URL or permalink to help readers locate the source.

Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal

MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print

Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article. Provide the URL and the date of access.

Wheelis, Mark. Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)

Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates.Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1002/tox.20155.Accessed 26 May 2009.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.

(Video) How to Generate 'Works Cited' using Purdue University's online lab MLA format

E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)

Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization.

Kunka, Andrew. Re: Modernist Literature.Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.

Neyhart, David. Re: Online Tutoring. Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016.

A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets.

Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site, Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.

Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek, 29 Sept. 2008, boardgamegeek.com/thread/343929/best-strategy-fenced-pastures-vs-max-number-rooms. Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.

A Tweet

Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary.

@tombrokaw. SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign.Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m., twitter.com/tombrokaw/status/160996868971704320.

@PurdueWLab. Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week.Twitter, 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m., twitter.com/PurdueWLab/status/176728308736737282.

A YouTube Video

Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploader, cite the author’s name before the title.

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.

“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs.

(Video) Creating a Works Cited Page

A Comment on a Website or Article

List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.

Not Omniscient Enough. Comment on Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument Over Pasta.ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.

FAQs

How do you cite an electronic source in MLA? ›

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known.

How do I cite an electronic source? ›

Include information in the following order:
  1. author (the person or organisation responsible for the site)
  2. year (date created or last updated)
  3. page title (in italics)
  4. name of sponsor of site (if available)
  5. accessed day month year (the day you viewed the site)
  6. URL or Internet address (pointed brackets).
7 Jul 2022

How do you in text cite an eBook in MLA? ›

Citations will be very similar to physical book citations; just add the word "eBook" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).

How do you cite online data in MLA? ›

Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Document: Subtitle if Any." Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed access Date. Note: If the publication has no listed author, start your citation with the title of the document.

How do you in text cite a video MLA? ›

Citing a video in MLA Style

The video title appears in quotation marks, the site name in italics. In the in-text citation, list the author's last name and the timestamp of the relevant part of the video. Author's last name, First name. “Video Title.” Website, uploaded by Uploader, Day Month Year, URL.

How do you cite a website in MLA in 2022? ›

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Page or Document." Title of Website, Publisher or Sponsoring Organization, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed Date Month (abbreviated) Year.

How do you cite online sources both in text and in references? ›

Cite web pages in text as you would any other source, using the author and date if known. Keep in mind that the author may be an organization rather than a person. For sources with no author, use the title in place of an author. For sources with no date use n.d. (for no date) in place of the year: (Smith, n.d.).

What are the 4 electronic sources? ›

More Tips for Referencing Electronic Sources

e-mail. e-journal. database. Internet.

Is a PDF an electronic source? ›

A PDF, after all, is not really a source itself, but rather a file type and a way to display a source. For example, if the source you wish to cite is a PDF of a newspaper article, cite the source as you would a newspaper.

How do you in-text cite a PDF in MLA? ›

Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Magazine/Newspaper Name, Day Month Year, pp. Pages, URL, PDF file or PDF download.

DOI cite an eBook as a book or website? ›

If you found an ebook online (in a website) or in a library database, begin the citation just like you would for a physical book. Start with the author, title of the book (container), publisher, and the year of publication. Then add the name of the website where you found the e-book, and add the DOI if it has one.

How DOI cite an online PDF book? ›

The basic format is: Author's last name, Author's first name. Book Title PDF file. Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication. File type.

How do you do an in-text citation for a website? ›

Luckily, writing the in-text citation for a website or webpage is easy: Simply include the author and year of publication. The URL goes in the corresponding reference list entry (and yes, you can leave the links live).

How do you cite online data? ›

How to cite data?
  1. Author(s)
  2. Date of publication.
  3. Title of dataset.
  4. Publisher or distributor.
  5. Persistent locator/identifier (ex. URL or DOI)
  6. Version, when appropriate.
  7. Date accessed, when appropriate.
31 Jan 2021

How do you in-text cite a website with no author MLA? ›

When no author is listed, you may omit the author information from the MLA citation for the website and begin, instead, with the title (Handbook 108). “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, date published in day month year format, URL.

How do you cite an online video in MLA? ›

Format: Author(s). “Title of Video.” Website Title in Italics, Website Publisher (if different than title), uploaded by Name of User, Date of Upload, URL. YouTube: Example: “Biology: Cell Structure.” YouTube, uploaded by Nucleus Medical Media, 18 Mar.

How do you cite in-text MLA example? ›

Using In-text Citation

MLA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). If the source does not use page numbers, do not include a number in the parenthetical citation: (Smith).

How do you do an in-text citation for a movie? ›

The title is written in sentence case and italicized, followed by the label “Film” in square brackets. The in-text citation includes the last name of the director, and the year. If you are referring to a specific quote or scene from the movie, add a timestamp to direct the reader to the relevant part.

How do you cite a website 2022? ›

To cite the website we need to include:
  1. Author of page or article; or author/compiler of whole website (if available)
  2. Title of article or specific webpage.
  3. Name of website.
  4. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher, if available and different from author or name of site)
3 Feb 2022

Do you include the URL in MLA citation? ›

For MLA 8 you need to include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs. Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier.

How do you cite a website in MLA 8? ›

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Page or Document." Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed date.

How do you in text cite a website with no author MLA? ›

When no author is listed, you may omit the author information from the MLA citation for the website and begin, instead, with the title (Handbook 108). “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Publisher, date published in day month year format, URL.

How do you MLA cite a PDF? ›

Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Magazine/Newspaper Name, Day Month Year, pp. Pages, URL, PDF file or PDF download.

How do you do an in text citation for a website? ›

Luckily, writing the in-text citation for a website or webpage is easy: Simply include the author and year of publication. The URL goes in the corresponding reference list entry (and yes, you can leave the links live).

How do I cite a PDF? ›

So if the PDF is a book, cite it as a book with the PDF's URL; if it's a journal article, cite it as a journal article with the URL; and so on. In general, to cite a PDF in APA format, use the same formula as you would to cite a website in APA format: Last name of author, First name initials. (Year of publication).

What if there is no author for MLA works cited? ›

If no author or creator is provided, start the citation with the title of the source you are citing instead. Do not use "Anonymous" as the author's name. Use the first one, two, or three main words from the title, in either italics or in "quotation marks" (the same way it is written in your Works Cited list).

How do you in text cite something with no author? ›

In-Text Citations: Citations are placed in the context of discussion using the author's last name and date of publication. When a work has no identified author, cite in text the first few words of the article title using double quotation marks, “headline-style" capitalization, and the year.

How do you cite a website with no publisher MLA? ›

MLA Works Cited Guide for Websites:

Italicize the website's name followed by a period. After the website name, list "n.p." if no publisher is available, and "n.d." if no date is available. Enter the word "Web" followed by a period, and enter the full date you visited the website by day, month and year.

Can you use a PDF as a reference? ›

PDFs can be referenced and cited similarly to printed articles and books. This means that the reference entry includes the author, publication date, title, and publisher name. With PDF files or any online source, include the source URL or DOI.

How do you cite a PDF with multiple authors in MLA? ›

When it comes to handling multiple authors, how to cite a PDF in MLA is similar to Chicago and Turabian. MLA format uses the word “and” before the last author in a list. For three or more authors, you'll add et al. at the end.

How do you cite a short story PDF? ›

Author's Last, First Name. “Short Story Title.” Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name, Edition, Publisher, Year, pp.

What does an MLA in text citation look like? ›

MLA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). If the source does not use page numbers, do not include a number in the parenthetical citation: (Smith).

How do you do in text citations? ›

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

What is in text citation example? ›

Using In-text Citation

APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For sources such as websites and e-books that have no page numbers, use a paragraph number.

How DOI cite a document in MLA format? ›

MLA Citation Format:
  1. Author last name, author first name (if applicable)
  2. Title of article (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of newspaper (italicized), city of publication if needed, such as local, less-known newspapers (square brackets, not italicized)
  4. Other Contributors.
  5. Version or Edition.
  6. Issue Number.
  7. Publication Date.

Is a PDF a journal article? ›

There is no explicit way to indicate that you are citing a PDF, as PDF is a file format and not a type of reference (e.g., journal article, book, or book chapter). You can cite any reference type in PDF format (e.g., magazine articles and reports). To cite a PDF in APA format, cite it in a webpage style.

How do you reference a PDF in Word? ›

  1. Go to the Insert tab > Object.
  2. In the Object dialog, go to the Create from File tab.
  3. Click on Browse. Search and select the PDF file you wish to embed.
  4. Select Display as icon and leave Link to file unchecked. You can choose to change the icon if you wish.
  5. Click on OK.
15 Sept 2022

Videos

1. Purdue OWL--MLA Works Cited and In-Text Citation (Eng 11 Adv)
(Joshua Keirn)
2. How to Cite MLA Format (website, book, article, etc.)
(Xamplio)
3. Dictionary Entry Reference Citation Example
(Megan Hynek)
4. MLA Citation Workshop
(Santa Monica College Library)
5. MLA Works Cited Tutorial
(CWU Online Tutoring)
6. APA In Text Citations for Print and Electronic Sources
(CAS at Parkland College -D120)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 10/13/2022

Views: 5782

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.