MLA Citation: How to Cite Websites

MLA Citation: How to Cite Websites


Hi my name is Nicki Lerczak, I’m the
instructional services librarian at Genesee Community College and this is MLA citation style how to create references for web
resources the basic format starts with an author
last name comma first name period in quotations, title of the article or the
webpage, noticing that all of the important words are
capitalized followed by a period and then close the quote in italics, the name of the larger website
that that page is a part of, period after the name of the website you want
to give us the publisher information who is the one responsible, who owns the
copyright or seems like the larger group in charge
of the website if you have one If you don’t, you would put capital N, period,
little p, period for no publisher, a comma and then
the publication copyright, last update, to whatever level you can find it may just be a year it may be a day, month
and a year whatever level you find is good if you don’t find a date then little n, period, little d, period for
no date after that comes the medium of publication
which because it’s a web page will always be web,
period the access date in MLA format day, then month, then year, period and finally the url or web
address for the specific page you are citing not the larger website it’s part of again as always everything is double-spaced and
everything after the first line is indented let’s take a look at a real life example here is a government website,
obviously as you look at the top corner you see US department of health and
human services, if you’re looking at the library stylesheet,
then you want to look at example number two
for a government website because that’s the format we’re going to try to follow
for this one this is very involved first thing I want is an author this page tells me that the author is
the child welfare information gateway this page, as most government pages do, has
a pdf so I have a print
version of this website this is nice and will help us verify
some details at a later point but for now we’re just going to make a
note that it’s there so I see my author’s the child welfare information
gateway and that’s how I’m going to start my
citation followed by a period the title comes next impact of adoption on birth
parents it is up here it does say up here a fact sheet for
families the fact that it shows up there, and it
doesn’t say down here the pdf, in this case, I’m going to consult
it, does just say impact of adoption on birth parents so
since I have two places that seem to agree that’s just impact of adoption
on birth parents I’m going to go with that there it is, in quotation marks, impact of
adoption on birth parents, period, close quotation now, here’s where the pdf is going to be
helpful because we want to cite the publisher information,
who owns this larger website at the top of the page you can see that
they say administration for children and families which is a part of the US department
of health and human services at the bottom of this page I can see that this is a service of the
children’s bureau administration for children and families
US department of health and human services and pdf has even something
different as well down at the bottom of this pdf they tell
me there’s the children’s bureau again, and
now I’ve got the administration on children youth and families as well as
the administration for children and families in the US department of health and human services are you completely correct to go with
just the children’s bureau administration for
children and families US department of health and human services
and leave out the administration on children youth and families? yes, the other website does have those
three levels and I would say you are pretty much good with those three but I have the fourth, the name of the website this is coming
from, the most directly responsible here, is the
children’s bureau because we start very specific and as we go
up we get more general so I’m going to say children’s bureau in
italics capitalized, period, that is the name of
the larger website this comes from now the publisher that’s responsible I’m going to back my way back up the food
chain as you can see I start with the administration on children youth and
families, a comma the administration for children and
families, a comma and then US dept of health and human
services. it’s perfectly acceptable to do that level of an abbreviation for
government departments followed by a comma so I’ve got those three levels of
departments and offices and that’s good then a comma September two thousand four is the date that I actually have on the
publications here, the other one, the page itself, simply told
me that this was published in two thousand
four. again, it’s one of those, I have the information so I’m going to put the
information and in MLA fashion, it’s day then month then
year I don’t have a day but so Sept, period, two
thousand four, period my medium of publication, of course, as a
web page, is web, so we have that next followed by a period and my access date, today, in MLA format
is eight Dec period two thousand and ten, period. lastly I want to end in brackets with the address of the page that’s easily grabbed from up
there but i could also use this web address, it points to a slightly
different place but they are one in the same so either one, this or this would be fine and as you can see the entire thing is
double-spaced and everything after the first line is indented Let’s take a look at a slightly less
complex example, something that’s a little more likely here we are, finding your birth parents
after adoption, what I’ve got here is a site, lots of ads, kinda distracting,
hard to see where I’m reading but I start at the top, here’s my title generally if you’re going to have an author,
they come somewhere near the title I don’t see an author here, so I’m going to
scroll down and see, do I have an author down below it’s posted in adoption I have related articles the information here tells me it’s a
disclaimer I know they’re part of the ivillage family and then I’ve got sort of an email
address for the labor of love dot com I saw them up at the top and the copyright is owned by this thing
called earth’s magic inc I still am not seeing anything that says hey
I’m the author, I am responsible for the writing of this because I’m lacking something that seems
like a true author I’m going to say this one doesn’t have one it starts with the title and it’s very close in correct MLA
format finding your birth parents after
adoption, I feel all of these are very important words, I’ve capitalized them all,
in quotes, period, close quote after that I want the name of the
website well up here I’ve got the labor of love
dot com we saw the labor of love at the bottom I do have a main page here, and still I’m on the labor of love dot
com so I would say the labor of love dot com
seems to be the larger website that this comes from so I’m comfortable giving the labor of love dot com kudos as the name of the website, so, the
labor of love dot com, I use their captitalization as you can see, capital T capital L
capital O and capital L a period and a little com so the labor of love dot com, it is in
italics because this is the name of the website down at the bottom we had the copyright the copyright
generally is going to be owned by the organization or the publisher
responsible for the site earth’s magic inc are the people who are
publishing this site earth’s magic inc, comma and my last update, my publication date, you
can see is just two thousand and ten that’s all I know about it two thousand and ten this is a web and today’s access date is eight Dec, two
thousand and ten, period. and then I include the address of the website because this is a longer website you do want to try and break them at
slashes because that’s that the clean break they’re all double-spaced and everything
after the first line is indented in MLA, you are trying to answer or
fill in as much as you can with the website but you’ll notice the
most websites are not going to give you absolutely everything or if they do
you know you’re lucky if you don’t have you can’t put if you don’t have an author, go onto the
next thing you do have if you don’t know the publisher you put
the N.p., if you don’t have a date, put an n.d., put what you can, do your best just take it one step at a time,
click around and see what’s there you may need to click in more than one
place to get all this information if you have any questions about citing
websites in MLA format please do not hesitate to get in touch with the
librarians either through the ask a librarian page in the library’s website or in person at the information desk

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