How to Cite an Internet Source


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). Here you will learn 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 you will learn MLA style for 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.

  • Italicize overall website name. Look at the web address or find the link to the homepage to find the title.

  • List the publication information. If you cannot find the publication information write, n.p. 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. If you cannot find a last updated date, write n.d.

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

  • Writing down the URL is no longer a required step in MLA, so check with your instructor for their personal preferences.

  • Check your Internet citation for accuracy. The final Internet source citation should look like this:
    Handschuh, Judith. “Author Profile: Harper Lee.” Teen n.p. 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 after the quote. For example: “Eighty percent 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.

Tips & Warnings

  • 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.
  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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