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MLA Website Citation: The Step-By-Step Guide

Like other popular academic paper formats, MLA style has specific requirements for referring to sources. Following guidelines and standards for organizing citations is essential as it helps readers navigate through academic papers and find borrowed information in texts.

We live in the age of digital progress, when more and more researchers are using electronic documents and web sources, but do you know how to cite them properly? This question is trickier than it seems. In this material, we are going to explain how to set up online sources in MLA correctly. Should you seek citing guidelines for other paper formats, you can find them here.

The Basic Aspects

As a dynamic system, the Internet changes quickly, and information on the net changes too rapidly. Therefore, it can be helpful to make copies of electronic documents you are planning to use. Moreover, there is another excellent tip when we are dealing with electronic sources. It is better to write down when you visit every website for the first time. You are advised to include this date via the word “Accessed.” However, using this component in a reference entry is optional.

Citing Web Sources in MLA: 4 Main Rules

Citing web sources in MLA can be challenging as we have so many complicated recommendations to follow. However, if you plan to compose an A-level essay in MLA format, it is handy to know the best practices.

Rule #1:

You should include a URL every time you add a web source to your bibliography. In MLA style, you need only the www. address; therefore, you should skip all HTTPS:// when adding URLs. If you see a DOI number (some electronic documents have DOIs), it is better to use it.

Rule #2:

Add the titles of containers where it is possible. For example, you may include citing vessels such as PubMed or Vimeo to ease access and verification. Why is it better? Using URLs can be problematic as they are usually not static. Plus, some electronic documents can locate in numerous places on the Internet.

Rule #3:

Some web sources offer so-called permalinks. Permalinks are stable and shortened variants of URLs. If there is a permalink, it is better to use it than the URL.

Rule #4:

Most web sources don’t have pages, and this fact can confuse inexperienced academic writers. In this case, you should use “par.” or “pars.” to mark the numbers of paragraphs. “Par.” is used for one section, and “pars.” is used for several paragraphs, respectively.

How to Cite Web Sources in MLA: a Sample

Generally, it would be best if you organized the reference entry for web sources in this order:

Author. “Title.” Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location (URL, DOI, or permalink), Date of Access (if available).

Remember that not all web sources have all this information, but you aim to get as much as possible.

Using various web sources in academic writing is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. You should know how to cite sources you find on the Internet if you want to compose excellent academic papers.

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