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MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): Websites

Abbreviating Months

In your works cited list, abbreviate months as follows: 

January = Jan.
February = Feb.
March = Mar.
April = Apr.
May = May
June = June
July = July
August = Aug.
September = Sept.
October = Oct.
November = Nov.
December = Dec.

Spell out months fully in the body of your paper. 

Tips

Author

It can sometimes be difficult to find out who the author of a website is. Remember that an author can be a corporation or group, not only a specific person. Author information can sometimes be found under an "About" section on a website.

If there is no known author, start the citation with the title of the website instead.

Title

Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an. Do not use all-caps (except for words like USA where each letter stands for something), even if the words appear that way on the article.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).

Publisher

The publisher or sponsoring organization can often be found in a copyright notice at the bottom of the home page or on a page that gives information about the site. When the page is authored and published by the same corporation/group/organization, begin your citation with the section title. 

According to p. 42 of the MLA Handbook, publisher information may be omitted for:

  • periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
  • works published by an author or editor
  • web sites whose title is the same as the name of the publisher
  • a web site not involved in producing the work it makes (e.g. user-generated content sites like YouTube)

Date

The best date to use for a website is the date that the content was last updated. Otherwise look for a copyright or original publication date. Unfortunately this information may not be provided or may be hard to find. Often date information is located on the bottom of the pages of a website.

If you do not know the complete date, put as much information as you can find. For example, you may have a year but no month or day.

Access Date

Date of access is optional in MLA 9th edition. If no publication date is included, we recommend including the date you last accessed the site.

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Website - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, date of copyright or date last modified/updated if available, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Kenworthy, Lane. The Good Society, lanekenworthy.net. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name)

(Kenworthy)

Page or Document on a Website - Created by a Corporation, Group, or Organization

Name of Corporation//Group/Organization. "Title of Section." Title of Website, Publisher or Sponsoring Organization, Date of publication or last modified date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

 Note: When the page is authored and published by the same corporation/group/organization, begin your citation with the section title.

Works Cited List Example

"Audit and Assurance." Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, 2016, www.cpacanada.ca/en/business-and-accounting-resources/audit-and-assurance. Accessed 6 July 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

("Title of Section")

("Audit and Assurance")

Page or Document on a Website - Known Author

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 Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Morin, Amy. "Mom Am I Fat?: Helping Your Teen Have a Positive Body Image." Verywell Family, About Inc., 18 Jan. 2019, www.verywellfamily.com/media-and-teens-body-image-2611245. Accessed 12 May 2019.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name)

(Morin)

 

Page or Document on a Website - Unknown Author

"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 Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

"How to Teach Yourself Guitar." eHow, Demand Media, www.ehow.com/how_5298173_teach-yourself-guitar.html. Accessed 24 June 2016.

 Note: The above example has no copyright/last updated date. It is important to include the date of access if the source has no date specifying when it was produced or published.

In-Text Citation Example

("Title of Page or Document")

("How to Teach")

 Note: There is no author, so the title (or an abbreviated version of the title) is used in the in-text citation, in quotation marks, as it appears in the Works Cited List Example above.

 

Government Document from a Website - Author and Publisher are the Same

Title of Document: Subtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition, Name of Government Primary Agency, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Highlights from the Competition Bureau’s Workshop on Emerging Competition Issues. Competition Bureau of Canada, 4 Mar. 2016, www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/vwapj/cb-Workshop-Summary-Report-e.pdf/$FILE/cb-Workshop-Summary-Report-e.pdf. Accessed 6 July 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

(Shortened Title of Document Page number)

Example: (Highlights 4)

 Note: You can use a shortened form of the title by listing the first word or words of the full title.

Government Document from a Website - Author and Publisher are Different

Author. Title of Document: Subtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition, Name of Government Primary Agency, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Note: In MLA 9th ed., citations of government documents have been simplified for student papers. For student papers citing a small number of government documents, the MLA Handbook recommends treating government documents "just like any other source written by an organization" by "record[ing] the name as presented by the source" (120). For advanced projects where many government documents are cited, more detailed recommendations can be found in the MLA Handbook and in some online guides. You may see specialists follow these rules in order to provide complete information about the government, department, and agency and to standardize Works Cited entries.

Works Cited List Example

Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth. Children and Youth with Neuro-Diverse Special Needs. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Oct. 2019, https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/CommitteeDocuments/41st-parliament/4th-session/cay/Report_SSC-CY_41-4-1_Neuro-Diverse-Special-Needs.pdf. Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author Page number)

Example: (Select Standing Committee 14)

 Note: You can shorten group authors to the first noun phrase in parenthetical citations.

Blog Post

Author's Last Name, First Name or Username if real name not provided. "Title of Blog Post." Name of Blog, Blog Network/Publisher if given, Day Month Year of blog post, URL of blog post. Accessed Day Month Year blog was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Naish, Darren. "If Bigfoot Were Real." Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blogs, 27 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/if-bigfoot-were-real/. Accessed 28 June 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name)

(Naish)

 Note: Blog posts have no page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings so this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Wikipedia

"Title of Entry." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Day Month Year entry was last modified, Time entry was last modified, URL of entry. Accessed Day Month Year Wikipedia entry was last viewed.

 Note: The date and time the article was last modified appears at the bottom of each Wikipedia article.

Keep in mind that Wikipedia may not be considered an acceptable source for a college or university assignment. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check with your instructor if you can use it as a source in your assignment.

Works Cited List Example

"Body Image." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 June 2016, 7:41 pm, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image. Accessed 28 June 2016.

Citation Example

("Title of Entry")

("Body Image")

Citing Two Authors

If there are two authors, cite the the authors as follows (list authors in the order they are given on the page, not alphabetically):

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author.

Example: Smith, James, and Sarah Johnston.

Citing Three or More Authors

If there are three or more authors, cite only the name of the first author listed with their Last Name, First Name Middle Name followed by a comma et al.

Example: Smith, James, et al.