Citing a Web Page in MLA Format

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11889

The Internet is awash with information, some of it useful, some of it bogus. You will no doubt use it for research, so learn how to tell the wheat from the chaff, and properly cite online sources!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Do you know why the Modern Language Association decided to develop the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook?

Maybe you can look it up online (hint, hint).

The MLA decided to create the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, which was published in 2016, due to the increase in the citing of online sources.

The MLA realized that new methods were needed to more effectively cite online sources in papers and projects. The majority of cited sources in the online format are web pages, so this lesson focuses on how to cite a web page.

Before learning how to cite a website in MLA format, it is important to know if the material you are using from the Internet is academically credible and reliable.

If you are unfamiliar with how to evaluate the quality of information on a web page, or want a refresher on the steps you can take to vet a web page, watch Credible Websites? from Hartness Library:

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Besides evaluating websites on your own, you can use the Google Scholar search engine to find academically-reliable sources for more advanced topics. You may want to take some notes on the criteria you can use for assessing the credibility of online sources.

web page

Once you know you have a credible online source, you need to know how to formulate the Works Cited page citation for it.

  • Do you remember the nine pieces of information that the MLA has established for citing all sources?

(If you cannot recall, review the last two Related Lessons in our MLA Works Cited Page series, found in the right-hand sidebar.)

The information used to cite sources in MLA is:

  1. author
  2. title of source
  3. title of container
  4. other contributors
  5. version
  6. number
  7. publisher
  8. publication date
  9. location

The information that you should look for when citing a web page is the author of the web page's content, the title of the web page, the title of the website, the site's publisher's name, the publication date of the web page, the page or paragraph numbers on the web page, the web address, and the date you accessed the web page.

To learn how to cite a web page, print the Citing a Web Page in MLA Format  handout found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Read the directions for how to cite a web page.

There are also many other types of online sources that you may have a need to cite in a paper or project, such as blogs, tweets, entire websites, images, etc. The citations still follow the nine pieces of information established by the MLA.

To see these citations for other types of online sources, refer to MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) from the Writing Lab and the OWL at Purdue, which you have used in previous lessons. Some reliable sources may also include a proper MLA citation at the bottom of the web page, but always double-check it for accuracy!

If you are a little overwhelmed by all the steps needed to cite a web page, just remember that the more you practice these types of citations, the easier they will become. Also, you can always refer to the list of nine pieces of information used for all citations or the handout from this section to follow the citation process for a web page.

Now, move on to the Got It? section to see a citation for a web page being created and get some much-needed practice with writing citations for web pages.

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