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How to Cite a Link in MLA

by Fitzalan Gorman, Demand Media

    The Modern Language Association format is commonly used when writing papers pertaining to the humanities and liberal arts. The seventh edition of the “MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers” provides guidelines on how to cite Internet sources on your works cited page. Unlike other styles, the MLA does not require you to include the URL in your citation.

    Entire Website

    If you use a whole website, not just a single page for your paper, then you must follow the MLA’s guidelines for an entire website. Begin your citation with the author’s last name, comma and then first name, if it is given. Follow this with a period. If no author is listed, begin with the title of the website. For the title of the website, write it in italics and title case, followed by a period. Then list the publisher or sponsor of the site, if given. Follow this with a comma, the date of publication formatted as day, month and year, and end with a period. Finally, write the medium of publication, which in this case is Web, a period and the date you accessed it. End with a final period. If there is no publisher name, write “N.p.” and write “n.d.” if no publishing date is provided. The finished entry might look like this: The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

    Website Page

    If you use only one page within a larger website, that requires its own formatting. Begin your citation with the author’s last name, comma and then first name, if it is given. Follow this with a period. If no author is listed, begin with the title of the Web page. For the title of the page, write it in title case with double quotation marks around it. Place a period before the final quotation mark. Next, write the title of the overall website site in italics and title case followed by a period. Then list the publisher or sponsor of the site, if given. Follow this with a comma, the date of publication formatted as day, month and year, and end with a period. Finally, write the medium of publication, which in this case is Web, a period and the date you accessed it. End with a final period. If there is no publisher name, write “N.p.” Write “n.d.” if no publishing date is provided. The finished entry might look like this: Bidgood, Jess. "Plum Island, Mass., Lies in Path of Storms." The New York Times. N.p., 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.

    Scholarly Journal

    When you use an online academic journal in your paper, the MLA recommends a distinct citation style. Begin your citation with the author’s last name, a comma, first name and a period. For the title of the page, write it in title case with double quotation marks around it. Place a period before the final quotation mark. Next, write the title of the publication in italics. Without placing any punctuation, insert a space and then write the volume number, a period (no space), issue number, year of publication within parentheses, a colon, the words “n. pag” and a period. This should be written in normal font. Finally, write the medium of publication, which in this case is Web, a period and the date you accessed it. End with a final period. The finished entry might look like this: Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal 6.2 (2008): n. pag. Web. 20 May 2009.

    Blog

    If you use information from a blog for your paper, the MLA offers a simple formatting solution. For this, begin with the author’s last name, a comma, first name and a period. Write the blog’s name within double quotation marks. Place a period before the final quotation mark. Then write “N.p.”, a space, “n.d.” Finally, write the medium of publication, which in this case is Web, a period and the date you accessed it. End with a final period. The finished entry might look like this: Weber, Jenna. “Eat, Live, Run.” N.p. n.d. Web. 19 Mar 2013.

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    Resources

    • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition; Modern Language Association; 2009

    About the Author

    Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.

    Photo Credits

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