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How to Do Internal Citations for a Website

by Forest Time, Demand Media

    Internal citations are citations that appear parenthetically within the text. Both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) require the use of internal citations whenever you paraphrase or quote from another person's work. Whenever possible, format in-text citations for Internet sources just as you would any other source. However, Internet articles that do not also appear in print, as well as many web pages and documents, lack page numbers, and many lack authors. Luckily, both the MLA and APA publish guidelines for proper in-text citation in the absence of such relevant publication information.

    MLA Style

    Step 1

    List the last name of the author. If the author is an organization, list the name of the organization.

    Step 2

    List the page number you are referencing, if possible. This will only apply to articles that also appear in print.

    Step 3

    Enclose your citation in parentheses. For example: (Smith 11). If no author name is given, you may use the title of the web page in quotation marks. For example: ("10 Ways to Fish" 11). If the web page or article is not paginated, omit this information from your citation. It is not necessary to give a paragraph number.

    Step 4

    Position your citation directly after the quoted or paraphrased passage. For example: One website suggests that the best way to catch a trout is to "wiggle the line every six to eight seconds" ("10 Ways to Fish" 11).

    APA Style

    Step 1

    List the last name of the author. If the author is an organization, list the name of the organization.

    Step 2

    List the year of publication.

    Step 3

    List the page number you are referencing, if possible. Precede page numbers with "p." This will only apply to articles that also appear in print.

    Step 4

    Enclose your citation in parentheses. Separate the elements of your citation with commas. For example: (Smith, 2010, p. 11). If no author name is given, you may use the title of the web page in quotation marks. For example: ("10 Ways to Fish," 2010, p. 11). If no year of publication is given, use "n.d." For example: ("10 Ways to Fish," n.d., p. 11). If the web page or article is not paginated, include information that helps the reader locate the passage you are quoting. You may give a paragraph number or list the heading of the section you are quoting. For example: ("10 Ways to Fish," n.d., para. 4).

    Step 5

    Position your citation directly after the quoted or paraphrased passage. For example: One website suggests that the best way to catch a trout is to "wiggle the line every six to eight seconds" ("10 Ways to Fish," n.d., para. 4).

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    About the Author

    Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.

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