19th June 2019
MHRA Referencing – Citing a Website
Still using books when researching an essay? You might as well be living in the Stone Age. All the cool kids* are using the internet these days! But even in this glorious digital future, you need to reference sources clearly. As such, here’s our guide to citing a website with MHRA referencing.
Citing a Website in MHRA Footnote Citations
MHRA cites source information in footnotes. With a website, the first footnote should include the following:
n. Author Name, Page Title (Year Published/Last Updated) <URL> [Accessed Date].
In practice, then, the first footnote for a webpage would look like this:
1. Ken Ward, The Normans (2006) <http://www.oldcity.org.uk/norwich/history/history04.php> [Accessed October 2, 2017].
For subsequent citations of the same source, you can shorten footnotes to prevent repetition. For a website, this usually means citing the author’s surname plus the title of the webpage.
Websites in an MHRA Bibliography
The bibliography format for a website in MHRA is similar to the first footnote. The main differences are the order that the author’s names are given and the lack of a period, as shown below:
Surname, First Name, Page Title (Year Published/Last Updated) <URL> [Accessed Date]
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We would list the site cited in the example above, for instance, like this:
Ward, Ken, The Normans (2006) <http://www.oldcity.org.uk/norwich/history/history04.php> [Accessed October 2, 2017]
It won’t always be easy to find the relevant information when citing a website. However, you can still cite a source without every detail as long as you clearly indicate what is missing. The most common items of missing information for websites are the author’s name and date of publication:
Author Name: If the site does not name an author, cite the publishing organization instead.
Date: If no date of publication or last update is available, use “n.d.” (short for “no date”).
This applies both in footnotes and in the bibliography. Remember to check carefully, though, as most websites will include these details somewhere on the page (even if they’re hard to spot).
* Individuals in question may not actually be either “cool” or “kids.”
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