Is there anything you can’t find online these days? If there is, we don’t want to know about it. Admittedly, though, the only thing we truly care about is that you cite online sources correctly! Here, then, is our guide on doing exactly that when citing a website with MLA referencing.
MLA typically uses an author–page number citation format. However, websites do not have page numbers, so you might not know what to include when you cite a website in a college paper.
Thankfully, the solution to this is simple. All you need to do to cite a website in MLA referencing is include the first item of information that appears in the Works Cited list.
Usually, this will be the author’s surname, although you can use the title of the webpage if no author is named. If the author/webpage is named in the text, this is enough by itself. Otherwise, though, you would cite the source in brackets as follows:
The Museum of Modern Art describes its mission as being to “present a dynamic and varied offering of some of the most thought-provoking art produced today” (“Who We Are”). We can examine whether it achieves this by collecting visitor data (McIntyre).
Here, in the first citation, we’re citing the page titled “Who we are” from the MoMa website. The page does not name an author, so we use the title instead. In the second citation, we’re citing a different page from a different site and we give the author’s surname instead.
Works Cited List
All websites cited in your work should appear in the Works Cited list at the end of your document. The format here can vary a little, but you need to give enough information for your reader to find the website you’ve referenced.
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Typically, this will include:
Author name(s) (if available)
The name of the page cited
The title of the overall website
The date of publication or the date the page was last updated
A URL (minus the “https://” bit)
The date you accessed the page (if required by your school)
For the pages cited in the example above, then, we’d list them as follows:
McIntyre, Morris Hargreaves. “Visitor Behavior and Engagement in the Museums and Heritage Sector.” AMACultureHive, 18 Apr. 2013. www.culturehive.co.uk/resources/how-to-bridge-the-gap-between-data-and-insight-in-the-museums-and-heritage-sector/. Accessed 1 June 2018.
“Who We Are.” MoMa, 2018. www.moma.org/about/who-we-are/. Accessed 14 June 2018.
You may notice that, as well as the lack of an author, we don’t have a precise date for the “Who we are” page from the MoMa website. This is because the page does not have an upload date, so we have used the copyright date for the site as a whole instead.
The most important factor is that we’ve given the exact URL of the webpage, which will allow the reader to find the source used.