How To Cite A Website In MLA Research Paper: Useful Recommendations

When writing an MLA style research paper, students need to make sure that they have properly cited every quote or statistic. If citations are not done at all or they are not done properly, it technically constitutes plagiarism. To make sure that everything is correctly cited, students should use the following recommendations.

Keep a Personal Copy As a Back Up

Over time, websites delete their files or certain articles. To ensure that the citation still refers to the particular article, students should keep a physical or electronic copy of the site that they used. This will help the student to reference the page and ensure that the teacher will always be able to look at the actual information.

URLs Are Not Necessary Any Longer

In the past, MLA style required students to use the URL of the website in the citation. Over time, the authors of the style book have realized that web addresses change frequently or the same article may appear in different database. Due to this, the URL may change. To reflect this situation, MLA style asks students to use the title and author information instead.

What to Do When the Publisher Or Date Is Not Available

Sometimes, it is impossible to find out who was the publisher of a specific piece. When this is the case, students need to use an “n.p.” abbreviation to indicate that the publisher name is not available. If the publication date is not available, students can use the “n.d.” abbreviation to demonstrate that fact.

A Basic Overview of MLA Style

In essence, students will need to write down the author's name, the article name, the website title, the medium of publication and the date the material was viewed. The article name should be listed in quotation marks, while publisher information and the publication date can be included if it is available. Depending on the teacher, students may still be required to include the URL—although this is not required by MLA style. If so, the URL should be included in brackets at the end of the quote.

Depending on the type of website or the type of publication, some of the rules may change. To make sure that the student has accurately classified their sources, they should use an MLA style book to guide them. In addition, students can always check with their teacher to make sure that they have done website citations in their research paper correctly.

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