A website is a collection of information pages on the Internet that are written by an individual, organization, company, or institution. Websites can range in a variety of topics including news, sports, travel, and many other interests and hobbies.
To make a citation for a website, you will need the following pieces of information:
The author’s name
The title of the article or page
The title of the website
*The name of the publisher
The date the page or site was published
On the publisher:
Only include the name of the publisher when it differs from the name of the website.
In previous versions of MLA, researchers were not required to include the URL. In MLA 8, it is strongly recommended to include the URL in the citation. Even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL.
When including URLs in a citation, omit http:// and https:// from the website’s address.
When creating a citation that will be read on a digital device, it is helpful to make the URL clickable so that readers can directly access the source themselves.
Structure of a website citation in MLA 8:
Place the author’s name in reverse order, last name first, add a comma, and then the first name followed by a period. The title of the web page or article is placed in quotation marks, with a period before the end quotation. The title of the website is written in italics followed by a comma. If the name of the publisher differs from the name of the website, include it after the title. Immediately following the publisher is the date that the page or article was published, or posted. Finally, end with the URL. The URL is the website’s address.
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
Examples of website citations in MLA 8:
White, Lori. “The Newest Fad in People Helping People: Little Free Pantries.” Upworthy, Cloud Tiger Media, 3 Aug. 2016,
How to cite a website with no author in MLA 8:
Sometimes, websites do not clearly state who wrote the information on the page. When no author is listed, omit the author information from the citation. Start the citation with the title.
Example of a citation for a website without an author in MLA 8:
“Giant Panda.” Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institute, nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/giantpandas/pandafacts.
How to cite a website when there is no page title:
When citing a web page that does not include a formal title, it is acceptable to include a description of the page. Do not place the description in italics or in quotation marks. Follow the description with the name of the website.
Example of a website citation in MLA 8 when there is no page title in MLA 8:
General Information on the New York Mets. NYCData, The Weissman Center for International Business Baruch College/CUNY, www.baruch.cuny.edu/nycdata/sports/nymets.htm.
How to cite social media websites:
In an increasingly digital world, social media platforms have become one of the most popular sources students turn to when writing a research paper. Here are some examples of ways you can cite various social media platforms in your work:
Example of a twitter citation in MLA 8:
@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Date, Time, URL (omit http:// or https://).
@Britannica. “Nelson Mandela, who fought for racial equality and became South Africa’s 1st black president, was born #OTD in 1918.” Twitter, 18 Jul. 2017, 11:45 a.m.,twitter.com/Britannica/status/887382776747630594.
Example of citing Instagram in MLA 8:
Account holder’s Last name, First name or Username. “Photo Title or Description.”* Instagram, Other contributors, Date photo was published, URL (without http:// or https://).
*If no title is available, create a simple description and do not place it in italics or quotation marks.
National Geographic. Photo of Bering Sea. Instagram, photographed by Corey Arnold, 2 Apr. 2017, www.instagram.com/p/BSaisVuDk7S/?taken-by=natgeo.
Example of citing Facebook in MLA 8:
Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook,Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year post was viewed.
Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport. Accessed 26 June 2016.
Example of citing comments on social media posts in MLA 8:
List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed near the comment), and the URL.
Not Omniscent Enough. Comment on “Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument After Pasta.” ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.
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How to reference a Website using the Chicago Manual of Style
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, web address, and date accessed.
Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). Titles and affiliations associated with the author should be omitted. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr., should appear after the author’s given name, preceded by a comma.
For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma.
Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
If no author is available, begin the citation with the website owner.
Cable News Network. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The full page title, which is followed by a period, should be placed within quotation marks. Place the period within the quotation marks. Then include the website title, followed by a period. If the website title is not available, include the website owner in its place.
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” Cable News Network. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
Include the web address of the page. Next, place the text “accessed” and the date on which you accessed the website (written in the format of “month day, year”) in parentheses. Conclude the citation with a period after the parentheses.
For informal websites (such as home page or fan websites) or websites without formal titles, use descriptive phrases in your citation in place of page or website titles.
If the website has a print counterpart, such as the website for a newspaper, place the website title in italics.
Smith, John. “Catalonia Declares Independence from Spain.” New York Times. http://www.newyorktimes.com/POLITICS/11/21/catalonia_spain.html (accessed February 1, 2017).
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