MLA Cite Website: How to Cite a Website in MLA

Whether you are writing a school paper or planning to write a research book, proper citation is necessary, even if the information is from a website. Below is MLA cite website guidelines and includes citation for Facebook, YouTube, and other social media w how to write and use MLA cite with a website.

MLA Citation Website: 7 Basic Elements

No matter what website or online source you are citing, there will always stand a basic set of rules and elements you should follow, especially when using MLA format.

Among the basic elements of MLA format for website citation:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Date published
  • Publisher
  • Website Title
  • URL
  • Date Accessed

Some websites do not provide all these details. If you stumbled upon one, you don’t have to look for another source; it is accepted that some information could be missing. You can leave other basic elements, especially if you cannot procure them.

Structure:Author (Last Name, First Name), “Title.” Website Title (In italics), Publisher, Access Date (Day Month Year), URL.
Example:Taggart, Adam. “Government’s Big Mess: Debt CEILING, Gridlock, Taper & Taxes.” GoldSilver.com, GoldSilver, 29 Sept. 2021, https://goldsilver.com/blog/governments-big-mess-debt-ceiling-gridlock-taper-taxes-wealthion/.
In-Text (Taggart, Government’s Big Mess)

Citing An Online Article

Using a news article for MLA cite website

Online articles can include a variety of news sources that do not classify as a journal or social media post. Once you have verified it is neither of those two, you can quickly and easily format the details. And, the best part of citing an online article is it includes all the basic elements of an MLA citation website.

StructureAuthor (Last Name, First Name), “Title.” Website Title (In italics), Publisher, Access Date (Day Month Year), URL.
Example:Raghavan, Sudarsan. “Afghans Bury Paintings and Hide Books out of Fear of Taliban Crackdown on Arts and Culture.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 30 Sept. 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/afghanistan-taliban-arts-culture/2021/09/29/c58c79bc-1b0a-11ec-bea8-308ea134594f_story.html.
In-Text:(Raghavan, “Afghans Bury Paintings”)

Citing A Journal

Like websites and online articles, journals share the same structure. The only difference you are required to have the digital object identifier (DOI), and other details such as particular pages and even the volume/issue/series.

Online-Only Journal

If you accessed an online-only journal, you can leave the usual website URL and replace it with the journal’s DOI. Here’s how to cite an online-only journal in MLA format, including an example and in-text.

StructureAuthor(s) in alphabetical order, “Title.” Journal Title (In italics), Volume.,Issue Number., Year, Page Range, DOI.
Example:Infuehr, Jakob, and Volker Laux. “Managerial Optimism and Debt Covenants.” Journal of Accounting Research, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-679x.12402.
In-Text:(Infuehr and Volker, Managerial Optimism)

Online Journal With Print Counterpart

What will be the MLA format if the journal you found online has a print counterpart? You can treat it as an amalgamation of a journal and an article in the sense that you should add both journal and website information portions.

StructureAuthor, “Title.” Website Title (In Italics), Year Published, specific pages referring to, DOI, Access Date.
Example:Chapman, Robert. “Neurodiversity, Disability, Wellbeing.” Neurodiversity Studies, 2020, pp. 57–72., https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429322297-7. Accessed 30 Sept. 2021.
In-Text:(Chapman, 55)

Citing A Web Page in MLA format

Similar to citing an online-only article, you can easily cite a web page. Plus, DOI is not required on the MLA cite website. Moreover, there usually are no authors or publications date listed on web pages. If that’s the case, you can skip those details.

With Two Authors

When a web page has two authors, you will only need to list them in alphabetical order.

StructureAuthor Last Name, First Name and Second Author Last Name First Name. “Title.” Journal Title, Volume.,Issue Number., Year, Page Range.
Example:Dubner, Stephen J, and Steven D Levitt. “Freakonomics.” Perlego, https://www.perlego.com/book/589324/freakonomics-pdf.
In-Text:(Dubner, Levitt)

With Three or More Authors

If there are more than two authors, you don’t have to include them all in the MLA website citation. What you should do is use “et al.,” which is Latin for “and other.” To use “et al.,” you should cite the first two authors, and anyone after that becomes “et al.”

StructureFirst Author (Last Name First Name), Second Author (Last Name First Name), et al. Website Title, Publisher, URL, Date Accessed.
Example:Franklin, Mitchel, et al. Openstax. https://assets.openstax.org/oscms-prodcms/media/documents/FinancialAccounting-OP_YioY6nY.pdf.
In-Text:(Franklin, Mitchel, et al.)

Without Author

If you can’t locate the author of a web page, you can skip it. The rest of the citation carries on as usual and leads with the next part of a standard citation.

Structure“Title.” Website Title, Publisher, URL.
Example:“WWF History.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, https://www.worldwildlife.org/about/history.
In-Text:(WWF History)

Without Date

It’s also pretty common to come across websites without a date. If this is the case, it is okay to leave the date out in your citation.

StructureAuthor, “Title.” Website Title (In italics), Publisher, URL.
Example:Hassler, Warren W. “American Civil War.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/event/American-Civil-War.
In-Text:(Hassler, American Civil War)

Citing An Entire Website

When trying to cite an entire website, you only need six elements. If one of those details is not available, you can omit it from the MLA website citation.

StructureEditors, Website Title, Publisher, Publication Date, Date of Access, and URL.
Example:“Cluny Hand and a Half Sword.” Medieval Collectibles, 26 Sept. 2021, https://www.medievalcollectibles.com/product/cluny-hand-and-a-half-sword/.
In-Text:(Medievalcollectibles)

So, when do you cite an entire website? You will only cite a whole website when you cannot find any visible page numbers, applicable authors, and other details.

MLA Citation Website: Citing Publishers

With the Same Publisher Name

If the website name is the same as the publisher’s name, you may omit the publisher’s name from the citation.

StructureAuthor (Last Name, First Name), “Title.” Website Title (In italics), Access Date (Day Month Year), URL.
Example:Taggart, Adam. “Government’s Big Mess: Debt CEILING, Gridlock, Taper & Taxes.” GoldSilver.com, 29 Sept. 2021, https://goldsilver.com/blog/governments-big-mess-debt-ceiling-gridlock-taper-taxes-wealthion/.
In-Text:(Taggart, Government’s Big Mess)

With Different Publisher Name

While citing a website with the same publisher name requires you to only include the website title in the citation, a different publisher name requires you to have both.

StructureAuthor (Last Name, First Name), “Title.” Website Title (In italics), Publisher, Access Date (Day Month Year), URL.
Example:Raghavan, Sudarsan. “Afghans Bury Paintings and Hide Books out of Fear of Taliban Crackdown on Arts and Culture.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 30 Sept. 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/afghanistan-taliban-arts-culture/2021/09/29/c58c79bc-1b0a-11ec-bea8-308ea134594f_story.html.
In-Text:(Raghavan, “Afghans Bury Paintings”)

Citing Social Media Websites

Citing social media posts may seem intimidating at first, but it’s straightforward. All you need is the username, date, and description of the post. Most social media websites share similar structures. Below are MLA citations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even comments.

Twitter

StructureTwitter Handle (First Name Last Name if Known). “The entire tweet verbatim.” Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.
Example:@elonmusk (Elon Musk). “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”. Twitter, 8 August 2018, 2:48 AM, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1026872652290379776?lang=en.
In-Text:(Musk)

Instagram

Citing an Instagram post is much the same as Twitter with one minor tweak, and that is citing a photo.

StructureAccount Holder’s Last name, First name (Username). “Photo Title or Description.” Instagram, Date Photo was Published, URL.
Example:Thebig4accountant. Satirical picture of client sites for auditors. Instagram, 20 September 2021, https://www.instagram.com/p/CUC3d2rLRcw/.
In-Text:(Thebig4accountant)

Facebook

StructureAuthor Last Name, First Name, or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Access Date (Day Month Year).
Example:Progressives in the HOR are revolting; the White House welcomes it. Facebook. 30 September 2021, 7:58 AM, https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=politico. Accessed 30 September 2021.
In-Text:(Politico)

YouTube

Citing YouTube will be pretty much the same as citing Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The only difference is you’ll have to add the video’s title in the citation.

StructureAuthor last name, First Name. “Title of Video.” YouTube, uploaded by Screen Name, day month year, URL.
Example:Pool, Tim. “UK Prepare Military Deployment As Gas Shortage Sparks Panic, Biden Policy is Driving Economic Crises.” YouTube, Uploaded by Tim Pool, 28 September 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwAc1TxEK2w.
In-Text:(Tim Pool)

Comments

When citing comments from a website, you will need to use specific language to make sure others know it was a comment about the post.

StructureUsername. Comment on “Title.” Publisher, Date (D M Y), Time (near the comment), URL.
Example:Steve Baker. Comment on “I need to hire 5-10 good programmers for my startup within a month. Where is the best place to find them?” Quora, 14 October 2020, https://www.quora.com/?pa_story=MTE1MzgzODI5MTI4OTM5MzY5OXwyMTExMDYyMzYwMDY2NjJ8MA**.
In-Text:(Baker)

Citing An Email

Citing an email is super easy. You will only focus on four to five elements, including the first and last names, the email recipient, and the date.

StructureLast Name, First Name M.I. Email to (recipient’s name). Date.
Example:Jefferson, Thomas M, Email to Molly Smith. 30 September 2021.
In-Text:(Jefferson)

Citing A Group

StructureName of Group. “Title of Section.” Website Title, Publisher, Publication Date, URL. Access Date.
Example:PCAOB. “Auditing Standards.” PCAOB, 15 December 2020, https://pcaob-assets.azureedge.net/pcaob-dev/docs/default-source/standards/auditing/documents/auditing_standards_audits_after_december_15_2020.pdf?sfvrsn=5862544e_4. 30 September 2021.
In-Text:(PCAOB)

Mastering MLA Cite Website

It can be tricky to master MLA cite website formats and rules. With practice and patience, you can adequately add MLA citations like a pro! Plus, you can always refer back to this MLA cite website guide whenever you are stuck.

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