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How To Cite Website In Mla Format

What do students find the most challenging about essay writing? Probably, different things. However, there's one thing that might be particularly tricky for students to master: the formatting.

Though the professors (as well as many websites) do provide strict and very specific formatting guidelines, it could still be challenging. It's hard to keep all these requirements and limitations in mind, especially when you need to write a lot of different papers in different styles.

What's even more challenging is remembering these guidelines when it comes not to writing in general but to very specific things such as website citation. That's why we want to offer you this detailed guide on how to cite a website in MLA format.

How to cite a website in MLA format in a paper

What's important to remember about the MLA guidelines is that they actually don't require you listing the URL of a website mentioned. However, there can be an exception if your professors specify otherwise.

But what these guidelines do require is you to mention the website's publisher or sponsor - and that's where the real challenge starts. The tricky part here is that a sponsor or a publisher of a website is rarely an individual. In most cases, it's the companies or government entities we're talking about.

So this leads us to two options: you either have to cite a website mentioning the author or you need to cite a website that has no author. Here's how you can do that.

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How to cite a website that has an author

If we're talking about an article taken from a website, the structure would look like that:

Greenidge, Najay. «Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up». The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 Oct. 2017. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

First, you mention the last and the first name of the author (in this exact order), then you move on to writing the article's title. Then you need to mention the title of a website, its publisher, and the date the article was published. Write «Web» - this indicates that the informational source is an online one. Then write the date you found and read the article.

One of the most challenging thing for some of the students would be locating the name of the website's publisher or sponsor. Usually, it can be found at the very bottom part of the website, where the copyrights are. If there's no name mentioned there, you can search for it in the «About us» section of the website.

If you still aren't lucky enough, try conducting a small research. Usually, the names of big websites' publishers and sponsors are well-known and mentioned in Wikipedia, for example. However, if you still weren't able to find any, you still need to mention it in the citing. And here's how you can do that: by including the abbreviation «N. p.» right after the website's title. It would look like that:

Greenidge, Najay. «Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up». The New York Times. N.p., 10 Oct. 2017. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that sometimes there are versions of websites - and this too should be mentioned in citing, right after the website title. Here's how it would look:

Greenidge, Najay. «Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up». The New York Times. Version 10.1.2. The New York Times Company, 10 Oct. 2017. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

Now that you know how to cite a website in MLA format in the text when the author is known, you should learn how to do this if the author isn't mentioned.

How to cite a website that has no author

There are some websites that don't include authors in their publications. This doesn't make them less credible and less valuable for research, of course.

But when you stumble upon such websites, you would still want to know how to cite them properly. The whole process doesn't differ much from citing a website with an author - you only exclude the author's name from the list.

So here's how it would look like:

«Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up». The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 Oct. 2017. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

Pretty simple, right?

Sometimes, however, an article is provided by an organization or a news service. In this case, you should include it instead of mentioning the author. The important thing, however, is to remove any introductory articles from the service's or organization's name in this case:

New York Times. «Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up». The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 Oct. 2017. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

How to cite a picture in MLA format from a website

Sometimes you might need to include some images to your papers - as the reference, as the source of data, etc. These images can be photographs, illustrations or any other kinds of digital graphics (even the scans you saved on your computer).

Finding out how to cite these images properly is very important. Most of the styles used for paper writing have their own requirements for picture citation - just like they do for websites. So you need to learn and remember them as well.

As we're talking about MLA citing in this article, we want to focus on how to cite images taken from websites in MLA format. So here's how a properly cited image should look like:

Kim, Jenice. Digital drawing of two people looking at a phone. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 Oct. 2017. www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/opinion/college-social-media-hate.html.

As you see, citing of digital images means mentioning:

  • the name of its creator: last and first one, in that exact order;
  • the title: if an image doesn't have any specific title, write a short description of it. Don't use italics or quotation marks;
  • the name of the website where it was taken from as well as the name of other contributors responsible for this picture (if there are any);
  • the version of the picture (if there is one);
  • the name of the image's publisher (isn't obligatory);
  • the date this picture was published or created;
  • the image's location: URL, for example. Remember that if you're going to use an URL, you exclude «https://» from the address.

If there's a possibility a citation is going to be viewed from any digital device, it's also important to make it clickable, so the readers would be able to see the picture easily.

Of course, the possibility of you finding not enough information to cite the image is quite big. For example, there might be no title - and that's why we've included a specific tip for that. Remember that if you aren't able to find any relevant information, you could avoid including it in your citing - just make sure that it is indeed cannot be located anywhere. After all, there's a possibility that an author of the images does has a title for this certain image - only they mention it on their own website, not on the one the image was taken from.

Hopefully, these tips would make the whole MLA citing process much easier for you. While you still need to research a lot, pay attention to the details, and make sure you didn't miss anything, you'll at least have all the basics cover and will know what to focus on. So be observant, practice a lot - and soon citing would become an easy thing for you. We wish you good luck with that!

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