How to Cite a Website in MLA Format

how to cite a website mla
  • Published Date: September 1, 2017

A lot of research today is done using the Web, which can be tricky for some students when they don’t know how to cite Internet sources in their papers.

This article will show you how to cite a website using MLA style.

We’ll give some examples of how to do in-text citing and how to reference the source at the end of your paper.

First let’s look at the structure of the reference as it should appear at the end of your paper on your Works Cited page.


MLA 8 guidelines have recently changed the structure of MLA referencing, particularly when it comes to websites.

It is now recommended that URLs be included in references, with the http:// or https:// omitted from the address.

MLA 8 also does not require the medium of the publication to be identified in the reference.

So, for example, if the information on the site is written by an author, your website reference will look like this:

Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Website, Day Month (abbreviated) Year

published, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Here’s an example of an article you might site from the online source ZeroHedge:

Using the sample webpage above, the reference would be:

Durden, Tyler. “Bank of America; ‘This Could Get Ugly, We Think’.” ZeroHedge, 29

Aug. 2017, Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.

Citing a Website without an Author

Sometimes there is no clear author and all that can be used is the title of the webpage: in that case, the structure will look like this:

“Article Title.” Website. Website Publisher if different from name of website, Day Month (abbreviated) Year published, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Here’s an example of an article from Purdue OWL. Notice there is no clearly defined author:

Information about the publisher of the website can typically be found at the bottom of the page.

The reference for this site would look like this on your Works Cited page.

“MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications).” OWL: Purdue Online

Writing Lab. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue University, 18 July 2017, Accessed 31 Aug 2017.

Referencing an Image on a Website

Sometimes, researchers will use the Internet to find images that can be used in a report. Works of art, for example, can quickly be found online.

To reference an image or work of art, the following format can be followed:

Artist’s last name, first name. Title of the artwork. Date of creation. Institution, city

where the artwork is currently located. Website, URL. Date accessed.

An example might look like this:

Van Gogh, Vincent. Sunflowers. 1888. The National Gallery, London. The National

Gallery, Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.

tips for citing a website in mla format

Social Media

Social media such as Twitter and YouTube have become quite popular as reference sources, particularly because of the amount of news and information that can be retrieved from each.

To reference a tweet on Twitter, use this structure:

Twitter handle. “The entire tweet.” Twitter, Day Month year, Time, URL.

For example, a Twitter reference might look like this:

@realDonaldTrump. “First responders have been doing heroic work. Their courage &

devotion has saved countless lives – they represent the very best of America!” Twitter, 30 Aug. 2017, 6:00 p.m.,

When referencing a YouTube upload, you may structure the reference like this:

“Title of the video.” YouTube, uploaded by [username here], Day Month Year, URL.

For example, the reference might look something like this:

“The Mailman and the Drone.” YouTube, uploaded by Brickzkrieg, 28 June 2017,

If the author of the video is different from the uploader, the author’s name may be placed before the title. For example:

Warburg, Bettina. “How the blockchain will radically transform the economy.”

YouTube, uploaded by TED, 8 Dec. 2016,

Even comments on websites or blogs can be used as reference material, particularly in social studies research.

To reference a comment on a website, use this format:

Username. Comment on “Article Title.” Website, Day Month Year, Time, URL.

For example:

Father Christmas. Comment on “Bank of America; ‘This Could Get Ugly, We Think’.”

ZeroHedge, 29 Aug. 2017, Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.

Online Scholarly Journals

In research, a lot of information may come from academic journals held in online databases.

These can be referenced accordingly:

Author’s last name, first name. “Title of the article.” Title of the Journal, vol. #, no. #,

Year of publication, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

For example:

Herdiyati, Yetty and Nasya Daniya Marhani. “A Description of Nail Biting Habit in

Elementary School Children.” OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences, vol. 17, no. 2, 2017, pp. 66-69, Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.


It is also possible to reference content received in an email. Follow this format:

Author of the message. “Subject Line.” Received by [name], Day Month Year.

For example:

Doe, John. “Re: How to take out a loan.” Received by Jane Doe, 2 Jan. 2017.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations will be the same no matter what kind of online source it is.

In parentheses, you will include the author’s last name (if no author is given, use the title of the article or site).

You are not obliged to give a page number or paragraph number inside the parentheses when citing in-text.

Also, if you mention the article’s author in the sentence, you need not include it in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

So for example, an in-text citation might appear in a couple of varieties:

  1. As Tyler Durden notes, Bank of America is suggesting that there are plenty of risk indicators flashing bright red.
  2. Bank of America’s assessment of the bond market is that things could “get ugly” very quickly (Durden).

In either case, the corresponding reference on the Works Cited page would appear as such:

Durden, Tyler. “Bank of America; ‘This Could Get Ugly, We Think’.” ZeroHedge, 29

Aug. 2017, Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.


Howe to cite a website in MLA is one thing researcher writers should be aware of in the 21st century.

After all, online research is a great alternative to going to a physical library.

Plus, there is so much material available on the Internet—and in a variety of formats to boot—that it is almost a crime not to take advantage of it.

Being aware of how to cite a website is, therefore, a must.

We’ve examined how to reference websites, social media, comments, online scholarly articles, emails and more.

Some things to remember:

  • No need to include http:// or https:// when providing the URL.
  • Always be mindful of changes in MLA guidelines (the instructions provided here are taken from MLA 8—but these may be updated over time, so always check an official MLA publication).
  • When it comes to referencing material online, be careful about the type of sites you are citing. While using Twitter or other social media sites can be helpful in research, one must be careful about how they are used contextually in one’s essay.

Using the Internet can be a great way to help you research speedily and easily.

Hopefully this article has helped show you how to use and reference online material so that your paper can be effective and efficient.

Helpful Hints and Reminders:

1. You can cite a website even if there is no information about the author given.

2. MLA 8 wants you to drop the http:// and https:// from the URL on the Works Cited Page

3. Always put the title off the website in italics in your reference.

4. You can even cite emails!

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Cite This Resource:

Latest APA Format (6th edition)

Copy Reference
How to Cite a Website in MLA Format. (2017, September 1). Retrieved from

Latest MLA Format (8th edition)

Copy Reference
"How to Cite a Website in MLA Format." Student Network Resources Inc, 1 September. 2017. Web. 15 July 2024.

Latest Chicago Format (16th edition)

Copy Reference
Student Network Resources Inc. "How to Cite a Website in MLA Format." (accessed July 15, 2024).