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MLA Style Guide: Web Sources

updated citation and formatting for MLA7

Web Rules

MLA Basics: Web Rules

When citing sources from the Internet, try adding as much of the following in the same sequence:

1. Contributor information
2. Title of work (quotes)
3. Title of overall website (italicized)
4. Version / Edition
5. Publisher or sponsor of website
6. Date of electronic publication
7. Medium of publication (web)
8. Date accessed


Sources Published Directly Online

Sources published directly online have no in print originals, and therefore, it is important to include online publication information (i.e. the website publisher/sponsor and date of electronic publication). If unavailable, for online only sources, MLA7 suggests writing “N.p, n.d.” which means no publisher and no date, respectively. We believe adding such place holders is unnecessary, as it provides no information, and the lack of information can be assumed by its absence in the citation.

Citing an article from an online only resource

Citing an entire website with no identifiable electronic publication date
* Note that newspaper and magazines websites are considered non-periodical, directly published online sources even if they have in-print copies. Follow the published directly online format.

Citing an article from an online only news source

* Many times, the publisher’s name is the same as the online newspaper name.

Citing an article from an online newspaper

* Some online only sources have publication information unique to its source type, such as online only journals (volume & issue information). Follow the journal format and add information on the date accessed.

Citing an online only journal


Sources Published Indirectly Online

As opposed to some sources published by a website (direct), other sources may be originally in print, or in another medium, and found online. Cite these sources as you would in their original form, and then add as much relevant web information as possible (website title, publisher / sponsor, date of electronic publication, medium, and date accessed). However, because the source was not published by the website, you do not have to use the “N.p, n.d.” place holders if no website publisher or date of electronic publication is available.

Citing a book originally in print found online


Citing a newsletter found online with no page information

Citing a video found online


Citing a painting viewed online


Citing a musical recording listened to online, with no discernible manufacturer or date


Citing a digital image


 *Note: In the above example the title is not in quotes because it is a description of the digital image. The URL was truncated to the search URL because it was too long and complicated.

Sources found in online databases typically have been published elsewhere. Include as much as the original publication information as possible, and then add the database name, medium (web), and the date accessed.

Citing an originally in print journal article found in a database