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MLA Citation Style Guide

Creating citations in MLA format

Internet Sources

As of the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, all citations follow a standard format, with elements omitted if they do not apply to the source:

Author/creator. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

In the case of online sources, the definitions for each of these elements are as follows.

  • Author – The person who wrote or created the online source, if available. Author/creator names are presented as follows:
    • One Author – Last Name, First Name.
    • Two Authors – Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.
    • Three or More Authors – Last Name, First Name, et al.
  • Title of Source – The title of the article, website, or video. If it is an article or short video, put the Title of Source in quotation marks. If it is an entire website, a longer video, or a work of art, put the Title of Source in italics.
  • Title of Container – The title of the parent website in italics. Omit Title of Container if you are citing an entire website.
  • Other Contributors – Usually does not apply to online sources.
  • Version Usually does not apply to online sources.
  • NumberUsually does not apply to online sources.
  • Publisher – The company or organization responsible for publishing the item. If the Publisher is the same as the Title of Container (the parent website), omit this element.
  • Publication Date – The date the material was published. Include the day and month whenever possible.
  • Location – The URL of the item. If you accessed the item through a database, omit this element – the URL will go after the title of the database (see below).

If you found the item in a database, you will need to repeat the following two elements at the end of your citation:

  • Title of Container – The name of the database. It is italicized.
  • Location – The DOI (digital object identifier) or URL of the item. DOIs are preferred. If a DOI is not available, try to find the permalink or stable link in the item’s database record.

If you found the item on the open Web (not through a database – for example, a Tweet or a personal blog entry), you’ll need to include the Date Accessed at the end of the citation. Since content from the open Web can be updated or removed at any time, it’s important to include the date you used the material.

When you create your Works Cited page, it should have the following elements:

  • It should be double-spaced like the rest of your paper.
  • The title Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page.
  • Your citations should be left-justified with a hanging indent of 0.5 inches.


Usually, you’ll use only part of a website (a section or article – see the next example). Only cite an entire website if you really did use all of it.

Occupational Outlook Handbook. United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 22 June 2016.


Cush, Andy. “Hours After Brexit Vote, Leader of ‘Leave’ Movement Admits One Major Promise Was a Sham.” Gawker

     24 June 2016, Accessed 24

     June 2016.

United States, Congress, House. “Survey Says!...It's Time for #CuresNow!” Energy and Commerce Committee

     23 June 2016, Accessed 24

     June 2016.


Haffner, Craig, and Donna E. Lusitana, executive producers. The Presidents: 1865-1885. The History Channel,

     2005. Films on Demand,

I Wasn't Ready. Orange Is the New Black, created by Jenji Kohan, performance by Taylor Schilling, season 1, 

     episode 1, Tilted Productions, 2013. Netflix,


Aranda, Michael, host. “Sprites, Jets, and Glowing Balls: The Science of Lightning.” SciShow, 23

     June 2016, Accessed 24 June 2016.

Gage, Greg. “How to Control Someone Else’s Arm with Your Brain.” TED Talks, March 2015, Accessed 24

     June 2016.


“Annual Average Unemployment Rate for Men (State) (2014).” United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of

     Labor Statistics, 2014. Sage Stats, Accessed 24 June 2016.

“Global Cotton Production Volume from 1990 to 2016 (in 1,000 Bales)*.” National Cotton Council, 2016. Statista,


Aldegrever, Heinrich, printmaker. Intemperance. 1528. The New York Public Library

     Digital Collections, Accessed 24 

     June 2016.

van Gogh, Vincent. Starry Night. 1889. Wikimedia Commons, Accessed 24 June 2016.


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