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American History: Survey

Web Research Guide

Citation Guidelines and Examples

Return To: Citing Web Sources

  • The MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association) are the two most common styles used for citing sources. This tutorial focuses on the MLA style.
  • In-Text Citations
  • With the MLA style, you are supposed to cite the source in the body of your report and in the Works Cited page. Immediately following the sentence, passage, or idea you've quoted or paraphrased, list the author's last name and the specific page number (if one is included) in parentheses. Since most Web documents do not have page numbers, you should provide the number of the paragraph you are quoting or paraphrasing. The standard abbreviation for paragraph is par.
  • Example: Hurricane hunters use a variety of instruments to detect information about a hurricane. One of these instruments, the dropsonde, is a small, round device with a built-in parachute. (de la Hoz, par. 5)
  • Works Cited List
  • Entries for online sources in your Works Cited page should include as much of the information listed below as available.
    • Name of the author or editor (if given) of a professional or personal site, scholarly project or database, journal, or magazine article.
    • Title (underlined) of the scholarly project, database, periodical, or professional or personal site. For a professional or personal site with no title, use a description such as Home page (neither underlined or in quotation marks).
    • For a journal, the volume number or issue number and the date of electronic publication or the latest update (if available).
    • For a work from a subscription service, list the name of the service and—if a library is the subscriber—the name of the library and its location.
    • The page (if available) or the specific paragraph number in which you found the information.
    • Name of any institution or organization that sponsors or is associated with the Web site.
    • Date you accessed the source.
    • URL of the source.