People who don’t cite their source can be charged with plagiarism. Citations in general can be difficult, and website citations can be even more confusing. Website sources often reflect citing online books or periodicals. Since there are too many different websites and citation styles, citing a website can be tricky. For a general website source, it’s recommended you learn a basic citation style. The two most common styles of citations are MLA and APA.
Here are the instructions for APA Style Citations and MLA Style Citations:
APA Style Citations (Publication for the American Psychological Association)
- List the author’s last and first name in the respective order. If you cannot find an author, list the organization or company’s name, webmaster or website maintainer. Begin the citation with the Web page’s title, followed by the publication date when no author information appears.
- Record the website’s publication date, copyright date or latest update if available. Include the month and the day in the publication date if it’s provided. Use the abbreviation “n.d.,” meaning “no date,” only if a date does not appear.
- Follow up with the article or Web page title. If citing a source from a larger website with a collection of articles, list the name of the larger website after the title.
- Type the words “Retrieved From” and copy and paste the website source’s direct URL afterward. For online journals and articles which contain a DOI, list the unique identifier following the URL.
MLA Style Citations (Publication for the Modern Language Association)
- List the author’s last name followed by the first name. If you cannot find an author then start the citation with the source’s title.
- Place the title of the article or source in quotation marks. Do not list the title of the overall website, but only the actual title of the page within the larger website.
- Follow the article’s title with the title of the parent website.
- If available, list the publication date or a date with the most recent update. If a publishing date fails to appear, use the abbreviation “n.d.,” meaning “no date.”
- When you’re done, list the source’s URL, followed by the date you accessed the Web source at the end of the citation.
Your works cited page should list the citations in alphabetical order. Remember, when citing websites the most important information is the title of the page or article and the URL. Citations require you to be attentive to all the minor details, many professors dock you down for minor mistakes. So be sure to include as much information as possible while citing a source.