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Citations & Plagiarism: Internet Resources

This guide can help you learn how to properly format your bibliographies and papers in AMA, APA, Chicago and MLA citation styles, and avoid plagiarism.

Citing Internet Resources

MLA lists electronic sources as Web Publications. Thus, when including the medium of publication for electronic sources, list the medium as Web.

It is always a good idea to maintain personal copies of electronic information, when possible. It is good practice to print or save Web pages or, better, using a program like Adobe Acrobat, to keep your own copies for future reference. Most Web browsers will include URL/electronic address information when you print, which makes later reference easy. Also, you might use the Bookmark function in your Web browser in order to return to documents more easily.

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA

MLA no longer requires the use of URLs in MLA citations. Because Web addresses are not static (i.e. they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the Web (e.g. on multiple databases), MLA explains that most readers can find electronic sources via title or author searches in Internet Search Engines.

For instructors or editors that still wish to require the use of URLs, MLA suggests that the URL appear in angle brackets after the date of access. Break URLs only after slashes.

Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. S. H. Butcher. The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 Sept. 2007. Web. 4 Nov. 2008. .

Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources

If publishing information is unavailable for entries that require publication information such as publisher (or sponsor) names and publishing dates, MLA requires the use of special abbreviations to indicate that this information is not available. Use n.p. to indicate that neither a publisher nor a sponsor name has been provided. Use n.d. when the Web page does not provide a publication date.

When an entry requires that you provide a page but no pages are provided in the source (as in the case of an online-only scholarly journal or a work that appears in an online-only anthology), use the abbreviation n. pag.

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research notes:

  • Author and/or editor names (if available)
  • Article name in quotation marks (if applicable)
  • Title of the Website, project, or book in italics. (Remember that some Print publications have Web publications with slightly different names. They may, for example, include the additional information or otherwise modified information, like domain names [e.g. .com or .net].)
  • Any version numbers available, including revisions, posting dates, volumes, or issue numbers.
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Take note of any page numbers (if available).
  • Date you accessed the material.
  • URL (if required, or for your own personal reference).

Internet Resources

Remember, all citations should be double-spacedand have hanging indentation!

 

Type Of Source Entry on Reference List Example
Entire Web Site Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access. Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003. Web. 10 May 2006.
Page on a Web Site For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow.com. eHow, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2009.
Artwork found on the Internet Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, the medium of publication, and the date of access. Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo National del Prado. Web. 22 May 2006.
Other Images Username. Title of Image. Name of Site. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sometimes found in copyright statements). Meduim of publication. Date of access. brandychloe. Great Horned Owl Family. Flckr.22 May 2006. Creative Commons. Web. 12 Oct. 2009.
Email Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom to message was sent, the date the message was sent, and the medium of publication. Kunka, Andrew. "Re: Modernist Literature." Message to the author. 15 Nov. 2000. E-mail.
Listserv Editor, screen name, author, or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site. Version number (if available). Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher). Medium of publication. Date of access. Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek. BoardGameGeek, 29 Sept. 2008. Web. 5 Apr. 2009.
Blog Last Name, First. "Title of Entry." Name of Blog. Date Posted. Medium of publication. Date you accessed the site . Hawhee, Debra. "Hail, Speech!" Blogos. 30 April 2007. Web. 23 May 2007 .
Course or Department Website Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title. Remember to use n.d. if not publishing date is given. Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England. Purdue U, Aug. 2006. Web. 31 May 2007.
Tweet Last Name, First (username). "Entire Tweet." Name of Blog. Date and time of message. Medium of publication. Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.