Selections from Books
Citing Internet Sources in MLA Style
Remember that entries in the Works Cited list are listed alphabetically
This page covers web pages and articles in periodical databases
such as Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, FirstSearch, Proquest
Direct, JSTOR, Science Direct, etc.
Do not just copy the "citation"
given by the databases. While this part provides important
information, it often leaves out the far more important information
of the access date and the database name. It may also not
be in MLA style.
The citation for an electronic source includes citation for any
print counterpart of the source, followed by information about the
electronic resource. It is crucial that this information be
included, because the electronic resource may be an updated version
of the print counterpart. The date the electronic resource
was accessed is important because the resource may be changed before
someone looking at your sources checks it.
When citing a web page, cite the specific page from which
you obtained information, not the site's home page. Remember
that a citation is supposed to make it so your reader can find your
original source; including the home page of a large site will do
The information on this page is based on the MLA
Style FAQ: Documenting Sources from the World Wide Web and details
from the pages for print sources.
The components of a Works Cited list entry for articles from an
online source, listed in the proper order:
Editor, Compiler, or Translator
For the first
(or only) author, first include the author's last
name, followed by a comma, followed by the author's first
If the author's name has already been
listed on the Works Cited page, do not list it again.
Instead, use "---" for all works other than
the first. List all the works by an author alphabetically
For two or three authors, list
the authors in the order in which they appear on the title
page. Do not reverse the names of authors other
than the first. Follow each author's name with a
comma and precede the last author with "and."
For four or more authors, either
list all the authors as with two or three authors, or
cite only the first author listed on the title page, followed
by ", et. al."
- If there is no author, but an editor or editors instead,
list the editor(s), followed by a comma and "ed."
- If there is no author, but a translator instead,
include the translator, followed by a comma and "trans."
- If there is no author, but a compiler instead,
include the compiler, followed by a comma and "comp."
- If the work is anonymous, start the citation with
the title (and alphabetize it based on the title.)
of a Short Work
- If you're citing an article, short
story, poem, etc., enclose the title of the article
or the headline within quotation marks.
- If you're citing a web page, enclose the title
of the page within quotation marks. Use either the
header of the page or the title that displays in the Netscape
title bar. (If the page has frames, it's best to right
click and choose "Open Frame in New Window" to
get the frame title.)
- If you're citing an e-mail,
- First enclose the subject line within quotation marks
as the title. Put a period within the quotation
marks. Use standard capitalization
for the subject line.
- Then follow the subject line with "E-mail to"
and the first and last name of the recipient.
- If you're citing a posting to a discussion list or
- Enclose the subject line within quotation marks as
the title. Put a period within the quotation marks.
Use standard capitalization
for the subject line.
- Follow the subject line with "Online posting."
- If there is a title within the title, use single
quotation marks (like apostrophes) for the shorter title.
- The period goes inside the quotation marks.
of a Book
- If the work is from a book,
encyclopedia, dictionary, or report, include its title,
italicized or underlined.
- If there is a title within the title, do not italicize
or underline the shorter title. If the shorter title
is usually within quotation marks, retain the quotation
- Click here for notes on
Editor, Compiler, or Translator
- Note that this section
deals with the editor of the article text. The editor
of the site comes later.
- If the article has both author(s) and editor(s),
include the name of the editor(s), preceded by "Ed."
- If the article is a translation, write "Trans."
followed by the name of the translator.
- If there is an author and a compiler of the article,
write "Comp." followed by the name of the compiler.
- If there is a print counterpart
of the article or book published on the Internet, give
the publication details of the print version, i.e. finish
off the complete citation for the print counterpart:
- Books: Add the:
- Encyclopedias and Dictionaries: Add the edition/date.
- Selections from Anthologies: Add the:
- Articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers:
or Database Title
- If the main site on which
this page is located has a title, (i.e. a scholarly
project, database, or professional or personal site), include
the title of the main page, italicized or underlined.
- If the article is part of a professional or personal
site with no title, substitute "Home page"
here in plain text.
- If the site is a scholarly project
or database and the editor is available, include the
name of the editor(s), preceded by "Ed." or "Eds."
- If there is a version number
for the source and it is not part of the title, include
- Give the date the article or
page was last updated or posted. Include
as much of the day, month (abbreviated),
and year (four digits) as is given, e.g. "4 July 2000"
or "July 2000" or "2000."
- The last update date of a web page is usually given at
the bottom or top of a page. A posting date may also
be given on the page one level higher (such as a page that
is an index of articles).
- If the article is
from a subscription service, include the name of the
service (in plain text).
- If the library is a subscriber to the service, place
a period after the service name, and then include the following,
separated by commas:
- The name of the library.
- The city (and state, if the city is not well-known)
of the library.
- If you are citing a posting
to a discussion list or forum, give its name here (in
- If they are numbered, give
the number range or total number of pages, paragraphs, or
- If you include the number of paragraphs, use the
- Include the name of any institution
or organization sponsoring or associated with the web site.
- Use "U" to abbreviate "University."
- Include the date you accessed
the source. Use the following order: day (digits),
month (abbreviated), and year
(four digits), e.g. "4 July 2000."
- This date is different from the update
date, which gives the date the page was last updated.
It is when you looked at it, and it is important because
the site may have changed since then.
||None (a single space before
- If the source is a web page,
enclose the URL (or web address) of the page within angle
brackets (< >).
- If the source page has frames, it is best to use the
URL of the frame you're citing. In Netscape, you
can locate that URL by right clicking the frame and
selecting "Open Frame in New Window."
- If the article is from a subscription service,
give the URL of the service's main page in angle brackets
- In a printed essay, the URL should not be a link,
although Word's AutoCorrect feature will convert text it
thinks is a web address to a link. To convert this
URL back to plain text, type Ctrl+Z (Undo) immediately.
You can also turn
off this feature permanently.
- If you have to split the URL onto multiple lines,
split it only after a slash.
- If the article is from a subscription service and has
a keyword assigned to it (as in America Online), type
"Keyword:" followed by the keyword.
Read the Notes on punctuation
and spacing and on italicization and underlining.
Citation Examples (from The Ready Reference
Buss, Pauline. "Choosing a New Computer For Your Office." E-mail to Joseph Sternberg.
18 Jan. 1996.
Connolly, Frank W. "Intellectual Honesty in the Era of Computing." 21 Oct. 1995.
Loyola U of Chicago. 9 Aug. 1998 <http://www.luc.edu/infotech/sae/honesty.html>.
[Article at Scholarly Site]
Denman, Kamilla. "Emily Dickinson's Volcanic Punctuation." Emily Dickinson
Journal 2.1 (1993). 29 Jan. 1998. 33 pars. U of Colorado. 9 Sept. 1998
[Article in Scholarly Journal]
Doran, Brian T. "Re: Is Yellowstone Ever Closed to Overcrowding?" Online posting.
25 May 1997. The Total Yellowstone Chat Page. 31 July 1998
[Posting to a Discussion Group]
FairTest. National Center for Fair and Open Testing. 1 July 1998. 30 Aug 1998
Gordon, Danielle. "The Usual Suspects." Chicago Reporter Sept. 1998: 88 pars.
Digital City Chicago. America Online. 28 Sept. 1998 <http://chicagoreporter.com/
[Source from Subscription Service]
James, Frank. "U.S. Judges Reject Census Sampling." Chicago Tribune 25 Aug. 1998,
sec. 1:1. 25 Aug. 1998 <http://chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/article/
"Jericho." Encyclopedia of the Orient. 1997. Centre d'Information Arabe Scandinave.
4 Jan. 1998 <http://l-cias.com/e.o/jericho.htm>.
[Article in a Reference Database]
Lawton, Millicent. "ETS Disputes Charges of Gender Bias." Education Week 14 May
1997: 1+. 3 June 1998 <http://www.edweek.org/we/vol-16/33ets.h16>.
Neumann, Kurt. Home Page. 27 Aug. 1998. <http://www.harper.cc.il.us/~kneumann>.
Reclaiming Our Heritage: What We Need to Do to Preserve America's National
Parks. 1997. 5 chs. Natural Resources Defense Council. 31 July 1998
[Lengthy Online Document]
Thoreau, Henry David. "Where I Lived and What I Lived For." Walden. 1854.
Project Gutenberg. Jan. 1995. U of Illinois. 1 Sept. 1998
There are also several examples
on the MLA
Style FAQ: Documenting Sources from the World Wide Web.
More examples can be found
Citation Examples for Databases from the
Barnett, Andy. "A Survey of Internet Searches and their Results." Reference
and User Services Quarterly 39.2 (1999): 177-81. WilsonSelect. FirstSearch.
L. A. Beeghly Library, Huntingdon, PA. 4 July 2000 <http://firstsearch.oclc.org>.
Zuckerman, Sam. "Bank Wins Round on ATM Fees; Judge Rules S.F. Surcharge Allowed."
San Francisco Chronicle 4 July 2000, Final, sec. A: 1. General News. 4 July 2000.
Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. L. A. Beeghly Library, Huntingdon, PA. 4 July 2000