Citation Guide

How to cite a website in a bibliography using MLA

The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, medium, and date accessed.

Last Name, First Name. "Page Title." Website title. Sponsoring Institution/Publisher, Publication Date. Medium. Date Accessed.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

The first author's name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the website. Titles and affiliations associated with the author should generally be omitted. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr. should appear after the author's given name, preceded by a comma.

For a page with two or more authors, list them in order as they appear on the website. Only the first author's name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma, and place the word "and" before the last author's name. For pages with three or more authors, you may either include each author in the citation or only include the first author, followed by the abbreviation "et al."

Smith, John, Jane Doe, and Bob Anderson. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Smith, John, et al. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

If the article was written by a news service or an organization, include it in the author position and remove any introductory articles (e.g. A, An, The) from the name.

Associated Press. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

If no author is available, begin the citation with the page title.

"Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

The page title should be placed within quotation marks. Place a period after the page title within the quotation marks. The page title is followed by the name of the website, which is italicized, followed by a period. If a version number of the website is available, include it and a period after the website title.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Version 12.1.1. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Include the sponsoring institution or publisher, along with a comma, after the website title (or version number, if available). The sponsoring institution/publisher can usually be found at the bottom of the website in the footer. If no sponsoring institution/publisher is available, include the abbreviation "N.p." instead.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. N.p., 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Next state the publication date of the page. The complete date should be written in the international format (e.g. "day month year"). Month names should be abbreviated, except for May, June, and July, and followed by a period. In some cases, a specific date might not be available, and the date published may only be specific to a month or even year. Provide whatever date information is available. If there is no date available, substitute the abbreviation "n.d." instead.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Cite the medium in which the article was published (which for a website is "Web") and a period. End your citation with the date on which you accessed the website (also formatted using the international format of "day month year") and a period.

You may choose to include the web address of the page, but only when the reader needs the URL to access the page or otherwise required by your professor. Although MLA guidelines previously recommended including URLs in a bibliography entry, that is no longer the case. In general, URLs are subject to change and can become outdated, refer to a session in use, and be very long. Users are more likely to find an article now by searching titles or author names. If you choose to include a URL, place it after the date of access (and its subsequent period) by enclosing it in angle brackets. Place a period after the angle brackets.

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009. <http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html>.