MLA Website Citation
How to cite a website in a bibliography using MLA
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), webpage title, website title, *sponsoring institution/publisher, publication date, and DOI or URL.
Author Last Name, First Name. “Webpage Title.” Website Title, *Sponsoring Institution/Publisher, Publication Date, DOI or URL.
Owoseje, Toyin. “Britney Spears Apologizes to Fans for ‘Pretending’ to be OK in her Conservatorship.” CNN, 25 June 2021, cnn.com/2021/06/25/entertainment/britney-spears-conservatorship-instagram-intl-scli/index.html.
*If the sponsoring institution or publisher’s name is the same as the website title, do not include it. MLA prefers to avoid duplicating information in citations.
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma after the last name, followed by 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 the order 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.
Sanchez, Ray, and Eric Levenson. “Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years in Death of George Floyd.” CNN, 25 June 2021, cnn.com/2021/06/25/us/derek-chauvin-sentencing-george-floyd/index.html.
For pages with three or more authors, reverse the first author’s name as described above and follow it with a comma and the abbreviation “et al.” Do not italicize “et al.” in parenthetical citations or works-cited list entries.
Rebaza, Claudia, et al. “John McAfee Was Not Suicidal, Says Widow of Antivirus Software Magnate.” CNN, 25 June 2021, cnn.com/2021/06/25/tech/john-mcafee-wife-janice-intl/index.html.
If the article was written by a news service or organization, include the name in the author position and remove any introductory
articles (e.g., A, An, The) from the name.
Associated Press. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, 21 Jan. 2009, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html.
If no author is available, begin the citation with the webpage title.
“Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, 21 Jan. 2009, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html.
The webpage title should be placed within quotation marks. Place a period after the webpage title within the
quotation marks. The webpage title is followed by the name of the larger website container in italics, and it’s usually followed by a comma and any additional information such as version, number, publisher, publication date, or URL. The punctuation before the version element varies depending on whether the webpage is part of a larger work or “container.” When it is part of a larger work, use a comma followed by the version. When it is a work that stands alone, use a period followed by the version.
Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, Version 12.1.1., 21 Jan. 2009, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html.
Include the sponsoring institution or publisher 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. You may omit the publisher’s name when there is no publisher or when the publisher name isn’t required (for example, when the publisher title matches the website title or the website doesn’t list the publisher responsible for producing the work).
Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, 21 Jan. 2009, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html.
Next, state the publication date of the webpage. In works-cited list entries, use only the day-month-year style. 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. When using seasons in the date, lowercase the season (spring 2021 not Spring 2021). If there is no date available, you may omit the publication date element from your citation. However, you may wish to include an access date in the supplemental element slot after the URL.
Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html.
Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, cnn.com/2009/01/21/politics/obama-inaugurated-as-president/index.html. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.
According to MLA’s 9th edition, updated in 2021, you may usually leave out http:// or https:// from URLs unless you want to hyperlink them or unless instructed otherwise. When in doubt, ask your instructor. If a DOI is available, use that instead of the URL. For DOIs, use http:// or https:// before the DOI: https://doi.org/xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxx.xxxx. Use a period after the DOI and the URL.
Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN, 21 Jan. 2009, https://doi.org/12.3456/789.1011.1213.
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- How do I format a works cited entry for an online news source with more than two authors in MLA style?
For an online news source with more than two authors (3+), use “et al” after the first author to indicate “and others” in your works cited entry. With this format, you do not have to write all the authors’ names since you are indicating the same using “et al.”
Last Name, First Name1, et al. “Title of the article.” Title of the newspaper, Date of publication, URL.
Kamelion, North, et al. “How do Zebras stay awake in the forest amidst a scavenger hunt?” Taj Road Journal, 9 Aug. 2020, www.tajroadjournal.com/posts/253839.
If you have the same author as the first author in more than one entry, then distinguish these entries by listing two authors in the entries and using “et al” for the other authors.
- How do I format a works-cited entry for an online news source that was written by a news organization or unknown author in MLA style?
If there is no author given for an online news source, then the in-text citation should include the first main word or words of the article title within the quotation marks. For example:
In a works-cited entry, you will include the article title, newspaper name, publication date, and URL. See below for the format and example.
“Article Title.” Newspaper, Date, URL.
“High Winds Blow Michigan Anglers, Ice Shanty about a Mile across Saginaw Bay.” Detroit Free Press, 2022 March 7, https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/03/07/saginaw-bay-ice-shanty-winds/9411709002/.