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MLA Style 9th edition: Electronic Resources

This guide covers the basics of MLA Style writing, formatting, and citing.

URLs in MLA Style

It’s a good idea to include URLs in your source entries. MLA encourages citing containers like YouTube, Netflix, or JSTOR to help readers access and verify sources. Do not include the https:// when citing URLs. MLA only requires the www. address.

DOIs

Journal articles in databases often include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a source includes a DOI, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.

Basic Citations for Electronic Sources & Online Databases

Not every web page will include the following information, but collect as much information as possible:

Author and/or editor names (if available) with last names first.

“Article name in quotation marks.”

Title of the web page, project, or book in italics.

Version numbers, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).

Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.

Note page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).

DOI (if available, use https://doi.org/ in front of the number, otherwise a URL (omit the https://) or a permalink.

The date of access (Date accessed). The date of access is not required, but it is recommended.

Format:

Author. “Title.” Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

Provide the author(s) name(s), the article title in quotation marks, the title of the publication italicized, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. If available, include a DOI. Otherwise, include a URL or permalink.

Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal

MLA includes a page range for articles appearing in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you’re citing appears only online (without corresponding print) that does not use page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.

Goya, Cynthia. “A Brief Introduction to Patriarchy.” Living in a Patriarchal Society, vol. 3, no. 4, 2009, www.livingpatsociety/nrt/article/view/32/431. Accessed 12 Aug. 2010.

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print

Cite articles appearing in online scholarly journals and print the same as though it was a scholarly journal in print only, including the page range of the article. Include the URL and the date of access.

Worthington, Hugh. “Understanding Childhood Obesity.” Parents, vol. 3, no. 2, 2009, pp. 231-252, www.healthathome.org/article/3/2/013-53. Accessed 9 June 2010.

A Tweet

Start with the user’s Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Place the entire tweet in quotations and insert a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader’s time zone. Separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Including the date of access is optional.

@sarajones22. “Geraldine seemed shocked at all the publicity.” Twitter, 17 Feb. 2019, 2:45 p.m., twitter.com/sarajones22/status/300015222158432.

Permalink

A shortened, stable version of a URL is a permalink and online newspapers and magazines often use them. If there is a share or cite this button, check if the source includes a permalink. If there’s one available, use the permalink instead of the URL.

A Website

If citing an entire website, use the same format as demonstrated in Basic Citations, but include a compiler name if a single author isn’t available.

Author, or compiler name. Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of source creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

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), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

Armstrong, Sylvia. Ten Steps to Impeccable Rhetoric. Brown University, 21 Dec. 2014, www.bsu.brown.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 11 Mar. 2016.

E-book

A citation for an e-book is almost identical to those used for traditional books. Instead of a version, list “e-book.”

Jones, Anna. Gun Control: Looking Beyond Evolution. E-book, University Publishing, 2019.

Article in a Web Magazine

List the author’s name, the article title in quotation marks, the title of the web magazine italicized, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.

Ward, James. “Sounds of Silence.” Poetry in Motion, 23 July 2005, poetrymoves.com/article/soundssilence. Accessed 3 June 2008.

Images (paintings, sculptures, or photos)

List the artist’s name, italicize the title of the art, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is displayed. Follow this entry with the name of the Website in italics along with the date of access.

Valaranti, Dinardo. The Abyss. 1922. Museum of Art, Wurzburg. German Art, www.germanart.org/the-collection/valaranti/abstract/fg3329-4612. Accessed 24 Apr. 2002.

Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting

Cite web postings the same as a regular web entry. Give the work’s author, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name italicized, the publisher, and the date the material was posted. Follow with the access date and include screen names as author names if there’s an unknown author. If the author’s name and the screen name is known, include the author’s name in brackets.

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), URL. Date of access.

AngryBear23 [Joe Montgomery]. “Re: Shenanigans Abound: Reaching the Unruly Child.” ParentDailyChat, 3 May 2020, parentdailychat.com/thread/233210/shenanigans-abound-reaching-the-unruly-child. Accessed 7 May 2021.

Abbreviations Associated with Electronic Sources

Use par. Or pars. to note paragraph numbers if page numbers aren’t available. Either can replace the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. signifies a single paragraphs and pars. signifies two or more paragraphs.

Course or Department Websites

Include the instructor name with the course title in italics. Following the course title, indicate the department and school names.

Hill, Samuel. Below the Surface. Smith U, Apr. 2010, web.ebc.smith.edu/~cave/312/Home.html. Accessed 12 Nov. 2011.

Geology Department. Smith U, 10 Mar. 2010, www.smith.edu/geology/. Accessed 30 Nov. 2011.

A Page on a Website

When citing a specific page on a Web site, note the author or alias (if known), followed by the title of the page or article. Follow with the same information as used for a Web site. If the publisher name is the same as the website name, list it once.

Garaway, Arthur. “How to Boost Sales.” Learn, www.learn.com/how_10134_boost-sales.html. Accessed 8 June 2011.

Article from An Online Database

Cite online databases (ProQuest, CREDO, etc.) and other subscription services as containers. Provide the database title italicized before the DOI or URL. If there isn’t a DOI, use the URL. Date of access is optional.

Jones, Amari, and James Taranal. “Examining the Art of Manipulation.” Business Today, vol. 2, no. 3, 4 June 2003, pp. 22-31. Garaveli Online Script, https://doi.org/09.1010/scr.30241. Accessed 3 May 2022.

E-mail & Interviews by E-mail

Provide the message author’s name and follow by the subject line within quotation marks. Provide the intended recipient’s name with the phrase, “Received by” and the name. Include the date and use standard capitalization.

Balboa, Gene. “Re: Recent Research.” Received by Joella Morris, 12 Jan. 2021.

A YouTube Video

Use the same basic guidelines that’s used for print sources to cite video and audio sources. Include as much information as possible to help readers understand the type of source you are citing. If the uploader’s name is identical to the author’s, only cite the author once. If there is a different author, cite the author’s name before the title.

Smith, Austin. “Getting It Right.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Badger, 2 May 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?a=abcdzxRR2A.

“Writing Right.” YouTube, uploaded by Blind Lion, 4 July 2003, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXthxATrSSu.

A Comment on a Website or Article

List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before adding the title. Put quotation marks around the title of the article. List the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.

I Cannot Endure. Comment on “Overcoming Toxic Relationships.” NBC News, 8 Mar 2012, 3:30 p.m., nbcnews.at.com/Overcoming-toxic-relationships/story?id=37824156.