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The MLA reference formatting style was first published in 1977 by the Modern Language Association. It was developed out of the MLA Style Sheet from 1951 under the original title “MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations,” later changed to “MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.”
It’s most commonly used as an academic style guide for secondary school, undergraduate, and university students and teachers in humanities, literature, modern languages, and other related disciplines.
As a scholarly writing citation guide, MLA has specific requirements for citing websites as sources. If you want to avoid making citation mistakes and committing accidental or even deliberate plagiarism, you need to learn how to cite websites using MLA.
Like most other citation styles, MLA has several essential elements you’ll need to use in all your references. When citing websites, you’ll need to include the following in the order of appearance:
Finally, if there is no author, start your citation with the page title in quotes. If there’s only a corporate author, use the corporate name as you would the author’s name.
In practice, if you’d like to cite the article “Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide” written by Kris Gunnars and Rachael Link for the website Healthline, your citation would look like this: Gunnars, Kris, and Link, Rachael. “Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide.” Healthline, 25, Oct. 2021, healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan.
In case any information is missing from the website, leave it out without changing the order of the citation elements.
In-text website citations with MLA are relatively straightforward and concise. You only need to include the author’s name, although additional elements such as page or line numbers could also be included if necessary.
With citations in prose, mention the author’s full name the first time, and only use the last name afterward. In practice, using the same example as above, you would use the following in-text citation:
Alternatively, you could use parenthetical citations and use only the author’s last name at the end of your sentence (before the full stop) in parenthesis:
If there are no authors, you can use the italicized page title instead. If the title is lengthy, don’t be afraid to shorten it:
Keep your in-text citations short and concise; your readers will be able to find your sources in your references list at the end of your paper.
MLA website citations can be confusing, but you’ll need to follow the guidelines. Otherwise, you could be accused of committing plagiarism, which would harm your academic career.
To ensure that your citations are clear, concise, and accurate, use our MLA website citation generator. Within a few clicks, you’ll receive an automatic citation of any website and save yourself the headache.
Give our MLA website citation generator a try and ensure that your paper is authentic and plagiarism-free.