How to Cite a Website MLA: A Comprehensive Guide


Hello, Challenger! Are you finding it challenging to cite a website using MLA formatting? If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone! The internet has become an invaluable resource for research papers, but correctly citing websites can be tricky. In this article, we will guide you step-by-step on how to cite a website in MLA format, ensuring that your research paper will be of the highest quality.


MLA (Modern Language Association) is a popular citation style used by many academic disciplines, particularly those in the humanities. It is most commonly used for citing sources within the liberal arts and humanities, including literature, languages, and cultural studies. MLA identifies requirements for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing. In the case of citing websites, there are specific MLA guidelines to follow.

In this section, let’s go over some basic concepts concerning MLA formatting:

1. What is the purpose of citing?

Citing sources correctly is essential in academic writing. It demonstrates that you have conducted thorough research and gives proper credit to the authors or creators of the material that you referenced. Additionally, it enables readers to locate and verify the source because you provide them with the necessary information to do so.

2. What is MLA formatting?

MLA formatting is a specific set of guidelines for academic writing in the humanities. It provides writers with a framework for how to structure their papers, cite sources, and format their works to make them more readable and understandable. MLA has established rules for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in academic writing.

3. Why use MLA formatting?

MLA formatting is a widely accepted citation style that ensures consistency and credibility in academic writing. It provides clear guidelines for citing sources and structuring papers, which makes it easier for readers to understand the content. It is also beneficial for writers as it enables them to demonstrate the depth of their research to their readers.

4. What are the elements of an MLA citation?

An MLA citation includes the author’s name, title of the source, title of the container, other contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, location.

5. What are the differences between in-text citations and works cited page?

In-text citations are brief references to sources that appear within the body of your research paper. A works cited page, on the other hand, is a list of sources used in your research paper. Works cited page appears at the end of your paper.

6. What makes citing a website different from other sources?

Citing a website is different from other sources in the sense that there is often no identifiable author, publication date, or publisher information. It requires some additional information such as URL or DOI( Digital Object Identifier).

7. What are the different elements of a website citation?

A website citation consists of several elements, which include the author, title of the page, title of the website, version, publisher or sponsor, date of publication or update, and URL.

How to Cite a Website MLA: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Identify The Source

When citing a website in MLA, you must start by identifying the critical components of the source. These include the author, title of the page, title of the website, version, publisher or sponsor, date of publication or update, and URL.

Step 2: Start with the Author’s Name

Begin the citation with the author’s last name, followed by their first and middle initials. If there is no author specified, move on to the next element.

Step 3: Add the Title of the Page

The next element is to add the title of the page in quotation marks. If the webpage title is long then you can only use the important words from the title.

Step 4: Include the Title of the Website

After adding the page title, include the title of the website in italics.

Step 5: Add the Publisher or Sponsor

If the website is sponsored or published by an organization or company, include its name next.

Step 6: Add the Date of Publication or Update

If the website has a publication or update date, add it next. If not, you can skip this element.

Step 7: Add the URL

Finally, add the URL of the webpage. Ensure that the URL is a live link that the reader can click on.

Element Format Example
Author Last name, First name Middle initial. Smith, John R.
Title of Page “Title of page in quotations” “The Ascent of Mount Everest”
Title of Website Italics National Geographic
Publisher or Sponsor Publisher/sponsor name National Geographic Society
Date of Publication or Update Date MMM. DD, Year Published 2019

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do you need to cite a website MLA if there is no author?

Yes, if there is no author, you can still cite the webpage, but you should indicate this in the citation by omitting the author’s name from the entry.

2. Can you use shorthand or acronyms in website citations?

No, in website citations, MLA requires that you spell out all abbreviations and acronyms unless the abbreviation is commonly known, like NASA or FBI.

3. How do you cite a webpage with multiple authors?

If the webpage has multiple authors, list them in the same order they appear on the source in the citation.

4. Can you use footnotes instead of in-text citations?

While MLA citation style allows the use of footnotes, in-text citations are preferred because they are more efficient and less distracting.

5. How do you cite a website with no date in MLA?

If a website doesn’t have a publication or update date, you can omit this part of the citation.

6. What should I do if the webpage doesn’t have a title?

When citing a webpage without a title, create a descriptive title and enclose it in quotation marks.

7. How do I cite a website within my text in MLA?

In MLA formatting, you would place the author’s last name and the page number(s) in parentheses after the information cited in your text.

8. Should I include the full URL in a citation?

Yes, include the full URL in your citation, so your readers can locate the source easily.

9. How do I create an MLA works cited page?

An MLA works cited page should be created as a separate page at the end of your research paper. List all sources alphabetically by the author’s last name, and follow the specific guidelines for each citation type.

10. Can I use online tools for generating citations?

Yes, many online tools can generate MLA citations automatically. However, it is necessary to proofread them afterward to ensure accuracy.

11. Can I cite more than one source in a sentence using MLA?

Yes, you can do this by listing the authors’ last names and the page numbers in parentheses after the cited information.

12. How do you cite a website with no title in MLA?

When citing a website with no title, create a descriptive title without italics and enclose it in quotation marks.

13. Do I have to include the date of access?

No, you do not need to include the date you accessed the source unless your instructor explicitly requests it.


In conclusion, citing websites in MLA format is an essential component of academic writing, and it serves various purposes. MLA is a commonly used citation style because of its simplicity and ease of use. Following these guidelines, you will be able to cite a website correctly and ensure that your research paper meets the highest standard of accuracy and credibility.

Remember, each citation has to include specific information in the appropriate format, as we have outlined in this article. If you continue to refine your citation skills and consistently apply the MLA citation format, your research writing and academic papers will be recognized as authoritative and reliable sources of information.

Closing Statement

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or expert advice. Please consult the official MLA Handbook, as well as your professor or instructor’s specific requirements, to ensure you meet the citation guidelines for your research paper.