Citing websites: MLA (8th ed.) citation guide


This guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed. and provides selected citation examples for common types of sources. For more detailed information please consult the print version of the handbook available at the SFU Library.

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The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook does not list specific rules on how to cite a DVD, a book, a journal article, etc., but instead outlines a universal set of general guidelines of citation and documentation that can be applied to any source type, including websites. These are the guidelines we followed to develop the following examples for you.


Parenthetical (in-text)

Author information integrated into the text

Quinion explains that this use of the phrase is not redundant.


("Biggest war")

Works cited

Quinion, Michael. "Arms Akimbo." World Wide Words. Oct. 1999. Web. Accesed 26 July 2005.

Dyches, Preston. "Cassini Finds Flooded Canyons on Titan." NASA, 10 Aug. 2016. Accessed 10 Aug. 2016.

"The biggest war in animal history." Kottke, 10 Aug. 2016. Accessed 10 Aug. 2016.


If there is no author, use the title (shortened, if necessary) in place of the author in your in-text citations. For more information on how to abbreviate titles, refer to p. 117, 3.2.1.

When citing a website in Works Cited, provide as much as possible of the following information (5.6.2):

  • Author's name. If no author is listed, start with the title of the document (p. 24; pp. 55-56.
  • Title of the document (in quotation marks or italicized) (pp. 68-70, 1.2.2).
  • Title of the overall website (italicized, if distinct from the title of the document) (pp. 68-70, 1.2.2).
  • Publisher or sponsor of the site; if the website title is essentially the same as that of its publisher, publisher information may be omitted from the reference (p. 42).
  • Date of publication.

Include the URL of the webpage (p. 48; p. 110, 2.5.2).

Include the date of access (p. 32; p. 53).

If there are no page or paragraph numbers, the MLA guide recommends that you incorporate the name of the author in the text of your paper. You may also cite author's name in parentheses without a page or paragraph number, if you prefer (p. 56).

Include a URL only if the site is too difficult to find without it, or if an instructor requires it. Only break a URL between two lines after a single or double slash.  Do not use a hyphen to connect the URL between the two lines (5.6.1).