BK Writing Lab

Citing Internet Sources (MLA)
Paul DiGeorgio, Ph.D.


Citing Internet and Electronic Sources

When using the internet for academic research it is very important that you carefully judge the quality of the information that you view. Often times you can judge the quality by examining the source of the information. For example, if a medical school recommends no smoking on their website, and a tobacco companies recommends smoking on theirs, which source is more trustworthy? For more information on assessing the quality of informational sources, check here.

General Format

Author last name, author first name.Title of container. Other contributors (if any, including editors and translators, Version (or edition, if any), Volume number (if any), Publisher, Date of Publication, Location (pages, paragraph numbers, and/or URL or DOI). Title of Second Container (if any), Other contributors (if any), Version (if any), Volume Number (if any), Publisher, Location, Date of Access.

Note 1: It is easy to miss Date of Access in the model above, but it's important that you include this information with every internet citation because online sources change and move around so frequently. If your reader cannot find your source but sees that you viewed it many years ago, then he knows that the information has moved or is no longer available.

Note 2: We do not recommend citing an entire website. You should be specific and cite individual pages from a website. Generally you should avoid citing more than 2-3 pages from one single website; look for more sources online, which will strengthen your writing. Pulling too much from one source is never good! 

Citing an Individual Page on a Website

Marder, Michael. "Teaching." Michael Marder Online, https://www.michaelmarder.org/teaching/. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

If you do not know the author of the web page, start your entry with the name of the page or article, as below:

"Trebuchet." Nightbringer. https://www.nightbringer.se/n_credits.html. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

Note: Rarely will you have a Date of Publication for individual pages on websites. You will notice that neither of the examples given above include a publication date. 

Citing an Electronic Book (E-Book)

Citing an electronic book is very similar to citing a physical book. Make sure that you specify that you are citing an e-book; this information should go before the publisher information and after the name of the container (or contributor names, if any).

Poe, Edgar Allen. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. E-Book, Wordsworth, 2011.

Citing an Article in an Online Research Database

The name of the database is the title of the container in your entry. An online research database is going to provide you with a DOI so make sure that you include it with your entry, but do not capitalize the letters. 

Kocher, Paul. "The English Faust Book and the Date of Marlowe's Faustus." Modern Language Notes, vol. 55, no. 2, 1940. pp. 95-101. JSTOR Journals, doi:10.2307/2910133. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

Citing an Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

Wilford, Paul. "A Look at Kantian Theodicy: Rational Faith and the Idea of History." American Dialectic, vol. 4, no. 2, 2014. pp. 172-203. http://www.americandialectic.org/volume-iv-2014/no-2-fall/a-look-at-kantian-theodicy/. Accessed 20 August 2020.

Citing an Image on a Website (Photographs, Works of Art)

This type of citation has some minor differences. You need to include the date the image or artwork was created in addition to the date that you accessed it. You also need to include the name of the museum that keeps the work, and the city in which it is located. Don't forget to include the website? If you are citing a photo or image on a website that does not exist in a museum, see below.

Maldoror, Sarah. Monangambée. 1969. Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection/artwork/monangambee-1969. Accessed 20 August 2020.

If you are citing a photo or image on a website and this is the only location where it can be found, then cite as you would for a webpage.

Citing a YouTube Video 

IMPORTANT: Check with your instructor to determine if citing a YouTube video is appropriate for your paper or project. You can also contact us at: bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org

If the author and the uploader are the same, you only need to include the information once. Compare the examples below:

PBS Digital Studios. "Golem: The Mysterious Clay Monster of Jewish Lore." YouTube, uploaded by Storied, 17 July 2019, https://youtu.be/UCfOH_RKgmU.

The School of Life. "Political Theory - Henry David Thoreau." YouTube, 10 April 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJL9S0J8-4k.

Citing a Tweet

IMPORTANT: Check with your instructor to determine if citing a tweet is appropriate for your paper or project. You can also contact us at: bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org

Your citation should open with the author's username on Twitter, followed by the full tweet in quotation marks. Use Twitter in italics as the container, and provide the time and date of the tweet. It is not necessary to include the date you accessed the tweet, unless you are citing a tweet that has since been removed/deleted.

@sahouraxo. "Hundreds of Lebanese were injured in the massive explosion in #Beirut and are being taken to hospitals, which are already over-capacity. Many are still trapped under the rubble. And the destruction of entire streets, houses and shops is devastating." Twitter, 4 August 2020, 12:38 p.m., https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/1290688607288606720.


If you have any questions, send us an email at bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org!


Image Credit: Internet by Alex Kwa from the Noun Project

  • Citation
  • Internet
  • MLA
  • Papers
  • Research
  • Research Paper
  • Sources