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Citations: MLA Style (8th ed.)

A guide to writing and citing in MLA format.

General Notes

It's fairly common for websites to not have specifically named authors for any given page, but double-check that there's really not one given. Sometimes they're listed at the bottom instead of the top; sometimes a page produced by a lone person and you'll find their name on an About page instead.

You can choose to list the organization/corporation as the author instead and skip using them as the site name or publisher later in the citation. Skipping author so that the citation starts with the article title can make it easier to have unique in-text citations, though.

Caution! Corporate authors do not have their names flipped around like people's names.

  • Incorrect (courtesy of EasyBib): Bureau, US Census. “Computer and Internet Use in the United States, 2018.” ...
  • Correct: US Census Bureau. “Computer and Internet Use in the United States, 2018.” ...

Not to be confused with the name of the overall site -- and this is something citation tools online get wrong a lot! Look at the page itself: what title text appears above the article itself?

Top of an article on the Census website, with highlights over the url and flags pointing out the site name (top-left logo) and the article title.

Why do citation tools get it wrong?

They can only scrape metadata off the website, and that data isn't structured with citations in mind. Rather, it expects people to save bookmarks or send links somewhere. Warning signs to watch for:

  • Vertical lines in the article title, e.g.: "The Kuiper Belt Objects - NASA | Outer Space | Cassini."
  • The same info twice in the citation, e.g.: "The Kuiper Belt." The Kuiper Belt, 4 Apr. 2019, www.etc.etc.

Look for what's actually written on the page itself (probably in the upper left corner) rather than in the address bar for the website's name. Every website has to be or or; that doesn't mean the website organizers consider the domain ending (.com, .net, etc) to be part of the website's official name.

Ex, For this Census Bureau article, the website is United States Census Bureau, not

Top of an article on the Census website, with highlights over the url and flags pointing out the site name (top-left logo) and the article title.


By contrast, is actually, as we can see by the inclusion of ".com" on the site logo:

Header of website, pointing out the .com that's part of the site logo

To get an idea of who the publisher is, look towards the very bottom of the page for the copyright notice or for an About page. For example, the publisher of is Future US. website footer with the copyright statement highlighted along with the statement of the media group it's part of.

If the name of the website is the same of the publisher, as is the case with the New York Times, just skip the publisher to avoid redundancy in the citation.

You can also exclude any business labels in the publisher name -- Inc, Ltd, LLC, and so on.

  1. A byline date is sometimes used near the top of the webpage: May 1, 2004.
  2. A date of last update may be found at the top or bottom of the page and looks something like: Updated: 8:43 a.m. MT May 10, 2009.
  3. If the website has no date associated with it, your citation will skip over where the date should be.
  4. If all you can find is the copyright date for the page, chances are this is a generic footer used across the website. Skip the date element.

For sources that are likely to be edited and don't have an officially noted date, it is recommended that you add an access date after the URL. All dates in MLA are formatted as DD Mon. YYYY, e.g. Accessed 5 Nov. 2013. 

The URL (the http://www.etc... in the address bar of your browser) gives a particular location of a webpage.

Exclude the http:// when you include the address.


Author. "Article Title." Website Name, Publisher, date, url.

Author, Name.

Author, Name, and Name Author2.

Author, Name, et al.

Organization Name.

"Title of Article." Website Name, Publisher Name,


Mon. YYYY,




Named Authors

Avirgan, Jody. "Not All Privacy Policies Are Created Equal." FiveThirtyEight, 12 Feb. 2016,

Parenthetical citation: (Avirgan).


Henry, Alan. "Why We Get Brain Freezes." Lifehacker, 11 June 2016,

Parenthetical citation: (Henry).


Irving, Ian and Kuan Xu. "Crime, Punishment and Poverty in the United States." IDEAS, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 25 Aug. 2009,

Parenthetical citation: (Irving and Xu).


Nelson, Lisa. "Heart Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs." HealthCentral Network, Remedy Health Media, 2009,

Parenthetical citation: (Nelson).

Corporate Author

If a corporate entity is both the author of an article and the publisher, treat the article as not having an author.

"HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides." American Heart Association, 6 Nov. 2020,

Parenthetical citation: ("Good vs Bad").


"Pluto: In Depth." Solar System Exploration, NASA, 19 Dec. 2019,

Parenthetical citation: ("Pluto").
If you had more than one source without authors that start with the same word, add on to title used in the parenthetical until each is unique, e.g. ("Pluto: In Depth") vs ("Pluto Discovery").

Blog Post

A blog post will basically be like a regular web article citation, though you might not have a person's real name to use.


Be very cautious if you're referencing a blog or comment in your paper. These aren't generally the best sources to use.

Ruiz, Vanessa. "Wearing your anatomy on your skin: the anatomy tattoo gallery." Street Anatomy, 8 Aug. 2007,

Parenthetical citation: (Ruiz).


If you're referring to a comment on a blog post, include the timestamp in addition to the date:

Scooby Voodoo. Comment on "A bad case of the Mondays (in the INFINITE DARKNESS)." Comics Curmudgeon, 13 June 2016, 7:24 a.m.,

Parenthetical citation: (Scooby Voodoo).


Fink, Joseph and Jeffrey Cranor. "Summer Reading Program." Welcome to Night Vale, narrated by Cecil Baldwin, episode 28, Night Vale Presents, 1 Aug. 2013,

Parenthetical citation: (Fink and Cranor). (Fink and Cranor 00:20:13).

Images Online

Tomoo, Inagaki. Pumpkins. 1955. MOMA,

Parenthetical citation: (Tomoo).


Wyeth, Andrew. Self-Portrait. 1945, National Academy Museum & School, New York. Google Arts & Culture,

Parenthetical citation: (Wyeth).


Include the full text of the tweet inside quotation marks in place of a title. The publication date should also include a time stamp.

@persiankiwi. "We have report of large street battles in east & west of Tehran now - #Iranelection." Twitter, 23 June 2009, 11:15 a.m.,

Parenthetical citation: (@persianwiki).
  • Do include hashtags that were in the original tweet.
  • You don't have to include emojis unless they're important to the meaning of the tweet.
  • Ignore the @ when alphabetizing your Works Cited list.

Entire Website

Do not list entire websites in your Works Cited page.

  • If you used multiple articles from a site, you need an individual citation for each of those pages with specific urls going to each.
  • If you just need to mention that a site exists, you do it narratively in your paper, e.g. The latest status of bills and resolutions are posted to the Congressional website (