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How to Cite a Website

How to Cite a Website in 4 Ways: Explanation With Examples

Whenever you write a research paper or any other written document which uses references of others' works, you need to cite the reference to give the individual his/her due credit. Read along this Penlighten article to get a low-down on how to cite a reference or a website.
Medha Godbole
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2018
Research papers, as all of us know, are extensive and consequently, a lot of hard work is put in by the researcher. The researcher, however, has a lot of references and citations that he needs to give credit to and acknowledge them as well. Rather, the study and the document cannot be replete and powerful without these citations. Knowing the correct way of referring a website is important because if you fail to do so, you may infringe certain copyright laws and face legal issues.

Hence, it is essential to mention or allude to those studies in that particular area. In case you are working on a research paper or a document and are pondering over the correct way to cite a website, you have hit the right place! In the below sections, we shall tell you about ways of citing or referring a website in your paper.

How to Cite a Website in a Research Paper?

MLA Style
The Modern Language Association (MLA) is a citation style mostly used for arts and humanities and is widely used in North America.
  • We begin with the MLA style. Write the name of the author of the title. Do that all the way in the left margin. Write the last name of the author first and then the first name. There should be a period after the name.
  • Next to the author's name, write the title of the web page. Underline it, italicize it, or put it in quotations.
  • You can also write the title of the website in the next line, exactly below the name of the author. Period is necessary here as well.
  • After you mention the website title, put the date of publishing of that title. Make sure you place a period after it.
  • Immediately after the date of publishing of that title, mention the name of the publisher. This is not the same as title author; hence, you need to keep that in mind and again give a period after the publisher's name.
  • The date you visited that website should be mentioned right after the name of the publisher.
  • Lastly, mention the url after the date you visited the website.
For example, your citation should look somehow like this.

Last name, First name. "Article Title." Website Title. Publisher of the Website, Day Month Year article published. Web. Day Month Year article accessed. URL.
APA Style
APA style, coming from American Psychological Association is also widely used in social sciences.
  • Begin with the name of the author. Again, write the last name first and then the first INITIAL.
  • Year of the publication comes next in the parenthesis besides the author's name. Place a period after this.
  • Follow that up by putting the title of the article next to the year. This should be plain, without any formatting and should have a period after it as before.
  • The name of the website should be mentioned immediately after the article in italics with a period after that.
  • Following the name of the web page, give the date (Year, Month Date Published) when you visited the website. End with writing the url, after the date.
For example, the structure of your APA style citation will look like

Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Date Published).Article Title. Retrieved from URL.

These two styles are based on the name of the author(s). What if there is no author? Let's see.
APA With No Author
  • Mention the article title first, followed by a period.
  • After the name of the article, mention the date at which the work was published in brackets and put a period to follow. If the date of publication is not available, then write (n.d.)
  • Then, mention the web address which contains the respective information. Start with 'Retrieved from' and mention the concerned web address.
For example,

Article title. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Retrieved from URL
MLA With No Author
  • First, mention the article title in quotations followed by period.
  • Now, in italics, mention the name of the website with a period at the end.
  • Next, mention the name of the publisher followed by a comma and date of publication followed by period.
  • Next, mention the medium of publication, i.e., Web with a period.
  • Lastly, write the accessed date of the article in the format dd/mm/yy followed by a period.
For example,

"Article Title". Name of site. Publisher, Date of Publication (if available). Web. Accessed date.

  • If the date of publication and year is not known, then write n.d. in brackets, which means 'no date'.
  • If the publisher is not known, then write n.p., which means 'no publisher'.
  • One or More Author(s)
    • One Author: Last Name, First Name.
    • Two Authors: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.
    • Three Authors: Last Name, First Name, First Name Last Name, and First Name Last Name
    • More Than Three Authors: Michael, Lori, et al.

Citing a website wasn't that tough, right? We're sure now that the next time you write a research paper or a bibliography, you know now how to cite reference and acknowledge the people who helped you.