Essay Writing: In-Text Citations
- Essay Writing Basics
- Purdue OWL Page on Writing Your Thesis This link opens in a new window
- Paragraphs and Transitions
- How to Tell if a Website is Legitimate This link opens in a new window
- Formatting Your References Page
- Cite a Website
- Common Grammatical and Mechanical Errors
- Additional Resources
- Proofread Before You Submit Your Paper
- Structuring the 5-Paragraph Essay
Using In-text Citations
Narrative vs Parenthetical In-text citations:
A narrative citation gives the author name as part of the sentence .
- Narrative citation: According to Edwards (2017) , a lthough Smith and Carlos's protest at the 1968 Olympics initially drew widespread criticism, it also led to fundamental reforms in the organizational structure of American amateur athletics.
A parenthetical citation gives the source information in parentheses - first or last - but not as part of the narrative flow.
- Parenthetical citation: Although Tommie Smith and John Carlos paid a heavy price in the immediate aftermath of the protests, they were later vindicated by society at large (Edwards, 2017) .
Full citation for this source:
Edwards, H. (2017). The Revolt of the Black Athlete: 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Illinois Press.
Sample In-text Citations
Note: This example is a direct quote. It is an exact quotation directly from the text of the article. All direct quotes should appear in quotation marks: "...."
Try keeping direct quotes to a minimum in your writing. You need to show your understanding of the source material by being able to paraphrase or summarize it.
List the author’s last name only (no initials) and the year the information was published, like this:
(Dodge, 2008 ). ( Author , Date).
IF you use a direct quote, add the page number to your citation, like this:
( Dodge , 2008 , p. 125 ).
( Author , Date , page number )
What is Plagiarism?
Avoid plagiarism cite your sources .
Using in-text citations:
- shows the reader that you have done your research
- shows that you know how to credit the sources of your information.
points your reader to the full citation on your References page for more information
Defining and Understanding Plagiarism:
important in the research and writing process.
From the Plagiarism.org Website:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud . It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward .
ALL these are considered plagiarism:
- turning in someone else's work as your own
- copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
- failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
- giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
- changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
- copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)
Should I Cite This?
- Should I Cite This? Citation advice from the Purdue OWL
Links to cite it for you:
Mybib recommended .
- MyBib citation generator provides both complete APA Citations, pre-formatted In-text Citations, and creates a Reference page.
- BibMe - APA Citation Generator and Plagiarism Checker from Chegg
- CiteFast - APA Citation Generator
- CiteThisForMe - APA Citation Generator from Harvard University
- KnightCite Citation Service - provided by the Hekman Library of Calvin College.
- Scribber - APA Citation Generator
Quick Sheet: APA 7 Citations
Quick help with apa 7 citations.
- Quick Sheet - Citing Journal Articles, Websites & Videos, and Creating In-Text Citations A quick guide to the most frequently-used types of APA 7 citations.
In-text Citation Tutorial
- Formatting In-text Citations, Full Citations, and Block Quotes In APA 7 Style This presentation will help you understand when, why, and how to use in-text citations in your APA style paper.
Download the In-text Citations presentation (above) for an in-depth look at how to correctly cite your sources in the text of your paper.
SIgnal Phrase Activity
Paraphrasing activity from the excelsior owl, in-text citation quiz.
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- How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples
How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples
Published on March 5, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.
To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.
This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA , MLA , and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.
Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.
Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image .
Table of contents
Citing a website in mla style, citing a website in apa style, citing a website in chicago style, frequently asked questions about citations.
An MLA Works Cited entry for a webpage lists the author’s name , the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL.
The in-text citation usually just lists the author’s name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to locate the specific passage. Don’t use paragraph numbers unless they’re specifically numbered on the page.
The same format is used for blog posts and online articles from newspapers and magazines.
You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to generate your website citations.
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Citing a whole website.
When you cite an entire website rather than a specific page, include the author if one can be identified for the whole site (e.g. for a single-authored blog). Otherwise, just start with the site name.
List the copyright date displayed on the site; if there isn’t one, provide an access date after the URL.
Webpages with no author or date
When no author is listed, cite the organization as author only if it differs from the website name.
If the organization name is also the website name, start the Works Cited entry with the title instead, and use a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation.
When no publication date is listed, leave it out and include an access date at the end instead.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
An APA reference for a webpage lists the author’s last name and initials, the full date of publication, the title of the page (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.
The in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the year. If it’s a long page, you may include a locator to identify the quote or paraphrase (e.g. a paragraph number and/or section title).
Note that a general reference to an entire website doesn’t require a citation in APA Style; just include the URL in parentheses after you mention the site.
You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to create your webpage citations. Search for a URL to retrieve the details.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
Blog posts and online articles.
Blog posts follow a slightly different format: the title of the post is not italicized, and the name of the blog is.
The same format is used for online newspaper and magazine articles—but not for articles from news sites like Reuters and BBC News (see the previous example).
When a page has no author specified, list the name of the organization that created it instead (and omit it later if it’s the same as the website name).
When it doesn’t list a date of publication, use “n.d.” in place of the date. You can also include an access date if the page seems likely to change over time.
In Chicago notes and bibliography style, footnotes are used to cite sources. They refer to a bibliography at the end that lists all your sources in full.
A Chicago bibliography entry for a website lists the author’s name, the page title (in quotation marks), the website name, the publication date, and the URL.
Chicago also has an alternative author-date citation style . Examples of website citations in this style can be found here .
For blog posts and online articles from newspapers, the name of the publication is italicized. For a blog post, you should also add the word “blog” in parentheses, unless it’s already part of the blog’s name.
When a web source doesn’t list an author , you can usually begin your bibliography entry and short note with the name of the organization responsible. Don’t repeat it later if it’s also the name of the website. A full note should begin with the title instead.
When no publication or revision date is shown, include an access date instead in your bibliography entry.
The main elements included in website citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.
In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.
If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:
- In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
- In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.
If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.
When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)
In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.
For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.
Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.
- APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
- Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
- Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.
Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.
The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 1, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/cite-a-website/
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / How to Cite an Essay in MLA
How to Cite an Essay in MLA
The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number(s).
Citing an Essay
Mla essay citation structure.
Last, First M. “Essay Title.” Collection Title, edited by First M. Last, Publisher, year published, page numbers. Website Title , URL (if applicable).
MLA Essay Citation Example
Gupta, Sanjay. “Balancing and Checking.” Essays on Modern Democracy, edited by Bob Towsky, Brook Stone Publishers, 1996, pp. 36-48. Essay Database, www . databaseforessays.org/modern/modern-democracy.
MLA Essay In-text Citation Structure
(Last Name Page #)
MLA Essay In-text Citation Example
Click here to cite an essay via an EasyBib citation form.
MLA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Page Numbers
- Sample Paper
- Works Cited
- MLA 8 Updates
- MLA 9 Updates
- View MLA Guide
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- View all MLA Examples
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To cite your sources in an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author’s name(s), chapter title, book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry for essay sources and some examples are given below:
In-text citation template and example:
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author on the first occurrence. For subsequent citations, use only the surname(s). In parenthetical citations, always use only the surname of the author(s).
Citation in prose:
First mention: Annette Wheeler Cafarelli
Subsequent occurrences: Wheeler Cafarelli
Works-cited-list entry template and example:
The title of the chapter is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.
Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.
Cafarelli, Annette Wheeler. “Rousseau and British Romanticism: Women and British Romanticism.” Cultural Interactions in the Romantic Age: Critical Essays in Comparative Literature , edited by Gregory Maertz. State U of New York P, 1998, pp. 125–56.
To cite an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), the essay title, the book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for citations in prose, parenthetical citations, and works-cited-list entries for an essay by multiple authors, and some examples, are given below:
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author (e.g., Mary Strine).
For sources with two authors, use both full author names in prose (e.g., Mary Strine and Beth Radick).
For sources with three or more authors, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Mary Strine and others). In subsequent citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Strine and others).
In parenthetical citations, use only the author’s surname. For sources with two authors, use two surnames (e.g., Strine and Radick). For sources with three or more author names, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.”
First mention: Mary Strine…
Subsequent mention: Strine…
First mention: Mary Strine and Beth Radick…
Subsequent mention: Strine and Radick…
First mention: Mary Strine and colleagues …. or Mary Strine and others
Subsequent occurrences: Strine and colleagues …. or Strine and others
….(Strine and Radick).
….(Strine et al.).
The title of the essay is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.
Surname, First Name, et al. “Title of the Essay.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.
Strine, Mary M., et al. “Research in Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities.” Speech Communication: Essays to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Speech Communication Association , edited by Gerald M. Phillips and Julia T. Wood, Southern Illinois UP, 1990, pp. 181–204.
MLA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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Why citing matters
Citing isn’t something you usually think about, but it’s important nonetheless. You already do it in your everyday life without realising it. Have you ever said, “I heard on XYZ News that . . . “, or “I read in XYZ that those two celebrities are dating”, or even “Mom said that you can’t do that”. By saying where you got your information, you are casually citing a source. We do this because it gives credibility to what we say, but also because it credits the originator of the information. It also allows others to follow up if they need more information. Formal citing done for papers and projects takes this a step further. In addition to the reasons mentioned above, citing sources in academia provides evidence of your research process and helps you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a word you never want to hear describing your work. You’ve probably seen headlines in the news and heard stories in school about the negative consequences of plagiarism. It’s not good but it is preventable. By creating references and citations with Cite This For Me™ tools you’re taking steps to help avoid this.
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Click the button “Create citations” to begin. You’ll be prompted to choose a source type and guided through the rest of the citing process. For source types like websites, journal articles, and books, the Cite This For Me™ citation generator automatically tries to find your source’s information based on details you provide. That could be anything from the author’s name to the source’s URL to the article’s DOI number. This makes citing more efficient and helps you easily create references and citations for your paper in a timely manner.
Citation guides: Understanding it all
Beyond simply creating references or citations, most citation styles have additional guidelines about paper formatting, in-text citations, and other details. Cite This For Me™ citation guides cover a lot of this additional information, so your paper is more properly prepped and less likely to get points taken off for these details. The guides cover several citation styles, but the most popular are Harvard referencing , APA format , MLA format , and Chicago style .
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A good paper references several sources. Multiply that with the several papers most schools assign in a year, and you get dozens of sources that will need to be cited within your academic career. That’s a lot of references to create, sort through, and keep track of. That’s where Cite This For Me™ Premium comes in. With a premium account you can cite as many sources as you want, organize the sources into bibliographies, and save ALL of those bibliographies so you can easily refer back to your references. It’s a great way to manage your bibliographies and cite with confidence.
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Quotation websites for your writing
“What quotation websites do you recommend?” A friend’s question in response to my discussion of “ Famous quotes make your commentary memorable ” prompted me to ask my virtual assistant to research quotation websites. I’m sharing the results of her research, along with my ideas for other ways to find quotes to spice up your writing.
My VA thinks BrainyQuote is the best of the bunch. It does have the most attractive appearance, and it’s relatively light on distracting advertisements.
Here are the websites she identified, along with some sites I’ve identified since my VA’s initial research.
- BrainyQuote —This website lets you search by author or topic. You can also sign up for a quote of the day , which may help you discover an unexpected gem. If you post quotes on social media, you may enjoy BrainyQuote’s QuotePictures , quotations against the backdrop of an attractive photograph. You can share the QuotePictures to social media—including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest—with a couple of clicks.
- Quoteland —This website has online forums with topics such as “I need a quote.” I haven’t tried the forums, but they might help you when you’re stuck.
- The Quotations Page
- Quotabelle described its selection as “inspirational stories + quotes of real women & girls” when I first visited it, but it appears to have gone out of business.
You can find quotations by doing an online search. Here’s what I found when I did a Google search on “ quotations about money .”
This kind of search may help you to identify other websites that are good sources of quotations.
Some of the sites may be general. For example, Goodreads , a membership site, has a quotations page. The Goodreads quotes page is driven by members adding and tagging quotes they like. You can browse the quotes by their tags. When I checked, one of the top post for “money” was one that I doubt many financial professionals will use in their writing, except as an example of what not to do.
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” ― Oscar Wilde
Cool Funny Quotes is a niche site with a humorous twist. Here are the site’s money-related quotes . Like BrainyQuotes, it offers social-media-ready images of quotations.
If you’re thinking in terms of visuals, Pinterest is another site to search. Here are Pinterest’s quotes related to money .
Some books are rich in useable quotes.
Buffett’s Bites: The Essential Investor’s Guide to Warren Buffett’s Shareholder Letters by L.J. Rittenhouse has plenty of great quotes. Unfortunately, it lacks an index.
When you’re looking for quotes, a Kindle or other e-reader may make your research easier. At a minimum, a great index will help.
Compile your own collection of quotations
If you enjoy using quotes in your writing, them save great quotations as you see them. You can find them in anything you read or listen to.
In the old days, I recommended scribbling them in a paper notebook. These days, it’s probably more efficient to save quotes online in a Word document or an app like Evernote or OneNote.
Did they really say it?
Plenty of quotes are mistakenly attributed to famous people. I enjoyed reading a Wall Street Journal review of Garson O’Toole’s Hemingway Didn’t Say That .
The review introduced me to the Quote Investigator website , which explores the origins of famous quotes.
NOTE: updated on Jan. 17, 2021; March 8, 2022; Nov. 4, 2022; and Oct. 5, 2023.
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How to Cite a Website
Last Updated: February 9, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,546,340 times.
If you're writing a research paper, you'll likely do quite a bit of research online. If you have websites that you want to use as sources for your paper, an entry for the website must appear in the reference list (also called the bibliography or Works Cited) at the end of your paper. You'll also include a citation in-text at the end of any sentence in which you've paraphrased or quoted information that appeared on that website. While the information you need to provide is generally the same across all methods, the way you format that information may vary depending on whether you're using the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago style of citation.
Sample Citation Templates
- Example: Claymore, Crystal.
- If no individual author is listed, but the website is produced by a government agency, organization, or business, use that name as the author. For example, if you're using a CDC web page as a source, you would list the author as "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Tip: For your entire Works Cited entry, if an element doesn't exist or isn't provided, simply skip that part of the citation and move on to the next part.
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting."
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , 24 Sept. 2018,
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , 24 Sept. 2018, www.crystalscupcakes.com/amazing-frosting.
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , www.crystalscupcakes.com/amazing-frosting. Accessed 14 Feb. 2019.
MLA Works Cited Format:
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Web Page in Title Case." Name of Website , Day Month Year of publication, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
- For example, you might write: "The best cupcake frosting techniques are often the least intuitive (Claymore)."
- If you include the author's name in your text, there's no need for a parenthetical citation. For example, you might write: "Award-winning baker Crystal Claymore wasn't afraid to give away all her secrets, sharing her favorite frosting techniques on her website."
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society.
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017).
- If you're citing several pages from the same website that were published in the same year, add a lower-case letter to the end of the year so you can differentiate them in your in-text citations. For example, you might have "2017a" and "2017b."
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017). Cancer research.
- If the content you're citing is a stand-alone document, the title should be italicized. This will usually be the case if you're citing a PDF document that appears on a website. If you're not sure, use your best judgment in deciding whether to italicize it or not.
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017). Cancer research. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-research/?region=on
APA Reference List Format:
Author Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of web page in sentence case. Retrieved from URL
- For example, you might write: "Clinical trials are used to test new cancer treatments (Canadian Cancer Society, 2017)."
- If you include the author's name in your text, place the year in parentheses immediately after the author's name. For example, you might write: "The Canadian Cancer Society (2017) noted that Canada is a global leader in clinical trials of cancer treatments."
- Example: UN Women.
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women."
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women .
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women . Accessed February 14, 2019.
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women . Accessed February 14, 2019. http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw.
Chicago Bibliography Format:
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Web Page in Title Case." Name of Website or Publishing Organization . Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.
- Example: UN Women, "Commission on the Status of Women," UN Women , accessed February 14, 2019, http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://libguides.up.edu/mla/common/websites
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/apa-referencing/7Webpages
- ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/webpage-website-references
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/web_sources.html
- ↑ http://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/48009
About This Article
To cite a website in text using MLA formatting, include the author's last name in parentheses at the end of the sentence you're using the source in. If there is no author, include the title of the web page instead. If you're using APA formatting, include the author's last name followed by a comma and the year of publication in parentheses at the end of the sentence. If you don't know the author's name, use the name of the web page instead. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to cite a website in Chicago style, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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