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Citing Sources From The World Wide Web

The recommendations in the fifth edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers on documenting online databases (sec. 4.9) have been revised to reflect evolving computer technology. The new guidelines that cover the World Wide Web are summarized below. At the end of this list are sample entries for some common kinds of Web sources.

1. Name of the author, editor, compiler, or translator of the source (if available and relevant), reversed for alphabetizing and followed by an abbreviation, such as an ed., if appropriate.

2. Title of poem, short story, article, or similar short work within a scholarly project, database, or periodical (in quotation marks); or title of a posting to a discussion list or forum (taken from the subject line and put in quotation marks), followed by the description Online posting.

3. Title of book (underlined)

4. Name of the editor, compiler, or translator of the text (if relevant and if not cited earlier), preceded by the appropriate abbreviation, such as Ed.

5. Publication information for any print version of the source.

6. Title of the scholarly project, database, periodical, or professional or personal site (underlined); or, for a professional or personal site with on title, a description such as Homepage.

7. Name of the editor of the scholarly project or database (if available).

8. Version number, of the source (if not part of the title) or, for a journal, the volume number, issue number, or other identifying number.

9. Date of electronic publication, of the latest update, or of posting.

10. For a work from a subscription service, the name of the service and –if a library is the subscriber—the name and city (and state abbreviation, if necessary) of the library.

11. For a posting to a discussion list or forum, the name of the list or forum.

12. The number range or total number of pages, paragraphs, or other sections, if they are numbered.

13. Name of any institution or organization sponsoring or associated with the Web site.

14. Date when the researcher accessed the source.

15. Electronic address, or URL, of the source <in angle brackets>; or, for a subscription service.

16. The URL of the service’s main page (if known) or the keyword assigned by the service.

Scholarly Project

Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Apr. 1997. Indiana U. 26 Apr. 1997 <http://>.

Professional Site

Portuguese Language Page. U of Chicago. 1 May 1997<>.

Personal Site

Lancashire, Ian. Home page. 1 May 1997 < index.html>.


Nesbit,E[dith]. Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism.. Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Apr. 1997. Indiana U. 26 Apr. 1997 < html>.


Nesbit, E[dith]. “Marching Song.” Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism. London, 199799708. Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willitt. Apr. 1997. <http://www.>.

Article in a Reference Database

“Fresco.” Britannica Online. Vers. 97.1.1. Mar.1997. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 29 Mar. 1997 <>.

Article in a Journal

Flannagan, Roy. “Reflections on Milton and Ariosto.” Early Modern Literacy Studies 2.3 (1996): 16 pars. 22 Feb. 1997 <>

Article in a Magazine

Landsburg, Steven E. “Who Shall Inherit the Earth?” Slate 1 May 1997. 2 May 1997. 1 May 1997 <>

Work from a Subscription Service

Koretz, Gene. “Economic Trends: Uh-Oh, Warm Water.” Business Week 21 July 1997: 22 Electric Lib. Sam Barlow High School Lib., Gresham, OR. 17 Oct. 1997 <>.

“Table Tennis.” Compton’s Encyclopedia Online. Vers. 2.0. 1997. America Online. 4 July 1998. Keyword: Compton’s.

Posting to a Discussion List

Merrian, Joanne. “Spinoff: Monsterpiece Theatre.” Online posting. 20 Apr. 1994. Shakespeare: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference. 27 Aug. 1997 <>

SOURCE: “Documenting Sources from the World Wide Web. MLA Style. 9 July 1998. Modern Language Association. 22 April 1999.  <>.