This blog is for educators, academicians, students and those who are interasted to integrate technology in class room.

Much of the information students  use in their research papers come from internet and be it  a blog post, an email, or wiki entry, students need to properly cite and document their sources as is recommended by the citation format embraced by their professor or teacher. MAL and APA are two of the most frequently used citation styles but most high schools use MLA. In the present post I am sharing with you a simplified guide on how to cite online information using MLA style. I have also created a visual poster that goes along with this guide. You can use the poster with your students in class or share it on your blog as long as you do not charge people for it and as long as you credit Educational Technology and Mobile Learning as being the original source.

how to cite online information using MLA 

1- A Citation for a Web Page:
Think of citing a Web page as if it were an article in a magazine. It is part of the larger whole, the Web site, the concept is the same and the citations are very similar :
  •  If there is an author or editor, that person’s name should come first
  • The title of the page is in quotations, just as if it were an article in a periodical.
  • The title of the site is italicized because it is the entire publication, just as if it were the title of a magazine.
  • If there is a sponsoring agency ( such as NASA in this example), that information is next.
  • list the date the site was last updated or a copyright date if that information is available. If the date is not available use the designation n.d.
  • End with the medium identification,”Web,” and the date the student accessed the information.

Netting, Ruth, ed. “Microwaves.” The Electromagnetic Spectrum. NASA, 27 Mar 2007. Web. 18 June 2009.

2- A citation for w web site
 Sometimes a student takes information from several pages in a website, just as he might use several chapters in a book. when this is the case, it is appropriate to write the citation for the entire site. Since the web ages form a cohesive , whole site, the entire site should be cited.
  • If there is the name of the person who is responsible for the content of the site, use that person’s name as the author or editor. Do not use the name of he webmaster.
  • Italicized the title of the website
  • Use the name of the publisher or sponsor next. If none is given , use the designation N.p.
  • Put the date of posting for last update. If both dates are given, use the date of last update.
  • End with the medium identification,”Web,” and the date the student accessed the information.

Gutierrez, Antonio. Go Geometry: From the Land of the Incas. N.p. 22 Mar. 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2009.

3- A Citation for an Article on a Wiki
Entries in wikis, as a rule, are not signed, so the citation begins with the title of the entry, enclosed in quotation marks.
  • The title of the wiki is italicized and followed by a period
  • The publisher or sponsor comes next. If that information is not available, use the designation N.p.
  • The date of the posting if available, or the copyright date comes next.
  • The last part of the citation is the medium identifier, Web, and the date the sutend accessed the information from the site.

“How to Raise Butterflies.”Wikihow. Wikihow, n.d. Web. 2March 2009.

4- A citation for a blog or discussion
  • Begin with the author’s name and follow it with a period.
  • Follow the author’s name with the title of the blog entry. Enclose in quotation marks and end with a period inside the quotation narks.
  • Italicize the title of the web site if there is a title different than that of the blog entry.
  • Next list the name of the publisher or sponsor of the site. If no date is given, use the designation N.p.
  • Next insert the date of the posting followed by a period. If no date is given, use the designation n.d.
  • Finish with the medium identifier web and the date of access.

Gertz, Emily. “Can Offshore Drilling Lower Gas Prices, Make the U.S. Energy Independent?” Stop Global Warming., 5 Oct. 2008. Web. 2 Mar. 2009.

5- A Citation for an article in an online periodical
Online periodical articles are cited much the same way as print periodical articles. Students can create one if they know how to create the other.
  • Begin with the name of the author.
  • Put quotation marks around the title of the article
  • Italicize the name of the periodical
  • Next comes the name of the publisher or sponsor and the date of the article. If there is no problem or sponsor, use N.p. If there is no date use n.d.
  • End with the medium identifier, “Web,” and the date of access.
Borrel, Brendan, “Are Octopuses Smart?” Scientific American, Scientific American. Scientific American, 27 Feb. 2009. Web. 3 Mar. 2009.
6- A citation for an online scholarly journal
Some scholarly journals appear only in print, some only on the Web, and some appear in both media. In order to make it easy for students to cite materials accurately, it makes sense for them to cite the source that they are using. That means that they will not be concerned as to whether or not an online journal also appears in print.
  • To cite an online scholarly journal, use the basic guidelines for print journal.
  • Begin with the author or authors, followed by the title of the article in quotations.
  • Italicize the name of the journal and follow that with the volume, issue (if given), and year, in parentheses, followed by a colon.
  • Sometimes page numbers are available, but more often they are not . If not, use the designation,n.p.
  • End with the medium identification, “Web,” and date of access.

Knight, Wanda B. “Entangled Social Realities : Race, Class, and Gender a Triple Threat to the Academic Achievement of Black  Females.” Visual Culture and Gender 2(2007): n.p. Web. 19 Apr. 2009.

7-  Citation for an email

Begin by answering the question Who wrote the information used ? The answer is the person who sent the email.
The closest that an email comes to a title appears in the Subject line. Enclose it in quotation marks with a period. If there is nothing in the Subject line, go on to the next part of the citation.
The descriptive phrase,”Message to______.”comes next. Fill in the blank with the name of the recipient
or with the phrase “the author” if the student received the email.
Add the complete date of email.
Finish with the medium of the source,”Email.”
Underwood, Jason.”X-rays.” Message to the author.5 June 2008. Email. Jest, Shirley U. Message to Don Anderson. 26 Apr. 2007. Email.


Further reading: “ MLA Made Easy: Citation Basics for Beginners“.


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