How to In-Text Cite a Website in MLA
Introduction to In-Text Citations in MLA
In-text citations are a crucial part of academic writing as they help readers to identify the sources of information used in a written work. In MLA (Modern Language Association) style, in-text citations are used to acknowledge the sources of information used in a paper and to give credit to the authors of those sources. In-text citations also serve as a way to avoid plagiarism by providing readers with a clear way to distinguish between the writer’s original ideas and the ideas borrowed from others. This section will provide an overview of the basics of in-text citations in MLA style, including the purpose of in-text citations and the types of information that need to be included in an in-text citation.
Basic Format for In-Text Citations of Websites in MLA
When citing a website in MLA style, there are certain elements that must be included in the in-text citation. These elements include the author’s name (if available), the title of the webpage or article, the title of the website, the publication date (if available), and the URL of the website. The basic format for citing a website in MLA style is to include the author’s last name and the page number (if applicable) in parentheses after the information being cited. If the author’s name is not available, then the title of the webpage or article should be used instead. The exact format for citing a website in MLA style may vary depending on the type of source being cited, so it is important to consult the MLA Handbook or a reputable online resource for specific guidelines.
Examples of In-Text Citations for Websites in MLA
Here are some examples of in-text citations for websites in MLA style:
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States” (nimh.nih.gov).
- In a recent article, Johnson argues that “the use of social media is leading to a decline in face-to-face communication” (Johnson).
- The American Heart Association states that “physical activity can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke” (heart.org).
In each of these examples, the author or organization responsible for the information is included in the in-text citation along with the specific information being cited. It is important to ensure that the information in the in-text citation matches the corresponding entry in the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
Tips for In-Text Citing Websites in MLA
Here are some tips to keep in mind when in-text citing websites in MLA style:
- Use the author’s name, if available, to establish credibility and authority for the information being cited.
- If the author’s name is not available, use the title of the webpage or article instead.
- Include the URL of the website in the in-text citation only if the reader needs to access the specific webpage or article being cited.
- If the webpage or article does not have a publication date, use the abbreviation “n.d.” (meaning “no date”) in place of the date.
- Be consistent in the formatting and style of in-text citations throughout the paper to ensure clarity and professionalism.
- Double-check the accuracy of in-text citations by comparing them to the corresponding entry in the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
By following these tips, writers can ensure that their in-text citations for websites in MLA style are accurate, professional, and effective at acknowledging sources and avoiding plagiarism.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in In-Text Citing Websites in MLA
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when in-text citing websites in MLA style:
- Forgetting to include an in-text citation for information taken from a website.
- Including the entire URL of the website in the in-text citation, rather than just the relevant information (e.g., author’s name or title of article).
- Using the wrong format or style for the in-text citation (e.g., including the wrong punctuation, using incorrect abbreviations, etc.).
- Failing to double-check the accuracy of the in-text citation by comparing it to the corresponding entry in the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
- Citing a webpage or article that does not have credible or reliable information, which can undermine the credibility of the paper and the author’s argument.
By avoiding these common mistakes, writers can ensure that their in-text citations for websites in MLA style are accurate, effective, and enhance the overall quality of their written work.