Electronic Sources

Introduction

Don’t think of electronic sources as radically different from other sources. The same Works Cited sections still apply. For instance, instead of the location being a set of page numbers, it is now usually a URL or DOI.

The main thing is to know what information you might collect from a webpage or website. Don’t be afraid to poke around to find what you are looking for:

Website Example

In this example, it is easy to find the URL, the title, and the date, but we have to do more digging to discover the author’s name and the website title.

Date of Access

Before we get to specific kinds of entries, it is good to note that one element is optional. That’s the date of access. This date is when you last consulted the electronic source for your research:

Beard, Stuart. “The Final Run.” Sofa Surfers, 8 Feb. 2017, www.sofasurfers.com/stories/the-final-run/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.

The date of access is useful because websites change constantly. However, this element is not mandatory.

Specific Sources

Entire Website

Cite as much information as you can gather about a website. Start with the creator’s name and the website title, and then add information for the container(s):

Kumar, Hardeep. Kabaddi Highlights. Singh Sports Company, 2014-16, www.kabaddihighlights.com. Accessed 18 Jan. 2017.

The publisher of a website may be a company that runs the site or it may be a single person. If the publisher and the creator are the same, don’t list the publisher again.

If you add the hyperlink, take off the https:// and don’t underline it. If MS Word changes it to a hyperlink, right click on it and select “remove hyperlink.”

If the website was developed over a period of time, then cite the first and last date:

Slackers Anonymous. 1999-2000, www.slackersanonymous.com.

Page of a Website

Citing a page of a website is similar to citing a shorter work such as a poem or essay. Start with the author and title of the page and then provide information for the larger website:

Tannenbaum, O. “The Christmas Sweater from Helsinki.” World’s Ugliest Christmas Sweaters, 14 June 2009, www.ugliestchristmassweaters.uk/christmas-sweater-from-helsinki/.

Online Article

Please see the section on citing articles for more information.

E-book

When you cite an e-book, indicate this in the container as a “version”:

Chewbacca, Phil. The Language of Spitting. E-book ed., Spittoon Press, 2012.

If the book is published on a website, you can add a URL or DOI:

Schadenfreude, Kirsten. Teachers’ Jokes from around the World. Humorist Press, 2012, www.humoristsinternational.com/jokes/teachers/

Video on a Website

When you cite online videos, there are a few things to watch out for. Often a video has both an original creator/artist and an uploader. If you think it is important to cite the latter, then do so as part of the contributors section of the container:

RAP$HEET. “‘Race Matters’ by Rapper Rap$sheet.” Youtube, uploaded by Itsmymoney, 22 Feb. 2017. www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoUh8Rap?.

If you do not know the original creator, skip the author section:

 “My Least Favorite Epic Fails.” Youtube, uploaded by Immature99, 19 Aug. 2008. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ran123dom4. Accessed 9 Sept. 2015.

Comment on a Web Page

Here is one way to cite a comment on a post:

Merkel, Angelica. Comment on “Why the Greek Monopoly Board No Longer Has Free Parking.” Board Game Greek, 18 Dec. 2010, 2:21 a.m., www.boardgamegreek.com/2010/12/18/why-the-greek-monopoly-board-no-longer-has-free-parking/.

Remember that your own description of the title (Comment on) should not have quotation marks around it. Adding the exact time of day may help others find it more easily.

Email

When you cite an email or text-message, use a simple description:

Lacy, Sandra. Text message to Manina Sprocket. 8 Nov. 2015.

Lacy, Sandra. E-mail to the author. 8 Nov. 2015.

Lacy, Sandra. E-mail to Academic Integrity Committee.

 


For more information about citing electronic sources, see the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), especially the examples at the back.