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How To Cite Websites In A Research Paper In The MLA Style


It helps to have set formats and guideline for completion of academic papers. This makes it much easier for students to complete their assignments in the proper manner, as well as making it simpler for the instructors to grade them. Over the years, there have been many styles but in the end, only a couple remain recommended by most educational institutes and one such style is the MLA format.

The MLA style is particular popular because of how easy it makes it to quote and cite authors, without fear of plagiarism accusations and misunderstandings. Apart from the basic type of paper and the manner in which one lays down the texts, this styles pays particular attention to the way you use citations in your essay. Here are the basic guidelines one must follow when citing websites in your research paper using the MLA format:

  1. Ensure that the website you are using for your research is an acceptable one. Most institutes prefer information acquired from sources other than the internet, however there are many sites that are approved for your study and you can find these easily using web services provided by different educational bodies.
  2. You must include a “works cited” section in your document and in this section you will record an entry of each piece you may have referenced in your paper. This includes the author’s name, position, published works and the date of publication.
  3. Be certain that the first word that appears in the “works cited” section of your document is included in your citation. These can be the names of the websites, the authors name or title of the particular article or document referenced.
  4. Unlike other forms of citations done in MLA style, you do not need to include a page number for a website.
  5. URLs are not to be included in your texts, unless absolutely necessary to ensure that the reader finds the right entry. This simply means that instead of writing the domain name “http://www.smamplesite.com” one only needs to enter “samplesite.com”.

There are various sources from which one can acquire information and it is important to understand how to properly reference each type. For example, one does not need to include citations for things that are considered to be “common knowledge”, however, it is important to remember that what is considered “common knowledge”, will be determined by the audience.

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