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MLA formatting:  I need to cite a website within the essay - the OWL at  Purdue isn't...

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jalong | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2012 at 2:09 AM via web

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MLA formatting:  I need to cite a website within the essay - the OWL at  Purdue isn't helping me understand.  I have a quote from a website - what do I do?

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chriseparker | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM (Answer #1)

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I have included a couple of links here at eNotes for MLA formatting. These can give you a quick overview of easy to read formatting guides.

For formatting your quote, first you should format your Works Cited entry for this online source of your quote.  Your citation in your essay should correspond to the Works Cited entry so that your reader may easily find the source from your citation.

The common format for an online source for Works Cited entry is similar to the information found in a print source.  Begin with the author, if there is one, with last name, first name. If no author, a title would be next: put the title in quotations if it’s a short article; italicize the title if it’s a bigger work like an entire website, an online book, etc.

The text I use, The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing, lists other information you need for an online source, including: “the version or edition used; publisher or sponsor of the site - if not available, use N.p.; the date of publication - if not available, use n.d.; the medium of publication (Web); the date you accessed the source” (Axelrod and Cooper 774).

(*Note that I have formatted my information in the paragraph above to include a tag phrase identifying the work, a quotation, and a citation with the editors and the page of my quoted information.)

Here’s a Works Cited example for an actual online source that I borrowed from The St. Martin’s Guide:

Cuddy-Kean, Melba. “The IVWS Menu.” The International Virginia Woolf Society Web Page. International Virginia Woolf Society, 31 Aug. 2002. Web. 6 June 2012.


Since this site has an author, I begin with the author, last name first. Next comes the title of the particular page of the site, followed by the sponsor of the site, the date of the site, the medium (Web), and finally, my access date.


Now that I have my Works Cited entry, I would format a quote from this site like this:


“Over sixty years after her death, the writings of Virginia Woolf are a source of continuing power and ever-increasing influence” (Cuddy-Keane).


If my website had no particular author, my citation following my quote would use the title of the particular screen I took the quote from:


“Over sixty years after her death, the writings of Virginia Woolf are a source of continuing power and ever-increasing influence” (“The IVWS Menu”).


If there was no short title available, I would take the name of the website--and since the website title is long, I would shorten it like this with enough information to link it to my corresponding Works Cited entry:


“Over sixty years after her death, the writings of Virginia Woolf are a source of continuing power and ever-increasing influence” (The International).


You can format your quotation in a similar fashion if your quotation is shorter than about 40 words. If longer, you will need to specially format your quotation. The OWL at Purdue should clearly show how to format a longer quotation. See the link below.


Work Cited
Axelrod, Rise B. and Charles R. Cooper, Editors. The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing, 9th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 774.

Sources:

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