How would you do an in-text citation for a website article with no author or page number available in the MLA format?

Expert Answers

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Online sources often pose challenges when you're including them in papers in which you use in-text or internal citation. Many of these websites, in fact, do not include authors or page numbers, so you need to consult guides that specifically address the use of electronic sources.

According to Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age by Diana Hacker and Barbara Fister,

Your in-text citation for an electronic source should follow the same guidelines as for other sources. If the source lacks page numbers but has numbered paragraphs, sections, or divisions, use those numbers with the appropriate abbreviation in your in-text citation: “par.,” “sec.,” “ch.,” “pt.,” and so on. Do not add such numbers if the source itself does not use them. In that case, simply give the author or title in your in-text citation.

Here is an example:

Julian Hawthorne points out profound differences  between his father and Ralph Waldo Emerson but concludes that, in their lives and their writing, “together they met the needs of nearly all that is worthy in human nature” (ch. 4).

Notice that in this example the author's name is included in the text itself, so no parenthetical citation is needed. What, however, should you do if you have no author?

You should cite the title of the web page itself so the in-text citation correlates with the entry on the Works Cited page. Assuming that the title of the website is "Emerson and Hawthorne," that title is what you'd put as the in-text citation---nothing else is needed.

For more information about this topic, you can check Duke University's OWL (Online Writing Lab) at the website listed below.

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