MLA Style: Citing Digital Content
Citing Websites and Digital Media
- Page or document found on a website
- Entire website
- Digital file (e.g. PDF)
- Digital file posted on Blackboard or Other Learning System
- Facebook Post
- Comment on online article, blog posting, or website
- Youtube Video/Clip
When you are citing or quoting part of a web page or document, there is usually no page number to include in the parenthetical citation.
If you do not have page numbers, you could try not to use any parenthetical citations at all by including the author’s name in your essay text (in this case an organization author):
The Modern Language Association offers a practices template for works cited entries. . .
If you choose not to include the author’s name in your essay text, you don’t have to give paragraph numbers or page numbers from the print preview function in the parenthetical citation:
(Modern Language Association)
If the publisher is the same as the Website’s name, only list it once.
Author, Corporate Author, Editor, Compiler Name: if a person’s name: Last Name, First Name. "Title of Part of Website." Title of Website, Version number or edition used if applicable, Name of publisher/sponsor/organization/institution affilliated with Website if different from Author, Day Month Year created if available, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Modern Language Association of America. "Works Cited: A Quick Guide." The MLA Style Center: Writing Resources from the Modern Language Association, 2016, style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2016.
When you are citing an entire website or page, it is usually unnecessary to identify a page, paragraph or heading.
(The Hypertext Pratt)
You may, in fact, choose to use the authors' names or site name in your sentences and not use a parenthetical citation at all:
The Hypertext Pratt makes available. . .
Author, Corporate Author, Editor, Compiler Name: if a person’s name: Last Name, First Name. Title of Website, Version number or edition used if applicable, Name of publisher/sponsor/organization/institution affiliated with Website if different from Author, Day Month Year created if available, URL, or permalink. Accessed Day Month Year.
The Hypertext Pratt. E.J. Pratt Publications Project, 2016, www.trentu.ca/faculty/pratt/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2016.
First you need to determine what kind of work you are citing. The example is a PDF file of an article that appeared in a journal. For some kinds of files, you will not have a page or paragraph number, or you may not have an author's name. Work with what you have.
Include the information you have depending on the file and publication
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Article Title." Title of Container, Version, vol. number, issue number, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range, URL, permalink, doi if applicable. Accessed Day Month Year
Rice, Carla. "Creating Community across Disability and Difference.” Canadian Women’s Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, PDF file, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 187-193, cws.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/cws/article/viewFile/6199/5387. Accessed 26 Oct. 2016.
- There are many other digital file types: a Microsoft Word file, JPEG file, MP3 file, etc.
- If you are not sure of the file type, put Digital file.
- Medium of publication/file type is in regular font, except for software programs: PDF file, but Microsoft Word file.
- Date of access is optional, but it is best to give it if not using permalink or doi.
Author: Last Name, First Name. "Title of Lecture/Article/Reading." Name of Course, Version, Day Month Year of Lecture. Blackboard or name of other course management tool.
Akram-Lodhi, Haroon. "Structural Adjustment and Development Dilemmas 1980-1995." IDST 1001h, PowerPoint file, 2 Oct. 2016. Blackboard.
- If an article, book chapter, excerpt from a longer text, or other kind of reading is posted on Blackboard, begin the entry with the bibliographic entry you have on the reading. Use the Works Cited format that is closest to what you have: article, chapter, etc.
- The “Version” can vary: it could be a Microsoft Word file, JPEG file, Podcast, etc.
- PowerPoint and Microsoft Word are in italics because they are software programs.
- We do not suggest giving the URL for a Blackboard posting, as the only way to access a particular course’s Blackboard site is to be loaded onto the site and given access permission.
Twitter handle. "Entire tweet." Twitter, Day Month Year of posting, time using reader’s time zone, URL.
@TrentUASC. "It’s #Day10! When writing essay exams, balance your arguments with evidence. Be specific and show off what you’ve learned! #12Days of Exam Tips." Twitter, 19 Dec. 2016, 1:00 p.m., twitter.com/TrentUASC.
(Trent U Academic Skills Centre)
Last name, First name (username or page name). "First five to ten words of post. . . “ Facebook, Day Month Year of posting, time using reader’s time zone (if available), URL.
Trent U Academic Skills Centre. "LEC’s cabinet and college office, and Rebound guides present. . . “ Facebook, 24 Nov. 2016, 10:31 a.m., www.facebook.com/TrentUAcademicSkills/.
Last name, First name or username. Comment on “Title of Website, Online Article or Blog Posting.” Name of Website or Blog, Day Month Year of comment, time posted using reader’s time zone (if available), URL.
AGraham. Comment on “Writing Website In-Text Citations and References.” APA Style, 5 Dec. 2016, 7:52 p.m., blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2016/11/writing-website-in-text-citations-and-references.html#comments
(“Helen Macdonald on H is for Hawk”)
"Title of Episode." Title of Program, from Name of Network/Sponsor, Day Month Year Broadcast, URL.
"Helen Macdonald on H is for Hawk." Bookclub, from BBC Radio, 2 Oct. 2016, www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p048pdr2.
(“Martin Scorsese on Watching THE SEARCHERS for the First Time”).
This could be shortened in subsequent citations.
"Title of Video/Clip." Title of Website, in this case Youtube, uploaded by name of uploader, day month year of upload, URL.
"Martin Scorsese on Watching THE SEARCHERS for the First Time.” Youtube, uploaded by American Film Institute, 13 Mar 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlWT8kTccHw.
- You may add other optional information to your citation, depending on what the clip is. For example, if it is a television program or a film, or a clip from either, you may want to add performers, director, producer etc. This information would come before the title of the website, Youtube. See examples on how to cite television programs, films, sound recordings etc.