How to Cite a Website in an Essay Correctly

An important element of any academic paper is the notation of the sources used to gather information and find reliable facts. Basically, any information that you get online can be a great addition to the sources you use to write your essay, but it’s necessary to cite each site properly and according to requirements. How to cite a website in an essay correctly? Modern students can choose from a range of citation styles, so everything depends on your specific assignment prompts. Read them and talk to professors to determine the right one. For example, if you need to write based on MLA, a works cited page must contains the citations of online sources and references to them should be within the text of your essay.

Basic Citation Directions and Rules

  1. Cite websites by placing the names of their authors or editors in parenthesis at the end of any sentence that contains the information taken from them.
  2. Write your works cited page at the end of essays and ensure that it contains a list of all the sources used to complete this assignment successfully.
  3. Alphabetize this list. For example, to list the sources you use, it’s necessary to use the last names of their editors or authors and italicize the names of websites.
  4. Cite the publishing dates of websites, followed by a period.
  5. Take notes of such important details as the name of websites, their URLs, the authors of pages, article titles, their publication dates, etc. Select the right formatting style, such as MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and others.

How to Get Ready for Making Citations

First, you need to write special pages for the necessary citations to make it easier for you to keep all information in only one place. How to cite a website in an essay with ease? Keep numbering all citations as you go before referring to them in notes by their number. All you need to do is ensuring that you don’t lose the right citation page later.
Gather as much relevant and credible information about a particular webpage as possible when citing it and take these basic steps:

  • Copy URLs, which are website addresses that are usually shown in a special box at the top of your chosen search browser;
  • Find the authors of pages (this information can be found either down at the bottom or at the top under titles);
  • Wrote down the names of websites (they are in the banner on the top);
  • Copy the titles of articles when needed (you can find them on the top too);
  • Find correct publication dates (they aren’t always listed);
  • Note the dates when you retrieved specific information for your essay.

Ensure that you know which citation format must be utilized when completing your assignment. If not, read assignment prompts or talk to professors as there are many writing formats nowadays. For example, APA is often used for sciences MLA for humanities, and Chicago for religious studies.

Basic MLA Format Directions

When teachers require you to cite each site in MLA, there are basic things that need to be done to complete this academic task correctly. First, find out more about this formatting style that asks you to reference your citations in the text and write a correct works cited page at the end of their academic papers.
Cite each website in the text and put a particular reference to your works cited page after each sentence where you use any facts taken from there. Follow these basic rules:

  • Avoid putting periods at the end of these sentences;
  • Put your references in the parentheses that should be started 1 space away from the last word;
  • If the authors of websites are known, cite their last names in addition to page numbers when applicable;
  • If the last names of authors are not known, use source titles and always put them in quotations (if they’re long, use their partial titles);
  • Close parentheses after the last quotation mark or letter of the names of authors;
  • Include a period at the end of each sentence, and it should be after parentheses with no spaces.

Including Websites in a Works Cited Page

How to cite a website in an essay? Include the online sources you use in your works cited page. Stick to the right format when doing that:

  • Write down authors’ last and first names, website names, their version numbers, publishers, dates of publication, publication tools, and date you accessed specific materials.
  • If you teachers require URLs, they must be included in your words cited page citations.
  • If you need to cite only 1 page on websites, write quotation marks for its title before their names.
  • It’s possible to miss out authors when they are not listed.

Each citation in this page must be alphabetized, so use their first words to complete this simple task.

Important APA Formatting Instructions

If your assignment prompts require you to cite each site in your paper in APA, be sure to learn its basics. They ask you to reference to citations you write in the text and create your special reference list at the end of their essays. Follow important formatting guidelines to do everything correctly. Cite all the websites you use in the text and add in-text citations right after the sentence where you reference any data taken from them.

  • Always use open parentheses after the last word.
  • APA standards require you to use dates and authors. If the latter ones are known and dates are published, write down the last names of authors and the dates of publications inside parentheses (after a comma).
  • If authors aren’t known, put publication dates inside parentheses (also after a comma) and source titles in quotations.
  • Close parentheses and place it right after the date. Put 1 period at the end of each sentence that contains closed parentheses.
  • It’s possible to write your citations close to the beginning of essay sentences. When using the last names of authors at the beginning, include dates after them in parentheses.

Include all the sites that you use in an essay reference list, and use hanging indentions to format all citations. However, the first line shouldn’t be intended, while other lines are indented. Stick to the following format for all websites: the last name of authors and their initials, publication dates, document titles, and their URLs when needed.

Citing Websites Based on Chicago Format Requirements

How to cite a website in an essay according to this citation format? Use footnotes because this citation requirement is important when citing your online sources in the text. It’s necessary to have their entries both in footnotes and in your essay bibliography. To insert footnotes, click a sentence in the end to make a citation and the necessary footnote number should be directly after 1 period. When citing academic papers in Chicago, students always need to follow this footnote format for all websites:

  • The authors’ last and first names, page titles, publishers, site names, publication and your access dates, URLs or DOIs.
  • DOIs are digital object identifiers and they serve as the unique numbers given to any online article to help people find it.
  • If exact publication dates are unknown, just add the word accessed in footnotes and final citations.
  • If authors are not known, start with the first piece of data in the citation that you have.

Cite all sites in your bibliography to complete their entries in your assignment. In essence, it’s the same information as the one given on the main entry, but students need to reverse the names of authors and change some commas to periods. Finally, use the first words of all citations to sort their list in its alphabetized order.

Citing Government Websites with Unknown Authors

When writing essays in such areas of study as nursing and other social sciences, students need to format them in APA. The formatting requirements of this citation style also include specific rules for how to cite any government websites with unknown authors. To do it correctly, ensure that your references to certain pages include the names of authors, dates, page titles, and retrieval statements.

When information is published without any specific authors, their names should be replaced by the names of issuing agencies or government departments, and you also need to write their URLs. However, there are no reference list entries required when you cite the entire website because this requirement must be met only when you cite specific documents or pages from it. When you include any specific information taken from government websites in the text, indicate these sources in parentheses. If you find any of these rules confusing, consider the guidance offered by professionals in this field because they can do everything fast.