How to Cite a Website in an Essay

Writing an essay is a common assignment that all students need to complete. If they fail to submit a great paper, their grades will be compromised. There are different points and stages involved in writing the best one, such as citing website properly. Contact our friendly specialists who understand how to cite a website in an essay and read on to improve your skills. In general, you should write down URLs, authors, website names, article title, its publication date, and other basic information. Choose the right citation style or read prompts to meet teachers’ formatting requirements. There are different styles to choose from, including Chicago, APA, MLA, and others. They all have unique rules that must be followed by students to get high marks for their essays. For example, if you choose MLA, you should include the author’s first and last names or website name, article title, publication year, web, and date of access. You shouldn’t include any URL if you’re not asked by professionals, so use hanging indention and include the necessary data in your works cited page. Other citation styles may have different instructions, and that’s why you should become familiar with each one to be a successful student.Effective Guidelines on How to Cite a Website in an Essay

How to Prepare to Make Citations

First, you need to create a special citation page because everything becomes easier if you keep all details in one place. Number all citations and refer to them in your notes by their numbers, but ensure that you don’t lose this helpful page when writing essays. When citing any website in your paper, gather information about it and take the following steps:

  • Copy URL or a website address that you can find in a browser;
  • Find its author’s name (it can be either at the top or at the bottom);
  • Write down a website name (it’s a banner that you can see at the top);
  • Copy article titles when needed (they are often listed at the top too);
  • Find a publication date, but it may not be listed;
  • Note the date when you get this information.

Ensure that you use the right citation format to know how to cite a website in an essay. Some teachers specify it in their assignment prompts, while others leave this choice to students. If you can’t make this choice, stick to MLA for humanities, Chicago for religious studies, and APA for sciences because they are safe to go.

Basic Requirements of Each Citation Style

As you already know, every formatting style has its own specifics that should be considered by students when citing websites. Learn more about basic requirements to achieve your academic success with ease.

Tips on Citing Websites according to MLA Requirements

For this citation style, you’re required to embed all references to citations in the text and include a special works cited page in your essay. Right after a sentence where you put any information from websites, you need to include references to this page according to the following guidelines:

  • Don’t put any period;
  • Put all references in parentheses;
  • If you know website authors, cite their names and page numbers;
  • If their names are unidentified, use article titles and place them in quotations;
  • Close your parentheses and put a period at the end of this sentence.

How to include websites in a works cited page? Stick to the following format:

  • Authors’ first and last names, website name, version number, organizations or publishers, publication date and medium, and date of your access;
  • Remember that MLA formatting guidelines don’t require the inclusion of URLs in this page because they aren’t always static (if your teacher demands it, ensure that it’s placed after the date of your access);
  • When citing only one page on a given website, put its title in quotation marks before its name;
  • You can leave authors off if they aren’t listed.
  • Don’t forget to alphabetize all citations! You should use the 1st word in each one to do that in your works cited page.

How to Make Correct APA Citations

If you’re asked to cite websites in your essay according to this format, include a reference list at its end. After sentences where you reference any information taken from websites, you need to add in-text citations and use the following tips:

  • After last words, use an open parenthesis;
  • Include authors and publishing dates (put their last names in dates inside your parentheses);
  • If authors are unknown, out the titles of their works in quotations and publication dates inside the parentheses;
  • Close your parentheses right after dates and put a period at the end of this sentence;
  • Feel free to include citations near the beginning of sentences.

You also need to include websites on a reference list and format citations in hanging indention. How to cite a website in an essay in this format? Include authors’ first initials and last names, publication dates, titles, and retrieved from URLs.

How to Use the Chicago Manual Properly

This citation style requires students to use footnotes when citing different sources, such as websites, in the text. You have a special entry for them on footnotes and the other one in a bibliography list. To insert your footnotes correctly, you should click at the end of those sentences where you want to make citations, and footnote numbers come right after a period. There is a certain format that should be used when citing websites in footnotes:

  • Put authors’ last and first names, website titles, organizations, publishers, website names, publication dates, your access dates, DOIs or URLs;
  • Any DOI is a digital object identifier or a unique number assigned to all online articles to make them easier to find by users (this number is usually assigned to academic articles);
  • If publication dates are unidentified, you should add the word “accessed” in front of the years of final citations and footnotes;
  • If authors are unknown, start with the first fact in citations that you have.

Besides, you should understand how to cite all websites in your bibliography list. Writing it starts with completing its entry for online sources, and it includes the same data as the main entry. The main difference is that you change commas to periods and reverse authors’ names. This format contains webpage titles, authors’ first and last names, organizations, publishers, website names, publication dates, access dates, and DOIs or URLs. It’s necessary to alphabetize your reference list correctly, so use the 1st word in all citations to put this list in its alphabetical order. Although these guidelines cover only basic citation styles, when you use online academic databases, note them and DOI numbers of all articles in citations notes for later.

Other Facts That Students Should Know

Sometimes, students need to cite such popular websites as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. How should they do that to earn high grades after submitting essays? To cite Facebook and Twitter, you can use basic reference formats to fit them because there are no specific citation formats. When it comes to YouTube, follow a few basic guidelines to create references for the videos found on this website and other similar online sources:

  • If you know the screen and real names of people who posted particular videos, you need to put their names, dates, video titles, and URLs;
  • If you know only their screen names, put them, dates, video titles, and URLs without real names.

References Lists versus Bibliographies

APA formatting guidelines require students to include a reference list instead of a bibliography in their essays. What is the difference? First, all reference lists include all the sources cited in the text, and they must be listed alphabetically according to authors’ surnames. Bibliographies may include the sources that are consulted without being cited in the text in addition to their annotated descriptions. It’s possible to organize them by subject or chronologically instead of using an alphabetical order. When you receive the assignments that require you to use bibliographies and you don’t know how to cite a website in an essay, consult with teachers to get more specifics about the necessary formatting style.

When You Should Get Professional Help

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