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How Do I Cite Search Engines in MLA Style?


Since the Internet has become such a prevalent part of daily life, it has been both a blessing and a curse for student writers. Online citations can be confusing, and you may be left wondering how to cite search engines in your essay.

In-Text Citation

If you have a specific source you have found via a search engine, cite it as a standard Web source, using last name and page number, if available. A quote from page 42 of John Smith's online book, then, would be cited as (Smith 42). Without the page number, you can use only the last name (Smith) -- and without the last name, use the article title instead: (Article Title). Use this method to cite the search engine itself, for example: There are about 120,000,000 results for the name James (Google Search).

Works Cited

On the Works Cited page, you can omit the last name if you do not have it, for example:

Last name, first name. "Article Title." Website Name. Date published (day,
month, year). Web. Date accessed by you (day, month, year).

In citing a search engine, use this method:

Google Search. Google. 30 May 2013. Web. 26 May 2013.

About the Author

Dr. Chris Snellgrove is a writing specialist, and a veteran of everything from a book-length dissertation to a newspaper editor's desk. He has produced work for academic, business, creative, and non-profit endeavors.

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