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How to Cite a Website Using a Footnote and MLA


Footnote citations allow you to put the entire bibliographical information for the source of your research on the same page on which you include a citation. Your teacher or the publication for which you write may require Modern Language Association footnote citations instead of the more conventional in-text citations. When you use a footnote to cite a website, list all of the relevant information so that your reader can easily find your source online. In subsequent citations, you need only cite a portion of the information.

Locate the author, the web page or article title, the publication title, the website title and the date of publication on the website you want to use. If any information is not present, you will not need to include it. Also make a note of the page's web address and the date you accessed the publication.

Insert the footnote after the information you would like to cite in your paper.

Write the author's name, first name first, followed by a comma.

List the article or page title in quotations followed by a comma before the end quotation. Write the name of the online publication, underlined or in italics.

Add the date of the page with the day of the month followed by the month abbreviated, the year and a comma.

Write the name of the website followed by a comma and the word "Web" and another comma.

List the date that you accessed the website according to the day of the month, the month abbreviated and the year. Add a period after the date. The final citation should look like this: Paul Lee, "Growing Green Tomatoes," Gardening Online 18 May 2011, University of X, Web, 20 June 2011.

Cite subsequent footnotes from the same source with the author's last name alone. If the website did list an author, list the title of the content.

Tip
  • Avoid using "Ibid." in your MLA footnote citations unless your teacher or publication requires them.
Warnings
  • Check with your teacher or a publication's individual policies about footnote citation preference. The official MLA Handbook does not address footnote citation at all beginning with its 7th edition. If your teacher or publication requires footnote citations, the format may be a little different than previous official MLA footnote formats.
  • Do not list the website address in the footnote. The MLA changed its policy and requires that you write "Web" instead.
About the Author

Amy McNulty has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. She has written for "Chocolate Zoom" and "The Japanese Tutor" among others. McNulty received a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors from Carthage College, where she also pursued minors in Asian studies and French.

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