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How to List Internet References in a Bibliography


A bibliography essentially serves as a more thorough version of an MLA works cited page or APA reference list. A works cited page or reference list should only include sources that you quote or summarize in your paper, whereas a bibliography should contain every source that you consulted, even if you did not quote or summarize it directly. Depending on which style guide you follow, the Internet references in your bibliography should match the styles of MLA Internet references in a works cited page or APA Internet citations in a reference list.

Bibliography Format

Format your bibliography according to the style guide you use for the rest of the paper. If you employ MLA, format your bibliography according to the guidelines for a "Works Cited" page. If you employ APA, format your bibliography according to the guidelines for a reference list. Both guides instruct writers to use a hanging indentation: indent every line of a citation one-half inch except for the first line. For example, if a citation occupies three lines on the bibliography page, indent the second and third lines.

Rules for All Bibliographies

When you cite Internet references in a bibliography, basic rules apply to every online source in both MLA and APA formats. If you cannot find the author’s or editor’s real name, begin the citation with her screen name. Type the abbreviation “n.d.” for the date entry if you do not know the source’s date of publication or the date on which it was most recently updated.

MLA: Citing Articles, Periodicals and Web Pages

Begin the citation by entering the author's or editor's last name, immediately followed by a comma. Add her full first name, then insert a period. Insert an open quotation mark. Type the title of the article or web page. Capitalize the first letters of every word, except for articles, to format the title in title case. Place a period at the end, followed by a close quotation mark. Enter the title of the periodical or website in italicized title case. Add a period. Type the name of the publisher or sponsor, succeeded immediately by a comma. Enter the date of publication or the most recent update in day-month-year format then add a period. Abbreviate the month. Note the medium by entering “Web.” Type the date you accessed the source, followed by a period. According to the seventh edition of the MLA handbook, you do not need to include the URL in Internet citations. However, if your instructor requests the URL, add an open angled bracket after the access date. Paste the URL, and add a close angled bracket. For example: Madison, Dolley. “Entertaining at the White House.” First Ladies Magazine (italicized). First Ladies Publishing House, 1 Apr. 1819. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <http://firstladies.com/1819/april/dolley/>

APA: Citing Articles, Periodicals and Web Pages

Begin the citation by entering the author’s or editor’s last name, immediately followed by a comma. Leave a space, then add her first initial and a period. Insert an open parenthesis. Type the publication date in year-month-day format, succeeded by a close parenthesis and period. Place a comma immediately after the year, and spell out the month. Following the date entry, type the name of the article or web page in sentence case: only capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon (if any), and proper nouns. Succeed the title with a period. If you are citing an entire periodical or website, you do not have to enter an article or page title. Next, type the title of the periodical or website in italicized title case. Add a comma to the end of the title. Leave a space. Type the volume number, followed immediately by an open parenthesis. Cite the issue number, then add a close parenthesis and a period. Italicize the volume number but not the issue number. Do not include the parentheses if you only have one of the numbers. If you do not have either number, use a period at the end of the periodical or website instead of a comma. The sixth edition of the APA manual instructs writers to include URLs for Internet sources. Type “Retrieved from” before noting the URL. For example: Madison, D. (1819, April 1). Entertaining at the White House: Splendor in the new nation. First Ladies Magazine (italicized). Retrieved from http://firstladies.com/1819/april/dolley/

About the Author

Grace Riley has been a writer and photographer since 2005, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers such as the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." She has also worked as a school teacher and in public relations and polling analysis for political campaigns. Riley holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in American studies, political science and history, all from the University of Arkansas.

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