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How to Reference Text From an Online School Assignment


Online school assignments may be cited within the text of a research paper. This is generally challenging because Web pages do not have page numbers. The most important thing to remember when referencing text from an online source is to give the most specific information as possible to direct readers to your cited source. The Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Chicago Manual of Style are all popular citation style guides. Your professor may instruct you to use a particular style, but MLA is popular for research papers in the humanities and at the undergraduate and graduate level of study.

Cite the online school assignment within the text of your written research. Quote or paraphrase the text you are referencing. If you mention the author’s name within your written research, include the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence of the citation. If you do not mention the author, include his or her last name followed by the page numbers in parentheses at the end of the sentence including the cited text. If there are no page numbers to reference, use paragraph numbers, using “pars.” as an abbreviation. In subsequent references, include only the paragraph numbers in parentheses if you mention the author's name within the text, or if it is clear that you are still referring to the same author and text. Otherwise, include the author's name and the paragraph numbers in your parenthetical citations.

Cite complete information for online school assignment on your works cited page, the final page in your research paper. Be sure that the author’s name matches the name you cited in the text, or if there is no author, make sure the abbreviated title you cited within the text is easily identifiable on your works cited page.

Format the citation on the works cited page to include as much information as possible. Use the author’s surname first, followed by a comma, then his first name, and end with a period. Provide the article title in quotes, and a period within the quotes. Underline the original source of the article (such as the name of the publication it appears in). End the publication title with a period. If that information is unavailable, do not include it. Provide the name of the university or institution, followed by the year it was published, and the Web address in its entirety (including the "http" part) in between the less-than and greater-than brackets, followed by a period. End the citation with “Online.” To denote that this source was found on the web.

About the Author

Melissa Cole began writing as a local newspaper reporter in 2008. Her work also appears on various websites. Cole is a public-television producer and media professional, as well as a vegan and former varsity track-and-field MVP and team captain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and politics from New York University.

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