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How to Cite an Online Encyclopedia Entry MLA Style


Most literature students know how to cite an online book in an MLA-style Works Cited list, but not many know how to cite an online encyclopedia entry. Don't worry; it's not difficult. Basically, treat the entry as you would any work in an anthology.

Author

If the entry is signed, start your citation with the author's name:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith.

Entry

Put the title of the entry in quotation marks:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith. "Plato."

If the entry is one among many, you should specify which entry you are referring to:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith. "Plato." Entry 2.

Encyclopedia

Give the name of the encyclopedia (the name of the Web site) in italics, followed by (if applicable) the edition, and then the latest copyright date:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith. "Plato." Entry 2. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2009.

Many online encyclopedias, however, will not have an edition number because they are being continuously updated. If there is an edition number, it should be formatted in this way:

15th ed.

The copyright date can usually be found at the very bottom of the page.

Web

After that, type the word "Web" and the date you accessed the entry:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith. "Plato." Entry 2. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2009. Web. 16 May 2013.

URL

MLA format for Works Cited lists, as of 2009, no longer requires the use of URLs. However, if the entry is not accessible any other way, or if your professor requires one, put it at the end of your citation in angle brackets:

Brickhouse, Thomas and Nicholas D. Smith. "Plato." Entry 2. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2009. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.iep.utm.edu/plato/.

References
About the Author

Based in Montreal, Emily Valentine has been editing academic papers and writing short stories since 2001. She is a contributing writer to Synonym.com, and various other websites. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Toronto. Her specialties include writing fiction and nonfiction, and the history of the English language.

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