MLA Citation Example for an Online Encyclopedia

In the seventh edition of its handbook, the Modern Language Association (MLA) has omitted the inclusion of Web site addresses from Works Cited entries for online sources, including for online encyclopedias, because the links tend to change so quickly. If you need to include one anyway, at an instructor's request or because it adds clarity, enclose it in angle brackets and put it at the end of the entry on your Works Cited page.

Works Cited Page

If the online encyclopedia include an author for the article, begin with the last name, a comma and then the first name, followed by a period. However, online encyclopedias often do not include bylines; in this case, begin the citation with the article title in quotation marks. Next, include the name of the encyclopedia in italics, followed by a period. The publisher, a comma and the publication date follow, ending with a period. If you do not have a date of publication, use n.d. instead. The word "Web," without quotation marks, comes next, followed by a period. The date of access is important since Web sources may change and be revised by the time your reader accesses it, so conclude the entry with the access date in day-month-year format, ending with a period. For example:

"Great Depression." Encyclopædia Britannica Online (italics). Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013. Web. 14 May 2013.

In-Text Citation

The encyclopedia entry's title goes in parentheses for an in-text citation if there isn't an author. Otherwise, the author's name is included instead. For example, an in-text citation might look like this: ("Great Depression"). The entry name should be in quotation marks while other punctuation remains outside the parentheses.