How to Reference a Website

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In an essay or research paper, a list of references is needed. The two most used formats are MLA and APA. MLA style lists the references on a separate page at the end of a paper, called the "Works Cited" page. APA requires a reference list at the end the paper. Both need in-text citations as well.


Enter the author of the website or the last name and first initial of the website article author. Place a period after the first name initial.

Enter the date of publication in parentheses. Write the year, then insert a comma, followed by the date. Place a period after the closing parentheses.

Type the name of the article in italics with a period after.

Include the date you viewed the article. Start it with "Retrieved [insert date: month day, year]" and follow the date with a comma.

Type the title of the website as such: "from [insert name of website] website" followed by a colon.

Finish the reference with the website link to the article. Include the "http://" first. The end result should look like this:

Epsicokhan, J. (2004, February 20). Confessions of a closet trekkie. Retrieved October 12, 2009, from Jammer's Reviews website:


Enter the last name and first name of the author of the web article. Place a period after the name.

Enter the title of the article with quotations around it. End it with a period within the quotations.

Type the title of the website in italics. End this with a period as well.

Enter the date you viewed the website by day, abbreviated month and year format. End it with a period.

Enter the URL of the web page you are referencing within "<" and "<" marks. Follow it with a period. The end result should look like this:

Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Confessions of a Closet Trekkie." Jammer's Reviews. 15 Mar. 2010.


  • Each line after the first line must be indented five spaces for both MLA and APA format.
  • If the referenced site does not include an author, start the reference with the title of article.


About the Author

Michelle Varsallona started writing professionally in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She specializes in writing about all things mobile, gaming, geek-culture and vegan related.

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