Building a Citation
Follow these steps to build a citation for an online resource.
This information is summarized from “MLA Works Cited”:
To begin, locate as much information as you can about the webpage you want to cite.
Sometimes, this information is nonexistent or redundant, in which case you can cut it from your final citation.
Author (if known)
Article or page title (if applicable)
Title of website
Name of publisher (if different from title of website)
Date of publication (if available); do not use a copyright date as a publication date
Page numbers or, more likely, paragraph numbers
Version number or, if an online article, volume and issue number
DOI or URL
Date you accessed the resource (this is optional for journal articles)
How to Find a Date
On the web, as in the real world, a date can be hard to find.
If the date of publication is not readily visible, try these techniques, taken from Malik:
Scan the page. The date may be present but not where you expect it. Look closely.
Look at the URL. Some web pages, especially blogs, will have the date of an article built into the URL, so look at your brower’s address bar.
Check the sitemap. Typically, a website has an XML sitemap located at [website URL]/sitemap.xml. This file may reveal dates when the pages were last modified.
Look at the source code. In most browsers, you can right-click on a webpage and select View page source to see the raw HTML. In the
<head>section, you may find metadata telling you when the page was published.
Use Google. Google’s date of indexing is usually close to the publication date.
Type inurl: into Google search, followed by the address of the webpage in question.
Once you get the search results, move your cursor to the end of the URL in your address bar and add &as_qdr=y15.
When you hit enter, Google should show you results with indexing dates.
Note: Many web pages have copyright dates in their footers. The copyright date is not a date of publication and may automatically update on a yearly basis.