How To Cite Online Research Sources

There are several methods to use for citing online sources. The most important element, regardless of the method you use, is to give credit where it is due. This will prevent you from plagiarism and stealing other people's ideas. The two most popular methods for citing sources are MLA and APA. There are others, but these are the two most frequently used methods.

Step 1

Decide which method you are going to use: MLA or APA. MLA is most commonly used for language arts, composition, and literature studies. APA is used most frequently for business writing and psychology.

Step 2

Review the guidelines available to you for either of these methods. Both of these methods are discussed with examples in Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Step 3

Gather your information. The standard information you will need to cite online sources is the web title, the web address, the date you accessed the information, the author, and the date the information was published on the website.

Step 4

Follow this pattern for citing online sources in MLA format:

Author's name (last name first). Document title. Date of Internet publication. Date of access <URL>.

Step 5

Follow this pattern for citing online soruces in APA format:

Author's name (last name, first and any middle initials). (Date of Internet publication). Document Title. Title of complete work (if applicable). Retrieval statement.

Using a method of documentation will help you avoid plagiarism in your writing, and it will also help you meet the requirements of professional and academic writing.


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