How to Cite a Online Website Using the MLA Dissertation Writing Style

MLA Academic Writing Style

Referencing academic work using the MLA style guide provides professionalism and consistency to an essay, online dissertation writing, or thesis.

The MLA style guide is a formatted approach to referencing secondary works in a piece of academic writing. According to the Owl Purdue Writing Lab website, several important reasons exist for using a consistent style guide such as the MLA (Modern Language Association). It allows the reader to follow the trajectory of your work more efficiently, incorporating secondary references and sources into the flow. It also allows “readers to focus more on your ideas by not distracting them with unfamiliar or uncomplicated formatting.” Using this consistent approach also lends credibility to your work and shows that you take the needs of your readers and fellow researchers into account.

Providing the reader of a piece of academic writing with the correct information about the source of secondary material allows him to access the webpage (or other source) easily, in order to read more thoroughly into the subject. The MLA style guide allows readers and fellow researchers to follow an established research trail that may help to further inform or develop their own work.

Step 1

Create a footnote in the main body of the text at the end of the citation from the website. Click on “Insert” at the top of the Microsoft Word Document page, and select “Footnote” from the drop-down box.

Step 2

Type the author’s name at the bottom of the page, beside the footnote number. Type the surname first, followed by a comma. Then type the first name, followed by a period.


O’Driscoll, Nicole.

Step 3

Type the website title in quotation marks, with a period before the closing quotation mark. For example:

“MLA style guidelines.”

Step 4

Type the name of the webpage either in italics or underlined, to show that it is the source of the web document you are quoting from.

Step 5

List the publisher, if there is one, or type “n.p.” if there is no publisher.

For example: Cambridge University Press, or n.p.

The citation should now look like this:

O’Driscoll, Nicole. “How to Cite a Website Using the MLA Writing Style.” EHow. n.p. (Ehow should be either underlined or appear in italics.)

Step 6

Cite the date that the page appears on the website, or write “n.d.” if there is no date.

O’Driscoll, Nicole. “How to Cite a Website Using the MLA Writing Style.” EHow. n.p. 30 Aug. 2010.

Step 7

Type the word “Web” (without quotation marks) followed by a period. Then type the URL, followed by the date you accessed the web page.