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MLA Style Guide 9th Edition


Tips for Referencing Online Sources



Although not required, the date that online material is accessed is sometimes included in your Works Cited entry.  According to the MLA Handbook "An access date for an online work should generally be provided if the work lacks a publication date or if you suspect that the work has been altered or removed" (211).  

If you include an Access Date, it follows the end punctuation and is the last element of your entry in this format:  Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.


It is important to include the location element when referencing electronic resources. The following identifiers (in order of preference) may be listed as the location for an electronic resource: 

  1. DOI
  2. Permalink
  3. URL

A URL is comprised of three parts:

You may choose to omit the Protocol (http:// or https://) from URL's unless you want to hyperlink them and are working in a software program that does not allow hyperlinking without it. (Note: Always include the Protocol (http:// or https://) in DOI links) 

If a URL runs more than three full lines or is longer than the rest of the entry, you should shorten it. When shortening a URL always retain at least the host.

Links included in the Works Cited may be active if you are submitting your paper electronically.


*See section 5.95 of the MLA Handbok, ninth edition for more information.