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MLA Style Guide 9th Edition


Tips for Referencing Online Sources


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.