Dealing with Online Sources in MLA

Since a lot of the information we are getting comes from ONLINE sources I want to look at what it is you need to look for when looking at online sources.

Here is what the OWL at Purdue has:


There is quite a lot here and for what we look for online we will NOT always find ALL of this. We want to find what we can, and this will depend on the source.

For example, let’s say I look up a definition of “superhero” and want to quote it in my paper.

How do I create a works cited page? How do I then cite it in my text itself.

Let’s start by turning that stuff given to us by the OWL at Purdue and turn it into a fill-in-the blank. For everything I find I will fill it in. For what I don’t find I will mark NA and leave out.


The definition of a superhero by Merriam Webster dictionary online is where I will look as my source:

______NA______                     Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.

___”superhero”___             “Article name in quotation marks.”   Title of the website, project, or book in italics.

_____NA________      Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).

Merriam Webster__NA_ Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.

____NA________Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).

____________ URL (without the https://) DOI or permalink.

_Accessed on 29 Oct. 2018_Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed)—While not required, it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.

Now, I take this information and write it out as it should appear in the citation, in the order I have it above, omitting the information I marked “NA”.

Here is what my citation should look like:

“superhero.” Merriam Webster. https://www.merriam- Accessed on 29 Oct. 2018.

To form the in-text citations I simply take what is on the first line, farthest to the left. In this case it is “superhero.” This, when I summarize, paraphrase, or quote from the source will be placed in parenthesis like so: (“superhero”).




BA in History from Northwestern State, MA in English from Northwestern State, and PhD in Rhetoric from Texas Woman's University. Big into comic books and visual rhetoric. Assistant Professor of English at Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.

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