Important Note: Be sure to check with your instructor about which electronic sources he or she considers legitimate for the purposes of your research. In general, it is your responsibility to evaluate electronic sources carefully before you use them. Remember that anyone from your little sister to a rocket scientist can "publish" on the internet.
|Online Projects and Databases||Online Books||Online Posting|
|Online Professional and Personal Sites||Online Articles||E-Mail Communication|
MLA / Basic Elements of Electronic Citation
Electronic citations should follow the same basic format as their print counterparts, with the same goal in mind -- that is, to provide readers with a way to locate the information themselves. Often, extra information may be necessary (e.g., access date, electronic address) and some standard information may be unavailable (e.g., page numbers). Different types of sources as well as different media may have different requirements. Examples for some of the most frequent types of electronic citations are listed below. Pay particular attention to the handling of the following two elements:
Dates: Whereas in the case of print citations, only the publication date is usually listed, many electronic resources are updated regularly. Thus, when citing electronic sources you should include both the date of original publication (if available) and the date on which the material was accessed.
Electronic Address: The MLA Style Manual recommends including the online address of electronic materials, where available. You should include the access-mode identifier (e.g., http, ftp, gopher, telnet, news) as well as the path and file names. The address should be given inside angle brackets: <../index.html/Handbook>.
MLA / About Page Numbers
Many electronic sources don't provide standard page numbers. The MLA Style Manual recommends that writers include the number range or total number of pages or paragraphs if they are numbered. In cases where page numbers are unavailable, the MLA Handbook requires that "n. pag." (no pagination) be included in the "Works Cited" entry (see Handbook, pp. 136-37, 165).
MLA / Parenthetical Reference within Your Paper to an Electronic Source
When documenting a work within your paper, use a parenthetical reference (see Handbook, pp. 104, 184-205). The reference should:
Online Projects and Databases
Suffragists Oral History Project. 1998. Library, U of California, Berkeley. 20 Jan. 1999 <http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ROHO/ohonline/ suffragists.html>. Victorian Web. Ed. George Landow. 1994. Brown University. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.stg.brown.edu/ projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/victov.html>. Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Apr. 1997. Indiana U. 26 Apr. 1997 <http:// www.indiana.edu/~letrs/vwwp/>.
Simons, Mark. Thomas Hardy Resource Library. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://pages.ripco.com:8080/ ~mws/hardy.html>. University of Newcastle Drama Department. Michael R. Booth Theatre Collection. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.newcastle.edu.au/department/dm/booth/ booth.htm>.
Duncan, Donna. Home page. 6 Sept. 1998 <http:// www.geocities.com/SoHo/Coffeehouse/1652/>. Klein-Smith, Sarah. Home page. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://members.aol.com/~sklein2/>.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. London, 1861. Project Guttenberg. 6 Sept. 1998 <ftp:// uiarchive.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/etext/gutenberg/etext98/ grexp10.txt>. Eliot, George. Middlemarch. London, 1871-72. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://etext.virginia.edu/subjects/women.html>.
Online Article in Scholarly Journal
Moran, Charles. "From a High-Tech to a Low-Tech Writing Classroom: 'You Can't Go Home Again'." Computers and Writing 15.1 (April 1998). 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/ ~ccjrnl/Archives/v15/15_1_html/15_1_Feature.html> Baird, Ellen. "Ain't Gotta Do Nothing but Be Brown and Die." Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine 5.7 (July 1998). 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1998/jul/baird.html>
Online Article in a Newspaper
Harmon, Amy. "Have Laptop, Will Track Each Blip in the Market." New York Times on the Web 6 Sept. 1998. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.nytimes.com/ library/tech/98/09/biztech/articles/06tick.html>. "Government Orders Peanut-Free Zones on Airlines." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 4 Sept. 1998. 7 Sept. 1998 <http://www.jsonline.com/alive/ nutrition/0904peanut.stm>.
Online Article in a Magazine
Jaquet, Janine. "Taking Back the People's Air." The Nation Digital Edition.8 June 1998. 7 Sept. 1998 <http://www.TheNation.com/i980608.htm>. Taggart, Stewart. "DNA Testing for the Dogs." Wired. 4 Sept. 1998. 6 Sept. 1998 <http:// www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/14842.html>.
Doe, Jane. "Re: Gaskell's Mary Barton." E-mail to John Smith. 14 July 1998. Anderson, Sheila. "Gaskell's earlier letters." E-mail to author. 16 July 1998.
Galloway, Patricia. "Spamming." Online posting. 14 May 1997. Humanist Discussion Group. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://lists.village.virginia.edu/ lists_archive/Humanist/v11/0031.html>. Jordan, Ellen. "Re: Tess's Trial." Online posting. 10 August 1997. Victoria. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://listserv.indiana.edu/scripts/ wa.exe?A2=ind9708b&L=victoria&O=T&P=1517>.
The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. CD-ROM. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1992.
CD-ROM (Periodically Published Database)
Sexton, Joe. "Career in Bodegas Ends in Death of Man and Son." New York Times 29 July 1995, late ed.: A21. CD-ROM. Lexis-Nexis. 29 Apr. 2000. Van Voorhis, Julie A. "The Sculptor's Workshop at Aphrodisias (Turkey)." DAI 60 (1999): 5A. New York U, 1999. Dissertation Abstracts Ondisc. CD-ROM. UMI-ProQuest. Jul. 1999.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th Ed. New York: Modern Language Association. 1999. Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 2nd Ed. New York: Modern Language Association. 1998. MLA on the Web. 1997. Modern Language Association. 6 Sept. 1998 <http://www.mla.org>.
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The information included in these handouts is, of necessity, generic. Keep in mind that the specific assignment from your course instructor should be your guide, and that you should seek clarification from your instructor if you have any questions.