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Citing a website is a popular theme because of its roles in academic writing. Firstly, the academic environment uses the Internet to share and popularize scientific studies. Then, many libraries are digital environments where people can get access to books or other scholarly articles at any place. Moreover, many websites started to provide credible information on different aspects of human society or science. As a result, citing a website in various formats must be covered to follow academic standards and avoid plagiarism cases, including APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, and Harvard writing styles.

General Aspects

Websites are common sources in many academic works. Moreover, students use different paper formats as they study various courses in the university. In this case, an in-depth discussion on the referencing rules of citing a website covers examples to improve the conceptualization of the specific writing styles.

Citing a website

Citing a Website in APA Format

The American Psychological Association (APA) or APA format has a unique formulation for referencing webpages. For example, people must cover citing websites or online documents in a similar format as print content. In this case, the name of the author and date of publication are the first elements in the citation, which is common to all sources for the APA reference page. Moreover, the uniform resource locator included at the end of the reference list entry may be left as an active link after the words “Retrieved from.” In turn, the hyperlink is either included or removed depending on the additional instructions of the instructor. It is worth noting that people must format the title of the webpage in sentence case. Hence, the general format and example of citing websites are:

General Format for APA:

Author’s name. (Publication date). Title of the webpage. Retrieved from [insert uniform resource locator or link]

APA Example:

Jones, Jack. (2019). Best universities in North America. Retrieved from https://www.universitypress.com/article/360

MLA Citing a Website

Similarly, the Modern Language Association (MLA) referencing style has slightly different rules for citing websites. In turn, a webpage in the MLA style requires people to eliminate the “https://” element of a link. Besides, the MLA referencing technique has stringent rules concerning how a webpage address should be displayed in the MLA Works Cited. The word “Accessed” is introduced in the citation entry to indicate the date the page is used, which is highly encouraged in cases where no copyright date is provided on a website. In this case, the inclusion of an access date is useful in showing the exact date the webpage is retrieved due to the variability of a website’s content. Notably, the title of the article is written in quotation marks using title case formatting. As a result, the MLA Works Cited example is:

General Format for MLA:

Author’s name. Name of the Website. Publisher or Sponsor’s name, publication date, link, date of access.

MLA Example:

Rodgers, Susan. “Revolutionary Speeches of the 20th Century.” eHistory, www.ehistory.com/article_8990/revolution_speeshes. Accessed 10 May 2019.

Citing a Website in Chicago/Turabian Style

Then, the Chicago/Turabian formatting style has a different set of rules for the footnotes and bibliography entries in citing websites. For example, the title of the webpage employs title case formatting in both the footnote and bibliography. Besides, the footnote and bibliography entry share this formatting similarity. The content of each of these entries is identical with the exception for the inclusion of paragraph numbers in the footnotes. As a result, the primary differences that can be noticed are the reverse ordering of the author’s names and the use of commas to separate the elements of the footnotes.

Footnote General Format:

1. First-name Last-name, “Title of Webpage,” Publisher or Website Name, publication date or date of access, uniform resource locator.

Footnote Example:

1. Hannah Clarks, “Citing Websites,” Research Institute, last modified May 25, 2019, par. 23, http://www.calresearch.com/thematic_class/article_pdf.

Bibliography General Format:

Last-name, First-name. “Title of Webpage.” Publisher or Website Name. Publication date or date of access. Uniform resource locator.

Bibliography Example:

Clarks, Hannah. “Citing Websites.” Research Institute. Last modified May 25, 2019. http://www.calresearch.com/thematic_class/article_pdf.

Harvard Citing a Website

Citing websites in the Harvard referencing style requires knowledge of special restrictions for citing websites. For instance, the webpage address is presented in angled brackets, which is preceded by a colon and followed by a full stop. The link is preceded by the words “Available from.” Additionally, the date is presented at the end of the citation entry in square brackets. These specifications are mandatory for correct citation development. As a result, a practical example is:

General Format for Harvard:

General format: Author’s name publication year, Title of the webpage. Available from: <insert link>. [Date of access].

Harvard Example:

Logan, HJ 2019, Health issues in contemporary society. Available from: <http://worldhealth.com/ comprehensive_analysis/index.htm>. [6 May 2019].

Conclusion on Citing a Website

Each citation entry format has unique identifiers that can distinguish it from other formats in citing websites. Basically, the Harvard style guide is the only a citation format where people need to italicize the title of the webpage. Additionally, the use of square and angled brackets makes the Harvard citation more distinct. In APA, the webpage title is in sentence case, and the uniform resource locator is introduced by the words “Retrieved from.” The MLA style stands out because of the elimination of “https://” element and the use of quotation marks around the webpage title. The quotation marks appear in the Chicago/Turabian format. However, a distinction can still be made because of the elaborate footnote and bibliography structure that is obvious to an observer.

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