Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research notes:
Author and/or editor names (if available)
Article name in quotation marks.
Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
URL (without the https://) DOI or permalink.
Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed)—While not required, it is highly recommended, especailly when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.
Remember to cite containers after your regular citation. Examples of containers are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container is anything that is a part of a larger body of works.
Use the following format:
Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
It is a good idea to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available on one date may no longer be available later. When using the URL, be sure to include the complete address for the site except for the https://.
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).
The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 10 May 2006.
For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.
“Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.
Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.
(from Purdue OWL, MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources Web Publications https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/)
From EasyBib, Citation Guides, How to Cite a Journal Article in an Online Database in MLA 8:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.” Title of the journal, First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL or DOI.
Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest,
Asafu-Adjaye, Prince. “Private Returns on Education in Ghana: Estimating the Effects of Education on Employability in Ghana.” African Sociological Review, vol. 16, no. 1, 2012, pp. 120-138. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24487691.
From Purdue OWL, MLA Works Cited Page: Electronic Source, A Page on a Web Site:
Last name, First name. "Title of Webpage." Title of Website, Publication Day Month Year, URL. Accessed date.
"Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.
Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.
From Purdue OWL, MLA Works Cited Page: Electronic Sources, A YouTube Video:
Last name, First name. "Title of Video." Title of Website, uploaded by Uploader's Name(s), Publication Date, Video URL.
“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs.
McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.
*Note: If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploaded, cite the author’s name before the title.
Thesis Statements & Outlining
An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)
A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.
From Harvard College Writing Center, Developing a Thesis
Why create an outline? There are many reasons; but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information. For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd.
From Purdue OWL, How to Outline