The MLA guidelines on documenting online sources are explained in detail in the fifth edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1999) and in the second edition of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (1998). These guidelines replace the information in the fourth edition of the MLA Handbook on documenting online databases (sec. 4.9).
What follows here is a summary of the guidelines that cover the World Wide Web. For the complete MLA recommendations on Web sources, please see one of the books mentioned above.
Sources on the World Wide Web that students and scholars use in their research include scholarly projects, reference databases, the texts of books, articles in periodicals, and professional and personal sites. Entries in a works-cited list for such sources contain as many items from the list below as are relevant and available. Following this list are sample entries for some common kinds of Web sources.
1) Name of the author, editor, compiler, or translator of the source (if available and relevant), reversed for alphabetizing and followed by an abbreviation, such as ed., if appropriate
2) Title of a poem, short story, article, or similar short work within a scholarly project, database, or periodical (in quotation marks); or title of a posting to a discussion list or forum (taken from the subject line and put in quotation marks), followed by the description Online posting
3) Title of a book (underlined)
4) Name of the editor, compiler, or translator of the text (if relevant and if not cited earlier), preceded by the appropriate abbreviation, such as Ed.
5) Publication information for any print version of the source
6) Title of the scholarly project, database, periodical, or professional or personal site (underlined); or, for a professional or personal site with no title, a description such as Home page
7) Name of the editor of the scholarly project or database (if available)
8) Version number of the source (if not part of the title) or, for a journal, the volume number, issue number, or other identifying number
9) Date of electronic publication, of the latest update, or of posting
10) For a work from a subscription service, the name of the service and--if a library is the subscriber--the name and city (and state abbreviation, if necessary) of the library
11) For a posting to a discussion list or forum, the name of the list or forum
12) The number range or total number of pages, paragraphs, or other sections, if they are numbered
13) Name of any institution or organization sponsoring or associated with the Web site
14) Date when the researcher accessed the source
15) Electronic address, or URL, of the source (in angle brackets); or, for a subscription service, the URL of the service's main page (if known) or the keyword assigned by the service
Victorian Women Writers Project. Ed. Perry Willett. Apr. 1997. Indiana
Portuguese Language Page. U of Chicago. 1 May 1997. http://humanities.
Lancashire, Ian. Home page. 1 May 1997. http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:
Nesbit, E[dith]. Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism. London, 1908. Victorian
Nesbit, E[dith]. "Marching Song." Ballads and Lyricsof Socialism.
"Fresco." Britannica Online. Vers. 97.1.1. Mar. 1997. Encyclopaedia
Flannagan, Roy. "Reflections on Milton and Ariosto." Early Modern
Landsburg, Steven E. "Who Shall Inherit the Earth?" Slate 1 May 1997.
Koretz, Gene. "Economic Trends: Uh-Oh, Warm Water." Business Week
Merrian, Joanne. "Spinoff: Monsterpiece Theatre." Online posting. 30
If your source includes fixed page numbers or section numbering (such as numbering of paragraphs), cite the relevant numbers. Give the appropriate abbreviation before the numbers: "(Moulthrop, pars. 19-20)." (Pars. is the abbreviation for paragraphs. Common abbreviations are listed in the MLA Handbook, sec. 6.4.) For a document on the Web, the page numbers of a printout should normally not be cited, because the pagination may vary in different printouts.