Over the years, citing websites has now become a common happening in scholarly papers and journals due to the demand for research and plagiarism-free teaching materials. The internet is a volatile medium when it comes to the credibility of sources but still, the content the internet provides for research materials can not be overlooked.
Therefore, revered institutions have responded to that problem by designing a system that students, researchers, and writers can use when citing a source from a website without having to worry about being chastened for the reliability of material sources. This article intends to give a detailed description of how to cite websites using the APA, MLA, Chicago, and in-text styles
- THE APA STYLE
The APA system of citing a website is a referencing style designed by the American Psychology Association. Citing an entire website in reference through the APA format works in two modes; the formal citation and the informal citation.
The formal citation is used when citing a specific part from a website and it includes an in-text citation and a reference list entry, while the informal citation of a website is used when referring to a website without quoting from a specific part of the site rather, you can just input the URL after the name of the site.
Formal Citation: Last name of Author, Initials. (Year, Month, Day). Article title. Publication Name. website URL
Example: Darren, T. (2020, May, 18). When Will Stadiums Be Open to Fans Again. Sports and People.
Informal Citation: Name of the website, URL
Example: Sports and People, https://www.sportsandpeople.com/news/when-will-stadiums-be-open-to-fans-again
It should also be noted that citations with more than one line of text should have a hanging indent of 1.5 inches or 5 spaces.
- THE MLA STYLE
The Modern Language Association is also another institution whose website citing format has been adopted. The MLA format, mostly used by those studying the humanities operates through a set of guidelines known as the “Core Elements”. These elements create the foundation for each citation in a paper and entries for sources in other formats.
According to the 8th and the latest edition of the MLA citing format, a website should be cited following the information below;
Citation: Author, Title of Source (Article title), Title of the container (Website name), Other Contributors, Version, Name of Publisher, Publication Date, website URL
Example: Scarborough, Andrew. “Is Joe Biden’s Victory A Win For Human Rights Globally”, Trussville Media Incorporation, 15 November 2020, socialissuesusa.com/2020/Rigts-and-duties/is-joe-bidens-victory-a-win-for-humanrights-globally
However, certain instructions have been introduced in the case of incomplete details of the source. Whenever the student fails to find a certain part needed for the citation, that part should be omitted. Also, when typing the website’s URL, the code https:// should be omitted from the address.
- THE CHICAGO STYLE
The Chicago citation style of referencing websites is the most distinctive and regarded as a difficult style of citing websites. In honest terms, this style has its guidelines just like that of the MLA which when followed, makes citing easier.
The Chicago style follows a system of capitalized headline-style which are set in Roman letters without quotation marks. The same goes for the website sections like the specific headers and the pages. Rather than that, every other detail follows as it should.
Format: Author (First name Last name), Title of Web Page, Name of Website, Publishing Company, Publication date (Revision date if available), Website URL
Example: Clayton Raymond, Electric Cars and Green Energy, Are they sustainable?, CarDiary, Autowrite Co, July 2020, https://www.cardiary.com/articles/electric-cars-and-green-energy-are-they-sustainable-?/,
- IN-TEXT CITATIONS
In-text citations are references made within the body of an essay that is mostly academic. It notifies the reader of a source that has been used in the essay. Applications of in-text citations depend on the style used (APA, MLA, and Chicago).
Regardless of the style employed, some features are common among all the citation styles during In-text citations, most of which are; the author’s last name, date of publication and page number from which the quotation was taken and, there is always the complete reference in the bibliography page at the end of the essay.
In in-text citations, proper nouns should always be capitalized including the initials and author names, source title words with long letters should also be capitalized.
- APA IN-TEXT CITATION STYLE
The APA format of In-text citation follows an author-date method where the ye author’s last name and the year of publication for the source should appear together in the text
Example: (David, 2005).
- MLA IN-TEXT CITATION
MLA in-text citations are also written in the body of the essay to briefly document the information’s source. This brief in-text citation directs the reader to more detailed information in the Works Cited list at the end of the essay.
MLA in-text citations are done by writing the last name of the author and the page number enclosed in a bracket.
Example: (Johnson, 28)
In the case where the author’s name is not given, the words of the essay’s title should be used along with the page number
Example: (Power, 28)
- CHICAGO IN-TEXT CITATION
The Chicago in-text citation style has formats that are popular with the humanities. The in-text style is of two types namely; the Author-date format and the Notes and bibliography format. It is important to note that the writer can only use one format throughout the essay, change of citation format is not allowed.
The Author-date format has its citations in brackets within the essay itself, followed by the publication year and page.
Example; (Schubert, 1943, 25)
The Notes and Bibliography format has the citations inserted in numbered footnotes and endnotes, the essay title in the quotation, and the page
Examples; 1. Schubert, “Violin Theories, “ 25.
In Conclusion, these citation styles have been explained for every student or researcher to understand. Despite their differences, familiarizing oneself with these systems will help in the usage of these citation styles and, each student or researcher should know the citation style accepted by their institutions before taking any to use.