Style Guides

Citing Electronic Sources

The goal of a bibliographic citation is to allow the reader of a document to easily locate the information that was used to write that particular document. Professors require a bibliography, or list of references, with research papers. If you use an electronic resource, e. g. a CD-ROM, the Internet, an online indexing service, or any other research tool accessed electronically, you must know how to cite that resource properly. Citing electronic resources is simple and similar to citing traditional sources. However, remember that:

  • Citations are necessary so the reader can find the source.
  • Be consistent in style. There are many styles to choose: MLA, APA, Turabian, etc. Use the style your professor requires or use one you prefer if given the choice.
  • The date provided in some electronic resources is not the actual publication date. It could be the electronic publication date, which is the date the article was added to the electronic resource.
  • Web site addresses (URLs) use upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and symbols. Be sure to write down the URL exactly.
  • The Internet is always changing. A site you choose for a paper this semester may not be available next semester; so always be sure to include the date the site was viewed.

For information on APA and MLA styles, go to: