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How to Write a Bibliography for a Website in 3 Easy Steps

Updated on January 20, 2018
Referencing websites in your bibliography is a common practice in academic writing.
Referencing websites in your bibliography is a common practice in academic writing. | Source

Students and writers in academic fields are often confused with the fundamentals of writing a proper bibliography for a term paper in school or for a college assignment.

There are many sources online that explain how to write a bibliography, but it is a fairly simple process that can be broken down into three simple steps. If you follow the steps carefully, then writing a bibliography for a website and the other references that you have used in your paper will be easy to do.

When referencing a website in an academic paper or essay, the correct format depends on which academic style you are using. Read on below to find out how to do it in MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard style.

1. Finish your paper and prepare your sources

We all breathe a sigh of relief after completing a long assignment. After all that time spent typing at the computer, there is only one more important task to do. Every good writer must know how to write a bibliography for a website and for other types of sources.

If you have kept tabs on what you have referenced throughout your paper, the bibliography is probably the easiest task of all to complete. It is essential to credit your sources with well-formatted citations. However, before doing so, you must gather up all the information from the books, magazines, Internet and other publications that you have referenced in your paper.

2. Format the author information

Before you actually begin to write a bibliography, there are several rules you must follow when formatting your bibliography to make it acceptable.

First, every source must begin with the author’s last name. If the website publication doesn’t include an author’s name for whatever reason, then you can use the title to start it instead.

Remember, all of the items in your bibliography should be arranged in alphabetical order -- and you should indent everything except the first line of each item.

Formatting author names can be confusing, especially if there is more than one author per item. Basically, you include the author’s surname, followed by their given name and a period. Then, list the second author of the same source in a similar fashion after the first author.

Those are the general guidelines for whatever academic style you are using when referencing the author for any type of source.

Practice writing more often and become more efficient at referencing your sources.
Practice writing more often and become more efficient at referencing your sources. | Source

3. Include the title, publisher/website, and other details

After typing the author information, you enter the title of the source in quotations followed by the name of the publication (or website) in italics.

Next, you need to enter the publisher information, including the publication company’s name followed by the year of publication.

For Internet or magazine sources, you can simply enter the date the article was written and include the pages it appears on if it is a magazine.

The punctuation in your bibliography should also follow standard guidelines, so if you are unsure, have a look at some bibliography templates online to see the standard placement of all commas, periods and other specifics.

Remember to center “Bibliography” as your title (minus the quotations) and include your collection of references below. The bibliography should be attached at the end your paper and it is not always necessary to include a page number on it since it is already understood to be your last page. However, it will depend on which academic style you are using.

Each style, whether it be APA, MLA, or Chicago style, follows unique formatting rules. Therefore, always double check with your teacher or online to stay up-to-date with current guidelines.

Below are updated examples of how to write a bibliography for a website in various popular academic styles. Refer to the style that you are using in your own paper.

How to reference a website in each major academic style

APA Style

Last, F. M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL.

MLA Style

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published.

Chicago Style

Last, First. 'Title', Year Published. Website URL.

Harvard Style

Last, F. M. (Year Published). Title. [online] Available at: Website URL [Accessed Date Accessed].


*Note, that in MLA and Chicago style the whole first (given) name of the author should be written in full. APA and Harvard style only require the initials of the first names. Also, consider which parts require italics for each format.

Consult your librarian or teacher for more information about writing your bibliography.
Consult your librarian or teacher for more information about writing your bibliography. | Source

Summary

To conclude, it is important to understand how to write a bibliography for a website (and other sources) with the specific academic style that you are supposed to use for your assignment. Lastly, double check to make sure that all of your sources on the list are free of minor punctuation errors. This way, your paper will look more polished and professional when you hand it in the final draft.

By following these three simple steps for writing a bibliography, soon you will be advising everyone else how to properly reference their sources in the future.

If you need more help formatting your bibliography, check out Cite This For Me.

The site contains a helpful auto-citation tool and plenty of other information about referencing from various sources, such as online journals, magazines, newspapers, electronic books, and websites.

Video: How to write a bibliography

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    • RetailRich profile image

      RetailRich 5 years ago

      This was very helpful and easy to understand. Thanks!

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