You need to cite where your information came from in the body of your paper (in-text) AND on a Works Cited page at the end.
If you need help citing your source, you should always feel free to ask a Librarian.
Citing Online Sources (not from databases):
While the databases in general will create a formatted citation for you, web sources will not. For sources not found in databases follow the (MLA) example below. (to see examples of APA formatted citations click here).
Author Last Name, First Name (or organization or agency). "Title of article or page." Name of web site. Publisher of web site, Date of page day month year. Web. Date accessed day month year.
Figuring Out What to Cite:
It can often be confusing to figure out which parts of a website to use for a citation when there is no proper author or title like a typical article. Below is an example from the Dialect Survey Maps of what to look for on your webpage.
The website is a collection of data from a survey with the results displayed as a series of maps. The website name is Dialog Survey Maps although we can see the url name it quite different. There is no proper article, but we are looking at the information in response to Question 105: What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage? This will be used in place of an article title. Since we are looking at a map, we will have to note that this is a map.
From the main page is also noted that Joshua Katz is the creator of the website, so we will use him as our author.
I need another piece of information for my citation and that is the publisher or agency of the website (who is responsible for the content). We can see that our author Joshua Katz is associates with NC State University and NC State University is displayed at the top of the site page, but the url is not NCSU.edu. Clicking on the link after "further details of the model" and reading more about the website confirms that North Carolina State University is the correct publisher. Sometimes you will need to fish around for this information (often it is at the bottom of the home page next to the copyright symbol).
What is not available anywhere is a date of when this website was put together, not even under the 'further information' link. For that reason we will have to note that it has no date (using n.d. so our professor doesn't think we forgot to include this in our citation).
I accessed this information today September 23, 2013 off the web (not from a printed book, a dvd etc). Last week the information on this page could have been different and next month it might change so I need to include the day I found it.
Proper citation style means following the formatting rules: dates are cited as day month year. If you cite your date as 23/9/13 or Sep. 23, 2013 or 9.23.13 or anything other than 23 Sept. 2013 it is incorrectly formatted.
When I put this all together I get my MLA formatted citation:
Katz, Joshua. "Question 105: What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage?" Map. Dialect Survey Map. North Carolina State University, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
When citing this article in the body of my paper, my MLA formatted in-text (or parenthetical) citation will be (Katz). Since websites do not have proper page numbers this is all the information I have. If there were no author credited to this article, I would use part of the title (in quotation marks).
If you are trying to put together a citation and you cannot find many of the parts you need (author, date, publisher) you should think very carefully about using it for your paper.