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Citing Online Sources

This is a suggested format for citing the most common types of online material in printed texts; it is derived from advice given in various sources (listed at the end). The list of references also serves as examples of the formats suggested. Details such as the order of citation elements and the format of dates are matters for the house style of the publisher.

This guide was first published in the alt.usage.english FAQ, which contains a great deal of useful information about English usage and grammar.


Cite these using the URL format described under World Wide Web below.

Usenet news articles

The standard form of citation is:

<author’s name> <<e-mail address>> <subject> Article <<message-id>> in Usenet newsgroup <newsgroup>, <date>

World Wide Web

The standard format for a Web citation is:

<author’s name> <title of document> <<URL>> <date of document> (Accessed <date accessed>)


These are the main sources of information for this article:

Page created 11 Feb. 1998
Last updated 19 May 2010

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World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 19 May 2010.