Reducing Plagiarism: How to Cite an Online Article

Know-How to Cite an Online Article in Texts

Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, the popularity of publishing work online is increasing. It is cheaper than the publication of an actual book and also much time-saving. If a student or researcher is willing to publish their work online or in physical form, they must have a complete idea about how to cite an online article.

Citing an essay is essential in the online publication as it helps the writer stay away from plagiarism. For the responsible writers, it is crucial to acknowledge their sources as this also helps the reader to locate data based on the bibliography and citation of the articles.

Often, the students working on a dissertation paper or project from their educational institute do not consider the importance of including the online articles and journals they have been using in their works. It’s also a form of plagiarism.

The students or writers must credit all the articles they are using in their work, or the work can be identified as copied content. Not only for the words and ideas, if the writers are using any image, graphs, and statistics, they must cite the source for that as well.

A proper citation must answer all the questions about the source material the writers are using in their work; the questions may include WH words like who, what, when, where.

If the writers are using an MLA format to cite their sources, then that answers how the writer accessed the source. For this reason, many writers and publishers prefer to use MLA format for citation of an article.

Why is the Citation of an Online Article Important?

Since online articles are widely available, students and writers can use them based on their preferences.

The smooth and full accessibility is why the students and writers mostly use online articles, including journals. Whenever a student is writing a paper, the citation is essential. For online articles, it is not an exception. Adding a proper citation to an online article helps in specific ways –

  1. It gives credit to the author of works, whose idea the authors have used in their writings.
  2. Citation of an online article helps the reader get an overview of the topic and ideas used in the article. Besides, they can locate the references and articles that the writers have taken as their sources.
  3. A consistent and accurate citation can help the writers to stay away from any allegation of plagiarism.

The writers need to use quotation marks for the parts they are taking from other writings, journal articles, online resources, and they must cite the work properly.

How to Cite an Individual Page?

A website is much different from a webpage. Suppose a website is like a tree, then the webpage is nothing more than a branch. If the students or writers have used a part of work from a web page, they must not need to cite the whole website. To avoid this, students or writers must know how to cite an online article.

If the students are using some information from a particular webpage, then there must be two types of citation: One is a brief in-text citation, and there must be a complete citation on the reference page.

For the in-text citation, the student may not add the URL or web address of the page, but they must add the name of the text, the author’s last name, and the date the work was published.

If the student chooses not to mention the name of the author, they can use only the name of the page and the publication date. For the full citation, the student must mention the name of the author, the title of the page, page number publication date of the work, edition, etc.

The citation pattern may vary based on the style the students are using for citation of the article. If a site does not have a web page or article title, the students need to add the full site’s name for citation.

How to Cite a Website?

If the students are not referring to any particular web page from the site, but they are using the whole website, they can cite the entire website. Otherwise, if the student is using a single webpage, then citing it, is enough.

For citing the whole website, the student must use the site name. For in-text reference, the writers can put the website name within brackets. For the citation, the students and writers need to mention the name of the site, and the date they have visited it.

How to Cite an Online Journal?

For online journals, there is a different citation method, and the students must follow it. If the students or writers don’t know how to cite an online article published in a journal, then that may lead to an instance of plagiarism.

For the journal article, the students need to mention the name of the author (with surname, then initials), year of publication, the title of the article, information regarding the issue (volume, part number, season, month, etc.), page number, etc. If there is a special edition or issue, the students or writers must mention it.

Citing an Online Article

When the students are willing to cite, they must adequately know how to cite an online article. Even though there are a certain number of plagiarism styles, the students must include some specific information about the reference online material.

A proper citation should have the name of the author or the owner of the site, the year of publication or the date on which it was last updated, page title of the work (in Italics), Name of the Sponsor of the site (it is not mandatory, if available the student can mention the name), access date (the day the student visited the site for reference), URL or internet address (within pointed brackets).

The students need to put the part within quotation marks. If the students or writers are using the work in the paraphrased format, they should include the work in the citation. There are several styles of citation an online article:

1. APA Citation Style

APA citation style is an author-date style as it must include the name of the author and the date of the publication. For online articles, the pattern is the same. If the article does not have a page number, the students can use the number of paragraphs.

If available, the student can add the abbreviation of that particular paragraph in the citation. The general format for APA style is:

Author’s last name, First initial, (Date of Publication), Title, URL

For website: Author’s last name, First initial, (year, month, date of publication), Title of the webpage, name of the site, URL

For blog posts: Author’s last name, First initial, (year, month, date of publication), the title of the blog post, Title of the blog, URL

2. MLA Citation Style

The reference cited using MLA citation style includes the author’s name, source title, date of publication, and other information about the work based on the source type. For online articles, the URL or the website address to be added to the general format. The general format for MLA style is:

Author’s last name, author’s initial name, “Title of the work,” name of the journal/ webpage title/ blog post title, other information like volume, edition, publication date, page number, URL.

3. Chicago Citation Style

The citation style is in its 16th edition and helps the researchers to provide a proper citation. Chicago style requires the details of the author, the title of the book or the article, title of newspaper, publication year, publication month and date, publisher, city of publication, date of access, page numbers, URL, or name of the database. The general format for Chicago style is:

Recommended tag: books on citation styles

Author’s last name, author’s initial name, “Title of the work,” the title of the article, date published/ last modified/ last accessed, URL

How to Use Plagiarism Checkers for Online Articles

If the students have used an online article but have failed to provide a citation, the teacher or professor can easily find it using an article checker tool. The plagiarism checker or article checker tools can find out the copied content present in an article.

The writers must do a grammar check before scanning for plagiarism for an accurate result. The tool generates a detailed report about the sources and references of the articles.

The teacher may get the URLs of the online resources the students have used without citation. The institute may count the failure of citation as an instance of plagiarism.

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