Photograph of building damage near Los Angeles 2000 © Daniel FriedmanWebsite Article Citation Guide

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Proper formats for citing website articles: here we provide a model website article citation to demonstrate the proper format for web article citations. is an online building encyclopedia that provides illustrated, detailed un-biased, in-depth information on detecting, diagnosing, correcting and preventing building defects, failures, & indoor health or safety hazards including environmental concerns.® is a U.S. registered Trademark. The design and content found at® are © Copyright protected, All Rights Reserved. Contents of this website may not be copied in any form. Our main website topics listed at page top or at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article provide in-depth, un-biased, expert information on building & building environment defect inspection, diagnosis, & repair, energy conservation, solar energy, and building construction history. Also see our WEBSITE CONTENT USE POLICY and WEBSITE COPYRIGHT VIOLATION POLICY.

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Format Guide to Citing Website & Web Articles

The proper format for citing an InspectAPedia article (as we are an online encyclopedia) is given by our example below and is in accordance with the Purdue University source below.

Often encyclopedias and dictionaries do not provide bylines (authors' names). When no byline is present, move the entry name to the front of the citation. Provide publication dates if present or specify (n.d.) if no date is present in the entry. - Angeli et als.

We recommend adding to your website citation the date that an online article was retrieved because online material at some websites is often updated or even moved.

Example of an online encyclopedia website article citation from

Asbestos Identification in Buildings: How to find & identify asbestos-containing materials. (n.d.), in InspectAPedia online. Retrieved from on 11/22/2010.

Note: if your citation is appearing in print (as opposed to electronic or web page format) the blue text above and live web links will of necessity be omitted.

3 Most Common Publication Citation Formats Usefulf for Web Search Results

For more formal books, papers, and journal article citations, take a look at Google Scholar, search on anything of interest, and then click on Google's "Cite" link to see three common article citation formats. Here is an example of three citation formats for an article we retrieved in searching for information about "Roof shingle algae stains". [This topic is discussed at InspectApedia at ALGAE STAINS ON ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLES]

  1. MLA: Berdahl, Paul, et al. "Weathering of roofing materials–an overview." Construction and Building Materials 22.4 (2008): 423-433.
  2. APA: Berdahl, P., Akbari, H., Levinson, R., & Miller, W. A. (2008). Weathering of roofing materials–an overview. Construction and Building Materials, 22(4), 423-433.
  3. Chicago: Berdahl, Paul, Hashem Akbari, Ronnen Levinson, and William A. Miller. "Weathering of roofing materials–an overview." Construction and Building Materials 22, no. 4 (2008): 423-433. Reprint Policy

Making printed copies (hard copies) of articles for non-commercial use is welcomed.

Making electronic copies of content in any venue is expressely prohibited unless we have issued written permission.

We are pleased for readers to pass on to others links to articles or to use printed copies of articles or photos from or if appropriate, to make and give away printed copies of our web page material in a class or professional presentation, printed text, printed article, or printed book, or in a classroom presentation, (such as power point slides that are not elsewhere reproduced electronically), provided you agree to respect the simple provisions listed at WEBSITE CONTENT USE POLICY.

Reference sources for the format to use for website and other article sources:

  • Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck (2010-11-02), Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications), Purdue University English Department., Retrieved from on 11/22/2010.
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, [link to Amazon] seventh edition, Modern Language Association, MLA, Modern Language Association of America, 7th edition (March 9, 2009), ISBN-10: 1603290249, ISBN-13: 978-1603290241. Quoting from the product description at
    Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on.
    The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and writing in the online environment. It provides an authoritative update of MLA documentation style for use in student writing, including simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Web and new recommendations for citing several kinds of works, such as digital files and graphic narratives.
  • MLA Rules for Format and Documentation: A Pocket Guide, Jill Rossiter, DW Publishing Company, (March 15, 2010), ISBN-10: 1933878150,ISBN-13: 978-1933878157. Quoting from the product description:
    Book was previously published under the title: The MLA Pocket Handbook. This handbook is ideal for preparing undergraduate essays. It was specifically designed with the average student's needs in mind. The book is intended to cover the vast majority of situations that the normal student will encounter while writing an essay. Organized for speed and brevity, the book is primarily a concentrated, up-to-date guide on MLA format (6 pages), documentation requirements (13 pages In-Text, 19 pages Works Cited entries) with a heavy emphasis on examples and visual aids (85 to be exact). Additionally the book contains pointers on how to get started, what to document, what notes to take (by source type), and how to handle quotes of varying length. All of this information is contained in a book designed to fit in a shirt pocket.
  • The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, [link to Amazon] third edition, Modern Language Association, MLA, Modern Language Association of America, (June 30, 2008), ISBN-10: 0873522974, ISBN-13: 978-0873522977. Quoting from the reviews of this book:
    MLA's guidelines acknowledge the great changes in the way scholarship is disseminated and consumed today.
    The most dramatic changes are to citation styles themselves our primary interest in the manual anyway. In the second edition, as in the current editions of all other academic style guides that I could find, directions for citing electronic resources are tacked on at the end of the section on citations, and the citation format looks almost exactly like that of a print resource except that it contains a URL at the end of it. In the third edition of MLA, however, citations now include a medium (like print or Web ) for all publications, putting electronic documents on a more equal footing with print ones. Furthermore, URLs themselves are no longer included in citations in most cases; instead, the title of the overall Web site and publisher or sponsor of the site are provided to help you locate the resource. This refreshing change in perspective is longer overdue: after all, readers are increasingly likely to search for an article by title and author rather than transcribe the URL given in a print citation or follow a hyperlink that is likely to have broken.
  • FAQs below discusses field reports of problems & solutions for this topic


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about formats recommended for citing website or other articles, books, papers, or journals.


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