Citing an Online Newspaper Article

Instructor: Celeste Bright

Celeste has taught college English for four years and holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature.

You might one day find yourself needing to cite an online newspaper article. In this lesson, we'll learn what should be included in this citation and the formats of different style manuals. Finally, we'll look at some examples of online newspaper article citations according to three style manuals.

General Information to Include in an Online Newspaper Article Citation

Print and online newspaper article citations are somewhat complex and can include several pieces of information. This is because newspaper issues are printed or posted frequently, and each issue contains many articles in multiple sections with specific individual URLs. When you cite an online news article, you'll need to list all the available data your readers will need to find it on the internet. Although the exact content of the citation may vary according to the style manual you use, it should generally include most or all of the following:

  1. The name(s) of the author(s)
  2. The article title (if it's part of a regular column, include the column title as well)
  3. The newspaper title
  4. The publication date
  5. Page number(s) (if applicable)
  6. A URL or DOI (unique alphanumeric digital object identifier, if available)
  7. The access date (the day, month, and year you accessed the article online)

You must always cite your sources!
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Using a Style Manual to Format Your Citation

The format of your citation will also depend on which style manual you are following, which in turn depends on your field of study. If you're writing a research paper for an English or Humanities class, you'll likely use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. If you're writing for a psychology or social sciences class, you'll probably follow the American Psychological Association (APA) manual. Many other types of courses use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). If you're unsure which manual to use, ask your instructor.

Listed below are examples of online newspaper article citations in the MLA, APA, and CMS manuals. They are taken directly from the texts and sections indicated and may be modified to fit a specific example. For an in-depth explanation of rules and guidelines, it's best to consult a print or online copy of the manual you're using. Remember that in MLA and CMS citations, you should always place double quotations around article titles, single quotations around quotations within the title (if applicable), and italicize publication titles.

Examples of Online Newspaper Article Citations

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, Section 5.6.2

In MLA, full citations appear at the end of the paper in a bibliography called a Works Cited list (you may also have a list of Works Consulted, which is formatted the same way). You will also need to use in-text citations, or small parenthetical notes embedded in the body of the essay that indicate title or author and page number. Readers can then match the title or author name in the text to the full citation at the end of the essay.

Example of a Works Cited Citation

  • Tyre, Peg. ''Standardized Tests in College?'' Newsweek. Newsweek, 16 Nov. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.

Example of an In-Text Citation

  • Text discussing this article within the body of the essay (Tyre, page number).

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, taken from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), 'Newspaper Article':

The APA style also uses a bibliography, but unlike the MLA format, it uses author-date in-text citations.

Example of a Bibliography Citation

  • Parker-Pope, T. (2008, May 6). Psychiatry handbook linked to drug industry. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/psychiatry-handbook-linked-to-drug-industry/?_r=0

Example of an Author-Date In-Text Citation

  • Text discussing this article within the body of the essay (Parker-Pope, 2008).

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