How to Cite a Blog: MLA, APA, and Chicago Style
The concept of using a blog as an information source for text citation is relatively new. Still, all three central writing style guides have established parameters to ensure bloggers receive proper credit for their work. This article will look at how to cite a blog accurately.
Are Blogs Credible Enough to Cite?
Using a blog post as a credible resource for a text citation is a controversial topic. Ideally, when writing, you want all sources to be verifiable and backed by facts, not opinions. There are a few reasons why an entire blog might not be the best option for a reference list.
Authorship for a blog source can be murky. While a blog is attributed to an individual, there is no guarantee that this person authored the blog post in question; there may be a plagiarism issue. Without the author’s identity, it is difficult to verify the issues raised in the posting.
A blog is also operated at the whim of the owner, so if the owner should decide to change or move the post, even remove it entirely, the full citation will be lost. This same consideration applies to the accuracy of the blog content. Blog’s are not reviewed for the accuracy of their postings, and using information from a blog that is not verified from a credible source can compromise your credibility.
While blogs provide a source of readily available information about a specific topic, the importance of verifying facts with a trusted source cannot be overstated.
How to Cite a Blog
Proper citation of a blog source is just as essential as a citation for a book or a magazine source. Giving credit to the source of your information is crucial to the integrity of your writing and provides credibility to the statements made. The following three citation styles are all options when accrediting blog authors for their work.
MLA style formatting is named for the Modern Language Association and was first developed in 1883 to “strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature,” according to their website. The organization has a worldwide reach serving over 25,000 members in more than 100 countries.
The association releases several publications per year in language study, including the MLA Handbook, which serves as a writing guide for students. This guide is currently in its 9th edition, focusing on graduate students and professional writers.
Citing a blog as a source using the MLA format involves collecting the author name or screen name of the author followed by the title of the post, the name of the blog, and the date of publication and date of viewing. Be sure to include quotation marks, parentheses and square brackets where appropriate. The final product should have this format:
Author’s screen name [Authors real name, if known. Last Name, First Name] “Title of the post.” Name or title of the blog, Publisher (if provided), date of the post using day/month/year, URL, date of access.
When completely assembled, an MLA blog post-citation should look similar to this:
Real McCoy [McCoy, John] “The True Story of the Feud” The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s,” Pelham Publishing, 17 Nov. 2014, blogs.thehatfieldsandthemccoys.com/thetruestoryofthefeud. Accessed 20 June 2022.
The APA has been publishing its style journal since 1944, which dictates the style and format of papers published in the sciences. APA style format is named after the American Psychological Association, which publishes the style guide and is currently on it’s 7th edition. Citations for academic journal articles and books are written in APA format.
On the surface, the APA style format looks similar to the MLA style, but they were created for different purposes. MLA style was set up for use in art and humanities, and APA was designed to standardize formatting for science and technical journals. Among students, MLA is the more familiar format.
The writer will need much of the same information using APA style formatting, but it is arranged in this slightly different format from the earlier MLA citation. Ensure the correct inclusion of parentheses.
Author’s last name, first initials, (Date of Blog Post year, month day). Title of the blog post. Blog Name. URL
Using the information from the source listed above, an apa citation should look similar to this:
McCoy, J. (2014, November 17). The True Story of the Feud The Hatfields and the McCoys. blogs.thehatfieldsandthemccoys.com/thetruestoryofthefeud
The University of Chicago first published the Chicago Manual of Style in 1906. This guide focuses on American English and is one of the most widely used style manuals in the United States. CMS is fast becoming the preferred style guideline for history, religion, and philosophy, and it is currently in its 17th edition.
Returning to the source previously cited, a blog citation using Chicago style formatting would look like this:
Authors Last Name, First Name. “Title of Blog Post.” Name of the blog. Date Posted. Accessed Month day year. URL
Using our established blog source with Chicago style, the citation should look like:
McCoy, John. “The True Story of the Feud.” The Hatfields and the McCoy’s. Nov. 17, 2014. Accessed June 20, 2022.
Considerations for Citing a Blog
Under most circumstances, content creators are more than willing to repost their work with a link back to the original page but asking beforehand is key to avoiding unpleasant circumstances later on.
However, using someone else’s copyrighted material for any commercial enterprise without obtaining permission is called copyright infringement, and it’s against the law. Penalties for copyright infringement could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, along with your reputation.
Using a Citation Generator
A citation generator makes it much easier to correctly complete citations in a fraction of the time it would take to complete them manually. Most citation generators will provide a choice of writing style guide and the type of source you are citing.
There are a few citation generators online, and one of the best can be found at Quetext. The Quetext citation assistant provides service in ten different languages and gives you the choice of MLA, APA, and Chicago style formats.
Using a plagiarism checker with a built-in citation generator, like quetext, gives you the confidence and peace of mind of knowing your work is entirely original and cited correctly every time.å