Can I just include a URL for a website in my prose instead of creating a work-cited-list entry?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

You should always create works-cited-list entries for works that you quote from, paraphrase, or substantively discuss.

Thus you may need to create an entry for an entire website—for instance, if you are discussing its home page or if you are providing a detailed discussion of the site’s history:

Grove Music Online. Oxford UP, 2018,

Similarly, if you discuss a specific page on the site, provide an entry for that page:

Hegarty, Paul. “Noise.” Grove Music Online, Oxford UP, 25 May 2016,

However, sometimes it’s acceptable to mention a work in passing but not document it, as we discuss in a previous post. When you make a passing reference to a website as a whole, you can elect to include the URL for the site in parentheses after you give the website’s title in your text:

Grove Music Online (
grovemusic) provides much valuable information for music researchers.