Citing a Website

Hello EE,

Hope you had a nice Christmas and New Year.

I am trying to cite the info from a website, but not sure if I have captured the correct formula.

Spreyton Village (Devon, England), Welcome to Spreyton ( : accessed 8 January 2022) > St Michael's Church > St Michael's Church Monuments, entry under "Wall Tablets" for Thomas Hore Esqr of Nymph who died 25 May 1746.

Would appreciate your comments.





Submitted byEEon Sat, 01/08/2022 - 08:53

Hello, Robyn,

You have a couple of options here. If you use the path approach, your citation almost works. Let's back up and look at the basic principle for a path citation. When we create a path citation, we should be able to go from the URL to the next item in the path (the words that follow the first greater-than sign >). We click on it and arrive at our destination. If our path has two waypoints, then the second waypoint (the words that follow the second greater-than sign) should be a clickable option on the page to which the first waypoint led us. Etc.

Your citation uses two greater-than signs, implying two links that have to be clicked. Following your path, the short URL takes me to Spreyton's home page, where I see a menu at the right. I choose your first waypoint, "St. Michael's Church." There, I arrive at a page about the church, but I don't see there a clickable option worded "St. Michael's Church Monuments," which is the second waypoint that you cite. I'm at a dead end.

The issue here is the website's linking architecture. On the home page's side-bar directory, "St. Michael's Church Monuments" is listed as a subhead under "St. Michael's Church," and we can choose either one, but choosing the first does not take us to the second because there's no link from one to the other. 

Bottom line: to get to the monuments page, at the home page we have to chose the specific subhead on its menu, "St. Michael's Church Monuments."  This would be the first waypoint.  It is the one that takes us directly from the home page to the page we need.  (But there we also see a quirk: The link "St. Michael's Church Monuments" takes us to an article page that is actually titled "St. Michael's Church: Monuments and tombs in the church.")

The other option would be to use the long URL, which takes us directly to the article page titled "St. Michael's Church: Monuments and tombs in the church."

Citing Path & Waypoint:

      1. Spreyton Village (Devon, England), Welcome to Spreyton  (https://www.spreyton : accessed 8 January 2022) > St. Michael's Church Monuments, for "St. Michael's Church: Monuments and tombs in the church," Thomas Hore Esqr of Nymph who died 25 May 1746.

Citing directly to the article, using the long URL you gave that takes us directly to the article:

      1. "St. Michael's Church: Monuments and tombs in the church," Spreyton Village (Devon, England), Welcome to Spreyton ( : accessed 8 January 2022), for Thomas Hore Esqr of Nymph who died 25 May 1746.

In neither case would it be necessary to call out the sub-subhead "Wall tablets" in order for readers to find what you are citing, given that it's a reasonably short article and your item of interest is the first one.

As a side issue, I note that the page's title, on every page, cites "Parish of Spreyton" as the author/creator of the material. Spreyton Village is named in the URL and is named as the copyright holder at the bottom of every page. But the designated author or creator in the page header (the equivalent of a book's title page) is actually "Parish of Spreyton." For that reason, EE would be inclined to cite the entity that appears on the page header.

Submitted byEEon Sat, 01/08/2022 - 10:07

And now, Robyn, I'll throw the proverbial monkey-wrench into all the above.

When I first used your short URL, the webpage offered absolutely no side-bar menu at all.  I composed a reply based on that. By the time I finished answering it and went back to the webpage to double-check every point, the menu bar had appeared. "Stupid me," I thought. "Why did I not see that to start with?!"

So I rewrote my reply, which I posted above. After posting it (but before I clicked "publish"),  I thought of something else and went back to the webpage. that led to this string of events:

  • Again, on this third visit as with the first, no side-bar menu at all! 
  • I then tried the long URL, which took me directly to the article, then shortened it to get back to the home page. Still no side-bar menu.
  • I then tried that short URL in a different browser. Same result: no side-bar menu. 
  • Out of curiosity, I then delayed posting my responses for 15 minutes, thinking that maybe the side-bar menu just took a while to load. It's still not there. Not on either browser.

All points considered, EE would strongly recommend citing the article directly, with no attempt to cite a path from the home page.

You have, obviously, given us a great example of why Evidence Style citations are flexible rather than rigid.  With online materials, not every approach works for every case.

Submitted byRobynRon Mon, 01/10/2022 - 17:45

Hello EE,

To be honest, when I first found and visited that website by using (from a clue found elsewhere, but a link that didn't work), I was totally frustrated. I just couldn't work out how to find the info I was looking for. It took me a wee while to work out that the menu bar was the 3 lines under the visual of the word Spreyton.

Thanks for your comments above, I totally agree that it's best to use a URL that takes one directly to the information in this situation. The waypoints don't really work unless folks realise how to get to the menu bar. 

All the best,


PS. I have decided to stick with Spreyton Village as the creator, as the website does say: "This website is run by the village for the village." My revised citation is:

Spreyton Village (Devon, England), Welcome to Spreyton  ( : accessed 8 January 2022), "St. Michael's Church: Monuments and tombs in the church," Thomas Hore Esqr of Nymph. 

Submitted byEEon Tue, 01/11/2022 - 09:06

And I have to confess that, amid all the design elements and verbal content on the page, I did not notice those three wee little lines at all!