For my research paper, I have multiple sources with the same title. I have 3 different sources all named "The Treaty of Versailles", with no author.

They are all from internet sources. One is from the U.S. Senate website, another from the British National Archives, and a third from an online encyclopedia.

How would I write the internal citations for this? I hardly think that writing ("The Treaty of Versailles" 1) for all three sources would be acceptable. Thanks for your help!

EDIT: My teacher told us that we can use internet sources without listed authors. He said I definitely could use the sources because two of them are from respectable organizations (US Senate and British National Archives).

He forwarded us to this website: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/

On this site, it says,

Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).

And for my works cited entries, they all have "The Treaty of Versailles" as the first item.

  • @BraddSzonye Edited my question Mar 3, 2014 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


The Purdue OWL guidelines offer this general rule:

Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text, must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in the Works Cited List.

Typically, you use the author’s last name as a signal word. However, if there are multiple works by the same author, or multiple authors with the same last name, you add further information to the signal phrase, like the author’s initials or an abbreviated title.

In your case, the preferred signal phrase is the title of the Web page, “Treaty of Versailles,” because that is the first part of the Works Cited entry. However, because you have several pages with the same title, you should extend the signal phrase to include the next part of the Works Cited entry, which is usually the name of the Web site. For example: (“Treaty of Versailles,” US Senate)

  • It seems to be the most logical solution for this situation. Because, as Leon said, there are many different formats, this may not always be the answer, but I believe this should work. Thanks! Mar 3, 2014 at 19:59
  • Downvoter, what would you like to see to improve this answer? Mar 4, 2014 at 23:21

There are 2 sides to this coin:

On the annoying, down side, there are a number of citation formats. Over 6000 according to this source.

On the positive up side, at least there are set guidelines you can follow which are objective and usually comprehensive.

Check out these, for instance:

Chicago Manual of Style

I suggest you compare these with Purdue Owl's specific guidelines on referencing on-line sources, and if necessary, put a note at the top of your bibliography to explain the convention you've used.

MS Word has a very useful built-in bibliography builder, and there are other tools such as Mendeley (see link 1) that you can use to help you organise your references. (For reference: I am not associated with this company in any way.)

  • Could you please show how your recommendations address the poster's problem? Also, note the edit that the teacher has specifically recommend Purdue OWL style. Mar 3, 2014 at 5:14
  • @BraddSzonye thanks for pointing out my omission - I've updated to make advice clearer. Mar 3, 2014 at 9:43

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