Example of Identifying the Title

Take a look at this Web page excerpt and consider which of the following candidates you would use as the title for the page in your citation:
1. As the largest heading at the top of the page, this banner would seem to be the logical choice for title. However, while this is the sponsoring organization and the name of the overall Web site, as a title it is essentially irrelevant to the page’s contents, which is a style guide for online sources columBanner

2. This title  is highlighted on the navigation bar and appears at the top of the page’s content making it the most likely candidate for Web page title. However, the abbreviation, CGOS, is essentially meaningless and would make it hard for a reader to understand what this page is about.

Navigation Bar Item

Content Title

navigation bar

title at top of content


3. The filename for this particular page appears at the top of the browser window. Columbia Guide to Online Style is a meaningful title anyone reading the citation would understand.

Browser Window Title Bar

In writing the title for a citation to this Web page I would do one of the following:

  • use the filename —Columbia Guide to Online Style,
  • alter the title on the page to be more meaningful — Basic <Columbia Guide to Online Style,
  • create a title, subtitle relationship — Columbia Guide to Online Style: Basic CGOS Style, or
  • use a parent publication format — “Columbia Guide to Online Style,” Columbia University Press or “Basic CGOS Style,” Columbia Guide to Online Style.