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Writing a text for online readers is often like conversing with others. Writers want to explain a topic like they would while talking, and to do this, they might reference recent news or other topics that they have written about. To put their writing in conversation with other texts, writers insert links.

Link Definition

In digital writing, a link brings a reader to another source. Readers can click on links, linked text, or linked images, and a new webpage or file opens in another tab or window. Writers of blogs and web pages often insert links throughout the body of their text to provide evidence for a claim and expand a reader’s knowledge on a topic.

In digital writing, a link is a web address that readers can click to access another source.

Example of Link in Writing

When using links in writing, writers can choose to insert a link as it stands or to hyperlink text.

Links vs Hyperlinks

People often use the word link and hyperlink interchangeably. However, there is a key difference. The web address of another source is called a link. When readers see an image or text on a page that is linked to another page but do not see the link itself, it is called a hyperlink. To insert a link into a text, writers go to the "Insert" tab of their content creation platform and then click link or hyperlink, depending on which they wish to use.

Writers use hyperlinks in their writing more frequently than full links because hyperlinks make it quite easy to navigate a webpage. Hyperlinks tell readers that an external source is available to read if they want to but also allows them to go on reading the page. Including full links instead can be distracting for the reader. Links can be long and have an assortment of random letters and numbers that can break the text's flow and confuse the reader. Including hyperlinks keeps the text clear and flowing smoothly but still allows the reader to open the link to the other source.

An example of a hyperlink in writing is the word evidence in the above section. If the reader clicks on the word evidence, the article on that topic will open in another tab. The hyperlink tells the reader that they can read more about evidence if they want a more in-depth explanation of the topic but also allows them to decide to go on reading about links.

Importance of Using Link in Writing

Using links in writing is important for several reasons, mainly because they help writers provide evidence. When writers make a claim, they need to use information from other sources to help prove that point to their readers. For example, a writer might write a blog post about why everyone should travel to Naples, Italy. To support this claim, the writer will need to include information about Naples, such as the interesting activities travelers can do there. To prove that these things are worth doing, the writer could include links to them so the reader can find out more. These links can help educate the reader further on the topic and thus convince them of the writer’s argument.

Writers also include links in writing to cite their sources. When writers cite sources, they provide credit to the authors of the sources they used. This ensures that writers avoid plagiarism, passing someone else’s work off as one’s own. To cite sources, writers include information about the source, such as the author’s name, the title of the source, and the data of publication. They also usually add a link to the source.

LInk, Link Icon, StudySmarterThis icon indicates a link. Flaticon.

The format writers should use for citations depends on the required format of the text. For instance, academic research papers often follow guidelines like MLA or Chicago. Meanwhile, journalists frequently use AP or APA. Writers should always consult the format for the text they are writing before formatting their citations.

Application of Link in Writing

Writers can use links in their writing to demonstrate their research on a topic. In order to build credibility in an argument, a writer needs to come across as a trustworthy source of information on the topic. For instance, if a writer is writing a blog post about Polish cooking, they can use links to other web pages about Polish culinary traditions to demonstrate their research on the topic. Using links will place the writer’s post in conversation with other sources on the topic, and add to the body of online literature on the topic.

Writers can also use links to help readers find related sources on a topic. For instance, if a writer is chronicling a famous person’s life, they might include links to newspaper articles about scandals about that person. This allows the writer to focus on their own topic, but still provide information on details that readers can consult if they want to learn more.

Using links throughout the body of a text like a webpage or a blog post is sort of like the way writers of an academic research paper mention other research studies in the literature review of their paper. Links help writers situate their writing among other writing on the topic.

Link, Alternative Link Icon. StudySmarter.This icon is also often used to indicate that writers can insert a link. Flaticon.

To ensure credibility, writers need to make sure they are linking to credible sources. Credible sources are fact-checked and trustworthy, and typically end in .edu, .gov, or .org.

Types of Link

The type of link a writer uses depends on the type of text they are writing and what part of the text they want to connect to another source.

Bookmark Link

Writers use a bookmark link to bring the reader to another part of the same webpage. For instance, the writer might outline the article at the beginning and note that at the end, they will go more in-depth about a certain topic. Including a link to that section at the start of the page allows a reader to skip directly there if they want to. Using bookmark links is useful when a webpage features several long, connected concepts.

Email Link

An email link is a direct link to sending an email. If a writer is including contact information on a page, they can type the email address they want the reader to know, select the text, and insert an email link. When the reader clicks the email address, it will open their email application and start a new email to that address.

In addition to including email links in texts, writers can also insert standard links and hyperlinks into the body text of an email. To do this, they can select the text they want to link to another source, then select Insert, and click the link icon. There they can paste the link they would like to insert.

Text Link

A text link is when a writer selects words or phrases from the body of the text and inserts a link to another source. The link can take the reader to several types of sources, such as another webpage or a PDF.

Image Link

Similar to a text link, an image link takes the reader to another source, such as another webpage. However, instead of clicking words to get to the other source, the writer clicks an image.

To insert a link, writers should select the text or image they want to connect to another source, then go to the insert tab of their writing platform. They should then click "link," which might be labeled "hyperlink" or labeled with an icon for link.

Link - Key Takeaways

  • In digital writing, a link is a web address that readers can click to access another source.
  • A link is called a hyperlink when it is hidden behind other text or an image.
  • Writers use links to provide evidence for claims, connect ideas, and avoid plagiarism.
  • Using links can demonstrate writers' knowledge and build their credibility.
  • Common links include bookmark links, email links, image links, and text links.

Frequently Asked Questions about Link

A link is a web address that readers can click to access another source.

Links are important because they help writers build credibility, avoid plagiarism, and provide the reader with more information.

An example of a link in writing is linking an email address in the contact information section of a blog. 

Common types of links include bookmark, email, text, and image links.

Links are called links because they link, or connect, a part of a text to another source. 

Final Link Quiz


What is a link?

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In digital writing, a link is a web address that readers can click to access another source. 

Show question


What is plagiarism?

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Passing someone else’s work off as one’s own.

Show question


What are the four main types of links?

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Bookmark, email, text, and image 

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Why do writers use links?

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To build credibility, avoid plagiarism, and provide the reader with more information.

Show question


Which of the following endings indicates a credible source?

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Show question


True or False. Writers can insert links into images

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Show question


True or False. Inserting a link counts as a full citation. 

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False. Citations include other information such as the author’s name and the source's title. Writers should follow the appropriate formatting guide for the text they are writing such as MLA or APA. 

Show question


True or false. A word link means the exact same thing as a hyperlink.

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False. A link is a hyperlink when it is masked by text or an image.  

Show question


What type of link does a writer use to link to another part of the same text?

Show answer


Bookmark link

Show question


What does an email link open?

Show answer


A draft of an email to the linked address. 

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