Citing Websites in APA

Citing Websites in APA

Introduction

Are you a learner wondering how to cite a website in APA?

Worry no more. The guide below will show you how to go about APA website citation in your paper.

APA citation format is extensively applied by learners, researchers, and professionals studying behavioral and social sciences, namely, psychology, business, and education.

Citing websites in APA usually incorporates an author, the date an article was published, the article title, the website’s name, and the website URL.

In cases where there’re no titles, you should start with the article titles in your citations. However, you should include a retrieval date where that page will most likely transform after a while.

Additionally, when the print publication that you are citing is an online version, you should employ a similar format as a print with a website URL added at the end.

A print publication is like the online dictionary, online newspaper, and online magazines.

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What is a Website?

A website is a group of web pages and content associated with them identified by a given domain name. It is published on one web server, for instance, google.com.

When citing a web page APA, it isn’t necessary to cite a whole site in the list of references. This is according to the sixth edition of the APA manual.

Alternately, you can insert references in the body of your term paper.

Our focus here is on citing specific pages on the web. It is adequate to cite the entire site within your text paper if using a whole site. Nevertheless, you will most likely need to cite the pages where you found your information from.

There are various techniques to use the APA style to cite different sources of information on the websites. Some of them are:

  • In-text citation of websites
  • Website reference page citation
  • Entire website citation
  • Multiple website citation
  • General web article citation without an author
  • Group author website citation
  • Citation of websites with and without dates
  • Citing social media websites
  • Web addresses and DOIs
  • Citing titles of a page on a web

Website In-text Citations

It’s important to note that two citations must be included when adding a piece of work to your project from a site.

These citations include a short citation within your text and another complete one on your page of reference.

In-text citations in APA are introduced in the academic paper body to record your information source concisely.

Short in-text citation will direct the person consuming the information to more corresponding information after your paper in the references list.

If you are paraphrasing, you won’t need the page numbers. Though, when directly quoting, you should include the page numbers.

Just in case you’ve referred to the name of the author in a section, you don’t need to add it again in the in-text citation.

Alternatively, add the dates right after the page number (if it exists) and the name at the end of the paraphrased or the quotation section.

APA in-text citation for a website should comprise the last name of the author, a comma then the publication year in the parentheses (Alexander, 2017).

Below is a website in-text citation:

From this example given above, you realize that the APA website in-text citation should conform to your information in the reference entry in your reference list.

There are two ways of integrating the research of others in your assignment. First, you can either quote or paraphrase them.

Quoting is when you duplicate a section from someone else’s work and phrase it exactly as originally written. To show where the quotes begin and where they end when quoting, insert the quotation marks (“ ”) around the passage that has been selected.

Paraphrasing is used to indicate whether you have understood what has been written by the author. You need to translate what has been written and express the ideas in your words. Do not only make changes to a few words, and ensure that you include an in-text citation.

Website Reference Page Citation

The research paper should end with a list that entails all your cited sources within your text. A list of these cited sources is the reference list that forms the reference page of your paper.

APA reference format website includes the following critical details in the order below:

  1. The name of the author/ organization that runs the site
  2. Publication year, month, and date last updated
  3. Web page/ article title
  4. URL – Ensure that you don’t include line breaks

Note that, in cases where sites lack web pages or the article titles, that should be replaced with the title of the entire site.

Majority of web references used in citing a web page APA use a similar kind of layout like this one displayed below:

Rules Followed in Developing APA Reference List

The research papers should end with lists of all sources cited in the text of your paper. Below are essential rules observed in the preparation of the APA list of references:

  1. Insert a blank page for references. At the top of the page, center the title. Your title should have the word “References” christened on it.
  2. Have your list double spaced.
  3. Begin the first line of each of the references from the left margin, and have each successive line in 5 spaces indented (hanging indent).
  4. You should put the reference lists in alphabetical order. Use every first word in the reference list to alphabetize the list. In many instances, the last name of the author will be the first word in a reference. If the writer is not known, alphabetize every first word in the title, avoiding articles; the, an, and a.
  5. The authors indicate the last name preceded with a comma, a first name initial, and the middle name initial (only if it’s listed), each followed by periods.
  6. Use italics to write the titles of your web sources: internet documents, magazines, journals, magazines, etc.
  7. Don’t italicize the titles of most works: chapters/sections of internet documents, chapter titles of web books, etc.
  8. Capitalize the initial letter in the very initial word of a title, subtitles, and all the naming words such as names of different places and people’s names, etc. in titles of websites.
  9. Where your web source is an unstable version, introduce a statement before the link of the accessed date.

Entire Website Citation

One doesn’t need a formal citation in an event where they refer to a given website in their text. This is without necessarily quoting from a specific part of it.

Instead, you can insert the URL in parentheses after the site name.

An example of entire website citation is as follows:

Facebook (http://facebook.com) is a social media site amongst many other sites. It allows users to share videos, images, articles, and even conduct online marketing, etc.

There’s no need to include the website name on the reference page for this type of citation. Nevertheless, when citing a particular page from a website, a formal in-text citation and references list will be necessary.

Multiple APA Website Citation

There are scenarios where one may contemplate quoting relevant information from several different pages.

For example, suppose you are using information from multiple pages on the website.

In that case, you need to develop a separate list of reference entries for each of the pages. They should be with corresponding in-text citations to the relevant reference list.

It is not unique for writers to have multiple entries with a similar year of publication and the author. So, to differentiate the entries, you should use a letter after the year, e.g.: (2010a) or after “no date,” e.g.: (n.d.-a).

It would be best to assign these letters by placing the references in alphabetical order of the titles in the reference list.

For example, the reference with no date should come top in the hierarchy before the ones with dates followed by the in-press references. See the illustration below for more clarification:

You can, as usual, have these references cited in the text as (American Nurses Association, 1991a), or combine citation bearing similar authors if need be.

Just indicate the author’s name once, followed by the years of the relevant references in a consecutive manner, separated by commas. E.g.:

General Web Article Citation (No Author)

Web pages might at times not list an individual author. In such cases, in APA in-text citation, the government can attribute no author or an organization.

Few examples of sites that lack authors are; online encyclopedias, Wikipedia pages, and online dictionary site.

Where you cannot wholly identify an author, substitute the author’s name section with a page title.

Insert your title in quotation marks within an APA citation in the text if it’s of plain text in your list of references. You can as well italicize it if it’s in italics in the list of references.

It’s essential to bear in mind that a title case should be employed for the title here instead of how it is inscribed within your reference list. Also, make your title very short, limiting it to the opening few words.

First, it would be best, to begin with, a page title citing a web page APA similar to this kind.

Below is an example of general website citations without an author:

Group Authors Website Citation

Group author citations occur where the information cited in the text is written by a group of authors, company, or organization.

You can use a group of names in the author’s slot in citing a website in APA referencing.  Type out a full name, and then add a full stop in the end. 

Dates in Citing APA Website

Websites with Dates

In citing a webpage, APA includes the year, month, and day if the site has its new information frequently updated.

A few examples of sources that display complete dates are newspaper articles, YouTube videos, social media posts, and blog posts, among others.

Use (Year, Month, and Day) as the order in which date APA citation format website pages are written. Within in-text citation, only include the year of publication of your source.

If several dates are provided in your source, you need to use the most recent date on which the author amended the content.

For instance, where a site shows that the first publishing of the content occurred in 2009 and was last updated on July 4, 2015, use the 2015 date.

The date should be used in both your in-text citation and your list of references.

However, if the site states that the first publishing was in 2009 and was last reviewed in June 2015, then use the 2009 date.

A review doesn’t imply that the author changed the information. 

Note that you can insert the date on which you accessed the online source if it’s likely to change over a given period.

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Websites without Dates

Regardless, when citing a website in APA, you may come across sources that don’t have dates (APA no date).

In a case where publication date or revision is not indicated, have the date section in your citation replaced with “n.d.” to mean (“no date”).

You shouldn’t use the copyright date on the website as the publication date for a given content anywhere on the site. 

See the example below:

Citation of Works Quoted by a Different Source

A website’s author may use works by a different person by adopting ideas that have already been paraphrased and quoted from the source.

Thus, the cited work in the article you are studying is the primary source, while the article you are reading is the secondary source.

By way of illustration, assume that you are skimming through an article written by Miles (2013). It has cited information from an article written by Emmett (1999), which you intend to insert in your text.

In your reference list, you will only create a citation for the secondary source (Miles). However, you should include the citation for the primary source (Emmett) on the reference list.

As for in-text citation, identify the primary source (Emmett), and then write the phrase “as cited in” the secondary source (Miles).

In cases where you are aware of the publication year of the primary source, you need to have it included in the in-text citation.

In different circumstances, you can omit it. See examples below:

Illustration of in-text citations:

Following a study: Emmett (1999, as cited Miles, 2013), 76% of learners believe that tutors should not issue them with a nightly assignment.

Note: If you lack the publication date of Emmett’s article, you exclude it like this:

According to a study by Emmett (as cited in Miles, 2013), 76% of learners believe that tutors should not issue them with a nightly assignment.

76% of learners believe tutors should not issue them with a nightly assignment (Emmett, 1999, as Miles, 2013) cited.

Emmett (1999, as cited in Miles, 2013) concluded that “nightly assignment is a huge stressor for many learners” (p.22).

Example of Reference list citation:

Miles, K. (2013). The tendency in night assignments. Journal of College Studies, 14(1), 21-29. http:doi.org/fsfzbit

Citing Social Media Websites in APA

Social media posts are usually not titled. On this note, you should italicize the first twenty words of your source post and use it as the title in your citation.

Add the relevant details about the type of posts and features of multimedia in square brackets.

The multimedia features are like images, sounds, videos, and links used in social media posts you are citing from.

On other online media sites, such as Twitter, users use the usernames instead or extend their real names.

If you know the actual name of the author of your source, use it in square brackets along with the user name. An example of a Twitter citation is as below:

Bush, G. [@GeorgeBush]. (2009, January 1). This New Year’s Day, let’s appreciate all those who keep our country going throughout the year—doctors, teachers, cab drivers, nurses [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/GeorgeBush/status/13030153133200496799

There are instances where you may need to cite the complete profile in social media rather than a particular post.

Since the profile will have to change at a given time or period, insert an access date. See the example below:         

Donald, S. [@stockman]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved January 10, 2009, from https://twitter.com/stockman

A sample of a Twitter in-text citation is: (Donald, n.d.)

If a Tweet contains an image, it can be cited as:

Brandon, N. [@Brandon]. (2011, October 14). Building up my new house…There’s no place like home. [Image attached]. [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/Brandon/status/1404473436428764538

You can also cite APA YouTube videos. In citing a YouTube site, you need to include the person or the organization that uploaded it.

Also have the name of their channel (that is, if it is different from the actual name), and the date of upload.

The title of the video should be in italics, the word “Video” in square brackets ([]), the name of the site, and the video link.

Give the exact date on which they uploaded the video. And if the account is not the original creator of the work, make the reader know if it is essential by explaining in the text.

It is pretty essential to note that the same format for citing YouTube videos also applies to a video site such as Vimeo.

Therefore, you only need to replace the term “YouTube” with the name of the site you are sourcing your video from.

Also, note that TV shows are cited differently.

See an example of YouTube video citation below:

Structural examples of other social media website APA citations include:

  • For Facebook

Author name. (Year, Month Date). Status update text [Facebook update]. Retrieved from URL

A Facebook citation example is:

Brighton, N. [Neil]. (2010, August 25).

Try traditionally celebrating Mashujaa Day by taking a writer out for lunch. It’s been ages since a number of us had decent lunch dates. We are waiting. We have our chopsticks ready at the [Facebook status updates]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/NeilBrighton/post/10345674187654321

For Instagram:

Author name. (Year, Month Date). Status update Instagram text [Instagram update]. Retrieved from URL

Citing Titles of Pages on a Web

Some of the sources you cite could be autonomous and independent sources. This means you cite a whole complete book, films, or series on television.

If that is the case, then you should italicize the title case.

However, when you are only citing a piece of an entire source such as just an episode of a show, a page of a site, or a journal article, the title needs to be written in sentence case.

It can also be in fixed-width font rather than in italics.

In simple terms, don’t italicize APA citation in web pages titles, whether within a text or on the reference page.

Have capital letters only in the inception of titles, the beginning of the first words in the subtitles, and at the beginning of every proper noun. Make complete references on the project’s last page.

You should write the title only within the text where the author hasn’t been listed.

Therefore, in APA citations for web pages, other than presenting the reference as “(Author of the article, Date),” show it as “(Title of that Page, Date).”  

Publisher Information

The publisher’s information entails any form of information relating to that of the body that published the article, or in any way administered in the web citation.

You don’t need to add any information relating to the company which formed the site, workplace location details, and any other information about it in APA citation of web pages.

DOIs and Web Addresses

Direct object identifier (DOI) numbers and web addresses are necessities in APA citation of a web page and shouldn’t be left out.

However, in APA website citation, DOIs and the web addresses usually are the items that come last.

You need to include the phrase “Retrieved from” for sites before inserting the web addresses.

Don’t conclude your APA citation of a website with a period, especially after adding the complete URL.

A structure of a URL is given below:

In cases where the address is very long, you are allowed to get into the following line.

Remember to ensure that it’s broken up so that any symbol or punctuation mark starts the next line.

Direct object identifiers are constant and permanent, making them the best alternative for insertion in any website citing in APA.

Additionally, they were created to help deal with the problem of error-related issues and broken links.

A problem can be a case where a page has been dropped off the internet; it becomes a very hefty task trying to retrieve its copy.

Most of the time, it will be difficult to find it once it has disappeared.

The DOI numbers are designated to electronic sources like e-books, datasets, and journal articles by the publishers.

They contain numbers and different types of characters.

Where your APA citation source has the DOI numbers included, you need to insert them as the last bit in the APA web page citations and not the URL.

Note that your structure of a direct object identifier should look like this:

https://twitter.com/Brandon/status/XXXXXXXXXXXX

As it is in the case of other APA citations for website referencing, do not include “Retrieved from” before it. The ‘X’s in the format above signifies the DOI numbers.           

Conclusion

If you are still at a loss at “how to do a citation in APA,” or “how to cite a website in APA,” reach us and we’ll help you get through it.

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FAQs

  1. When should access dates be included in APA citations?

Access dates usually are not a requirement in APA citation.

Nonetheless, to cite online articles APA or websites that are foreseen to change after a given period, it’s advisable to insert an access date.

With that regards, you need to inscribe it as follows at the last bit of your references: Retrieved January 23, 1998, from http://greenland.com/the-rectangle/the-tales-of-three-flaccos.html

  • How should an APA 7 website citation within a text look like?

In-text citation comprises the first name of the author and the publication year in an APA style. For instance: (Lawson, 2016).

 Sometimes, the author can be an organization or an institution. For example: (American Psychological Association, 2015).

When quoting, you can also consider inserting a locator. For example, you can employ the following options because web pages usually don’t have page numbers:

  • Paragraph numbers: (Paul, 2020, para. 10)
  • Abbreviated headings: (APA,2018, “Citation” section)
  • Section names: (APA, 2018, Citation section)
  • How should you cite a source without a page number in APA style?

Websites pages usually lack page numbers. Therefore, if you’re citing websites and the texts are long, you should use the numbers of paragraph or section heading or even a combination of both. For example:

(Freeman, 2017, Joining section, para. 3)

The location of the passage needs to be indicated on the in-text citation when paraphrasing or quoting a specific passage from the source.

Note that it’s not compulsory to insert page numbers when referring to the entire source.

  • How is a source without an author cited in APA style?

Where no name of a single author has been listed, yet the source of information is attributed to a particular institution, the organization’s name is used.  It is a replacement for the author within both your in-text citation and your reference entry.

On the other hand, when the author can’t be determined, for instance, an anonymously published online article, you should use the title to substitute the author section. If the title appears in plain texts within your reference list, quote your title inside speech marks in the in-text citation, and if it is italicized in the list of references, emulate the same in in-text citation.

  • How should you cite sources with no Publication dates and unknown authors?

Where there is no publication date, you should insert “n.d” in the date APA format section instead to mean “no date.”

Where your author is unknown, put some first few words of the title of your source within the in-text citation instead.

You should indicate the title inside double speech marks when citing web pages, articles, and chapters of books. Note down the titles of books, periodicals, etc. There’s a need to italicize the title.

  • How should I cite the contents of social media in an APA style?     

To create a citation of a post sourced from social media, you need to use your very initial opening 20 words of the post like title. Add a posting date of the content after that include the URL example, then state a username of the writer that is; in any case, he possesses one.

To cite content that is not publicly accessible from social media, you need to have it cited in your text as personal information, but don’t include it in the reference list.

  • How do you format in APA style?

Add a DOI (digital object identifier) at the final bit in your APA reference website entry. Where you’re adopting the 6th edition of APA regulations, your DOI should be fronted by characterization “doi:” Where you are using the APA 7th edition, your DOI becomes fronted by “https://dz.doi.org/”

  • 7th edition: https://dz.doi.org/11.1034/0894543217654321
  • 6th edition:    doi: 11.1034/0894543217654321

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