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How to Cite a Website and Online/Electronic Resources
The pages outlines examples of how to cite websites and media sources using the Harvard Referencing method .
What are electronic sources?
An electronic source is any information source in digital format. The library subscribes to many electronic information resources in order to provide access for students. Electronic sources can include: full-text journals, newspapers, company information, e-books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, economic data, digital images, industry profiles, market research, etc.
Should I include extra information when I cite electronic sources?
Referencing electronic or online sources can be confusing—it's difficult to know which information to include or where to find it. As a rule, provide as much information as possible concerning authorship, location and availability.
Electronic or online sources require much of the same information as print sources (author, year of publication, title, publisher). However, in some cases extra information may be required:
- the page, paragraph or section number—what you cite will depend on the information available as many electronic or online sources don’t have pages.
- identify the format of the source accessed, for example, E-book, podcast etc.
- provide an accurate access date for online sources, that is, identify when a source was viewed or downloaded.
- provide the location of an online source, for example, a database or web address.
Cite the name of the author/ organisation responsible for the site and the date created or last revised (use the most recent date):
(Department of Social Services 2020)
According to the Department of Social Services (2020) ...
List of References
Include information in the following order:
- author (the person or organisation responsible for the site
- year (date created or revised)
- site name (in italics)
- name of sponsor of site (if available)
- accessed day month year (the date you viewed the site)
- URL or Internet address (between pointed brackets). If possible, ensure that the URL is included without a line-break.
Department of Social Services 2020, Department of social services website , Australian government, accessed 20 February 2020, <https: //www .dss.gov.au/>.
Specific pages or documents within a website
Information should include author/authoring body name(s) and the date created or last revised:
(Li 2004) or:
(World Health Organisation 2013)
- author (the person or organisation responsible for the site)
- year (date created or last updated)
- page title (in italics)
- name of sponsor of site (if available)
- accessed day month year (the day you viewed the site)
- URL or Internet address (pointed brackets).
Li, L 2014, Chinese scroll painting H533 , Australian Museum, accessed 20 February 2016, <https: // australianmuseum.net.au/chinese-scroll-painting-h533>.
Organisation as author:
World Health Organisation 2013, Financial crisis and global health , The United Nations, accessed 1 August 2013, <http: //www .who.int/topics/financial_crisis/en/>.
Webpages with no author or date
If the author's name is unknown, cite the website/page title and date:
( Land for sale on moon 2007)
Land for sale on moon 2007, accessed 19 June 2007, <http: // www . moonlandrealestate.com>.
If there is not date on the page, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date):
List if References
ArtsNSW n.d., New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards , NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation, accessed 19 June 2007, <http: // www . arts.nsw.gov.au/awards/ LiteraryAwards/litawards.htm>.
Kim, M n.d., Chinese New Year pictures and propaganda posters , Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, accessed 12 April 2016, <https: // collection.maas.museum/set/6274>.
Media articles (print)
If there is no author, list the name of the newspaper, the date, year and page number:
( The Independent 2013, p. 36)
If there is an author, cite as you would for a journal article:
(Donaghy 1994, p. 3)
Articles can also be mentioned in the running text:
University rankings were examined in a Sydney Morning Herald report by Williamson (1998, p. 21), where it was evident that ...
- year of publication
- article title (between single quotation marks)
- publication title (in italics with maximum capitalisation)
- date of article (day, month)
- page number
Williamson, S 1998, ‘UNSW gains top ranking from quality team’, Sydney Morning Herald , 30 February, p.21.
Donaghy, B 1994, ‘National meeting set to review tertiary admissions’, Campus News , 3-9 March, p. 3.
An unattributed newspaper article:
If there is no named author, list the article title first:
- Article title, between single quotation marks,
- Publication title (in italics with maximum capitalisation)
- Date published (date, month, year)
- Page number (if available)
‘Baby tapir wins hearts at zoo’, The Independent , 9 August 2013, p. 36
Online media articles
A news article from an electronic database:
If the article has a named author:
- author (if available)
- newspaper title (in italics)
- date of article (day, month, page number—if given—and any additional information available)
- accessed day month year (the date you accessed the items)
- from name of database
- item number (if given).
Pianin, E 2001, 'As coal's fortunes climb, mountains tremble in W.Va; energy policy is transforming lives', The Washington Post, 25 February, p. A03, accessed March 2001 from Electric Library Australasia.
A news article without a named author:
No named author:
( New York Daily Times 1830)
The article can also be discussed in the body of the paragraph:
An account of the popularity of the baby tapir in The Independent (2013) stated that ...
If there is no named author, list the article title first.
'Amending the Constitution', New York Daily Times , 16 October 1851, p. 2, accessed 15 July 2007 from ProQuest Historical Newspapers database.
'Baby tapir wins hearts at zoo', The Independent , 9 August 2013, Accessed 25 January 2014, <http: // www . independent.ie/world-news/and-finally/baby-tapir-wins-hearts-at-zoo-30495570.html>.
An online news article:
Cite the author name and year:
Coorey, P 2007, ‘Costello hints at green safety net’, Sydney Morning Herald , 10 May, accessed 14 May 2012, <http: // www . smh.com.au/news/business/costello-hints-at-green-safety-net/2007/05/09/1178390393875.html>.
While a URL for the article should be included, if it is very long (more than two lines) or unfixed (from a search engine), only include the publication URL:
Holmes, L 2017, 'The woman making a living out of pretending to be Kylie Minogue', The Daily Telegraph , 23 April, accessed 22 May 2017, <http: // www . dailytelegraph.com.au>.
Cite the author (the person responsible for the release) and date:
Prime Minister Howard (2007) announced plans for further welfare reform...
- author name or authoring organisation name
- title of release (in italics)
- accessed day month year
- URL (between pointed brackets)
Office of the Prime Minister 2007, Welfare Payments Reform , media release, accessed 25 July 2007, <http: // www . pm.gov.au/media/Release/2007/Media_Release24432.cfm>.
How to cite broadcast materials and communications
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- How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples
How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples
Published on March 5, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.
To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.
This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA , MLA , and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.
Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.
Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image .
Table of contents
Citing a website in mla style, citing a website in apa style, citing a website in chicago style, frequently asked questions about citations.
An MLA Works Cited entry for a webpage lists the author’s name , the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL.
The in-text citation usually just lists the author’s name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to locate the specific passage. Don’t use paragraph numbers unless they’re specifically numbered on the page.
The same format is used for blog posts and online articles from newspapers and magazines.
You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to generate your website citations.
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Citing a whole website.
When you cite an entire website rather than a specific page, include the author if one can be identified for the whole site (e.g. for a single-authored blog). Otherwise, just start with the site name.
List the copyright date displayed on the site; if there isn’t one, provide an access date after the URL.
Webpages with no author or date
When no author is listed, cite the organization as author only if it differs from the website name.
If the organization name is also the website name, start the Works Cited entry with the title instead, and use a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation.
When no publication date is listed, leave it out and include an access date at the end instead.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
An APA reference for a webpage lists the author’s last name and initials, the full date of publication, the title of the page (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.
The in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the year. If it’s a long page, you may include a locator to identify the quote or paraphrase (e.g. a paragraph number and/or section title).
Note that a general reference to an entire website doesn’t require a citation in APA Style; just include the URL in parentheses after you mention the site.
You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to create your webpage citations. Search for a URL to retrieve the details.
Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr
Blog posts and online articles.
Blog posts follow a slightly different format: the title of the post is not italicized, and the name of the blog is.
The same format is used for online newspaper and magazine articles—but not for articles from news sites like Reuters and BBC News (see the previous example).
When a page has no author specified, list the name of the organization that created it instead (and omit it later if it’s the same as the website name).
When it doesn’t list a date of publication, use “n.d.” in place of the date. You can also include an access date if the page seems likely to change over time.
In Chicago notes and bibliography style, footnotes are used to cite sources. They refer to a bibliography at the end that lists all your sources in full.
A Chicago bibliography entry for a website lists the author’s name, the page title (in quotation marks), the website name, the publication date, and the URL.
Chicago also has an alternative author-date citation style . Examples of website citations in this style can be found here .
For blog posts and online articles from newspapers, the name of the publication is italicized. For a blog post, you should also add the word “blog” in parentheses, unless it’s already part of the blog’s name.
When a web source doesn’t list an author , you can usually begin your bibliography entry and short note with the name of the organization responsible. Don’t repeat it later if it’s also the name of the website. A full note should begin with the title instead.
When no publication or revision date is shown, include an access date instead in your bibliography entry.
The main elements included in website citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.
In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.
If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:
- In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
- In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.
If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.
When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)
In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.
For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.
Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.
- APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
- Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
- Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.
Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.
The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/cite-a-website/
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Important Components & Examples
Definition: citing a website.
Online Sources: internet sources are quotes, pictures, recordings , etc. taken from websites on the World Wide Web (cf. Franck & Stary 2009: 191). Besides this, articles from websites also count as online sources. When you cite a website, it is crucial to include these components:
Author Surname, Name. Date of publication. Title of the article. Domain. URL. Date of last access.
- 3 Important Components
- 5 All Important Rules
- 6 In a Nutshell
What is a citation?
A citation is a reference to a source of information that was used in the writing of a book, article, thesis or research paper. Citations give your readers clear guidelines on the sources of the information used in the completion of an academic writing text. Citations are usually written at the end of the report, usually in alphabetical order. This greatly helps the writer avoid plagiarism when writing especially long texts. Plus, it shows the readers where the writer obtained his information and they can also visit these sources to learn more about the research topic.
How do you cite a website?
Every source of information used while completing an academic writing project have to be cited. This includes sources referenced from websites, online articles, journals, etc.
The formatting used for referencing a website will depend on the referencing style that you’re using. However, website citations generally require the following information: The author(s) name(s) [in last name, first name format], ‘title of the source/ web page’, title of Website, publisher or website name, date published [in Day, Month, Year format] and finally, the website URL.
What are the different website citation styles?
As with every other writing project that requires citations, websites can also be cited in the three major citation styles as follows:
a. The APA (American Psychological Association) Style: This is an author-year system of citation. It is mostly used for Education, Psychology, and Science writings.
b. The MLA (Modern Language Association) Style: This is an author-page system of citation. It is mostly used for writing in the Humanities field.
c. The Chicago Style: This is an extremely flexible style of citation that combines two referencing styles (footnotes and author-year system). It is used for writing in Business, History and Fine Arts.
How important is citing a website used in a writing project?
Website citation while writing an article, journal entry, dissertation or book has numerous important functions. Firstly, it helps the writer avoid plagiarizing other writers’ intellectual property which were utilized for the completion of the academic writing project. Secondly, it gives the writer a good way of keeping track of all information and sources referenced from websites that were used. Lastly, it also provides the readers details about where to find extra information about the research topic.
When should I do a website citation?
Website citations are required every time information is referenced from a website for an academic essay, research paper , dissertation, article or book. Regardless of how insignificant or minimal the information is that you sourced from the website, a citation has to be made to avoid plagiarism. As a writer, it is your imperative to appropriately reference your sources, in order to avoid being penalized for unlawfully using some else’s work.
If you want to cite a website, you have to provide a full citation in your reference list. This example shows how to cite a website using the APA citation style:
In your bachelor´s or master’s theses, as well as other pieces of academic writing, you must ensure to only cite websites with academic content! Not all articles and websites on the web are suitable for academic texts.
Recommended: How to cite an article
Properly Referencing a Website
Author name & article title: If you are citing a website, it is mandatory to name the author and the title of the cited article.
URL & DOI number: Moreover, the URL is part of the citation and the DOI number can also be included.
Date of last access & date of publication: The date of last access is another compulsory element when citing a website. For example: Retrieved March 5, 2019 . If you can find information on the publication date of the website article you want to cite, you should include this. Sometimes you might not be able to find a publication date. In that case, you can use the date that you last accessed the website in the short references (cf. Samac, Prenner, & Schwetz 2009: 95 ff., Szuchman 2005: 106).
The table below gives an overview of the most important components of website citations, irrespective of the citation style chosen. The table also indicates which elements are mandatory for a full website and which are not, as well as including examples for each element. You will also find comments that explain the different components in more detail.
It is necessary to name the author of the website article. However, you may not always find information about the author of the website contents you are citing. In such cases, you should put in the name of the website or domain operator. If there is no information regarding the operator either, you can use “n.a.”, which means “no author”.
Recommended: How to cite a book
Below you will find examples on how to cite a website using two of the most common citation systems – APA citation and Harvard referencing .
Example: Citing Websites Using APA Style
Ghosh, P. (2019, April 10). First ever black hole image released. BBC News . Last accessed 21 th Apr 2019: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47873592 .
Rudlin, D. (2019, April 11). Why are we so bad at planning cities? The Guardian . Last accessed 12 th Apr 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/apr/11/why-are-we-so-bad-at-planning-cities .
Citing a website: Short references in the text
Citing a Website Using Harvard Style
Although the term “Harvard Style” is frequently used, it does not refer to a manual of style such as “The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association” (short: APA) or “The Chicago Manual of Style”, which you can use for reference when checking how to cite a website in that particular style.
The term Harvard referencing is “another name for the author/date citation system, whereby the author and date is placed in parentheses, e.g. (Robbins 1987) to refer readers to the full bibliographic citations” (cf. Harvard Library 2018, Chernin 1988). Consequently, you can cite a website using APA citation style, which is an author/date system.
All Important Rules
Online sources and websites are increasingly used as your studies become more focused, e.g. in a cultural discourse. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to cite a website when you are using it as source for your thesis.
If you are citing a website, it has to be included in the reference list. This is not always easy, as in many cases internet sources do not have page numbers and cannot be assigned to an author or to their year of publication. If you are citing material from an institution´s website, e.g. a ministry, this institution is cited as the author (cf. Kruse 2010: 118).
What you have to bear in mind when citing a website is differentiatinge between “real” online sources and those that might also exist in print. Many academic journals for example are published online only; however, such journal articles are not regarded as website sources, as they could theoretically exist as print, too. Moreover, there is an issue number and the individual articles can be downloaded in PDF format. Only if the online version differs from the print version is advisable to include the URL and the date of last access (cf. Samac, Prenner & Schwetz 2009: 100).
You also have to be careful with using online sources as reference. They can function as a primary source but less as a secondary source.
It is recommended to make a copy of the website or take a screenshot (or even a printout, which can go into the appendix of the text) of the website you intend to cite. By doing so, you can ensure that you have cited the website correctly. This also means that your citation is accurate based on your last access of the website.
Example from the website British Council: An article called “Can we learn a second language like we learned our first?” including information about the author and the date of publication.
Recommended: APA Citation
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In a Nutshell
- Citing a website entails an entry in the reference list ; it must be treated just as any other type of source.
- Citing websites as secondary source should be the exception rather than the rule; it is recommended that you mainly quote sources in print.
- When citing a website, it is mandatory to include the date when you last accessed the website, because contents on websites can easily be changed or deleted.
- Make sure the information provided by the website you are citing is reliable , and only cite quotable websites in your bachelor’s or master’s thesis.
- The main components of website citations are: Author, title, domain, URL, date of last access, and date of publication.
- If there is no author, you can include the operator of the website and the name of the domain instead.
Chernin. 1988 . The “Harvard System”: a mystery dispelled. British Medical Journal 297 : 1062–1063.
Franck, Norbert & Joachim Stary. 2009 . Die Technik des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens . 15th Ed. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.
Harvard Library. Oct 24, 2018 . “Citation and Research Management Tools at Harvard – Harvard Style”, in Harvard Library. https://guides.library.harvard.edu/cite/guides . Last accessed 23th Apr 2019.
Karmasin, Matthias & Rainer Ribing. 2014 . Die Gestaltung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten. 8th ed. Wien: Facultas.
Kruse, Otto. 2010 . Lesen und Schreiben – Der richtige Umgang mit Texten im Studium. Konstanz: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft.
Samac, Klaus, Monika Prenner & Herbert Schwetz. 2009 . Die Bachelorarbeit an Universität und Fachhochschule . Wien: Facultas.
Szuchman, Leonore T. 2005. Writing with Style – APA Style Made Easy . 3 rd edition. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth.
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How to Cite a Website
Last Updated: February 9, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,548,279 times.
If you're writing a research paper, you'll likely do quite a bit of research online. If you have websites that you want to use as sources for your paper, an entry for the website must appear in the reference list (also called the bibliography or Works Cited) at the end of your paper. You'll also include a citation in-text at the end of any sentence in which you've paraphrased or quoted information that appeared on that website. While the information you need to provide is generally the same across all methods, the way you format that information may vary depending on whether you're using the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago style of citation.
Sample Citation Templates
- Example: Claymore, Crystal.
- If no individual author is listed, but the website is produced by a government agency, organization, or business, use that name as the author. For example, if you're using a CDC web page as a source, you would list the author as "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Tip: For your entire Works Cited entry, if an element doesn't exist or isn't provided, simply skip that part of the citation and move on to the next part.
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting."
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , 24 Sept. 2018,
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , 24 Sept. 2018, www.crystalscupcakes.com/amazing-frosting.
- Example: Claymore, Crystal. "Best-Kept Secrets for Amazing Cupcake Frosting." Crystal's Cupcakes , www.crystalscupcakes.com/amazing-frosting. Accessed 14 Feb. 2019.
MLA Works Cited Format:
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Web Page in Title Case." Name of Website , Day Month Year of publication, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
- For example, you might write: "The best cupcake frosting techniques are often the least intuitive (Claymore)."
- If you include the author's name in your text, there's no need for a parenthetical citation. For example, you might write: "Award-winning baker Crystal Claymore wasn't afraid to give away all her secrets, sharing her favorite frosting techniques on her website."
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society.
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017).
- If you're citing several pages from the same website that were published in the same year, add a lower-case letter to the end of the year so you can differentiate them in your in-text citations. For example, you might have "2017a" and "2017b."
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017). Cancer research.
- If the content you're citing is a stand-alone document, the title should be italicized. This will usually be the case if you're citing a PDF document that appears on a website. If you're not sure, use your best judgment in deciding whether to italicize it or not.
- Example: Canadian Cancer Society. (2017). Cancer research. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-research/?region=on
APA Reference List Format:
Author Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of web page in sentence case. Retrieved from URL
- For example, you might write: "Clinical trials are used to test new cancer treatments (Canadian Cancer Society, 2017)."
- If you include the author's name in your text, place the year in parentheses immediately after the author's name. For example, you might write: "The Canadian Cancer Society (2017) noted that Canada is a global leader in clinical trials of cancer treatments."
- Example: UN Women.
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women."
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women .
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women . Accessed February 14, 2019.
- Example: UN Women. "Commission on the Status of Women." UN Women . Accessed February 14, 2019. http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw.
Chicago Bibliography Format:
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Web Page in Title Case." Name of Website or Publishing Organization . Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.
- Example: UN Women, "Commission on the Status of Women," UN Women , accessed February 14, 2019, http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw.
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- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://libguides.up.edu/mla/common/websites
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/apa-referencing/7Webpages
- ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/examples/webpage-website-references
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/web_sources.html
- ↑ http://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/48009
About This Article
To cite a website in text using MLA formatting, include the author's last name in parentheses at the end of the sentence you're using the source in. If there is no author, include the title of the web page instead. If you're using APA formatting, include the author's last name followed by a comma and the year of publication in parentheses at the end of the sentence. If you don't know the author's name, use the name of the web page instead. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to cite a website in Chicago style, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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- Citing a Website Article or Page
Citing a Website Article (APA)
Format: Author(s). (Year, Month Day). Title of article in italics . Website Name. URL
Note: Cite an online source as a website only if no other type of source applies to it. For instance, many magazines and newspapers publish articles on their websites - in cases like this, you would cite the article as if it were an online magazines or newspaper article (not a website article). This holds true for journal articles, conference procedures, social media posts, blog posts, online videos, etc. You may need to check the APA manual or ask a librarian to see if your type of source is listed.
Note : If you're citing multiple articles or webpage from the same website, then create a reference entry for each one.
Note : If you're just mentioning a website in general but not actually pulling any specific information from it, do not created a reference list entry or use an in-text citation. Simply include the name of the website in the text of your paper, and list the URL in parenthesis after the name. For instance, the the Centers for Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov/) provides information on vaccines. If you pulled specific information from the website, then cite each page that you pulled information from as it's own reference entry (see note above).
Example: Harrar, S. (2007, July 5). Better heart health . CNN. http://cnn.com/better-heart-201562
Example: Smith , J. D. (2002-2023). The secret to a long life . American Cancer Society. http://americancancersociety.com/secret-long-life-356892
Group Author: Mayo Clinic. (2011, June 23). Absence seizure . http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/201569
Access Date: Smith, J. D. (n.d.). Considerations for new nurses. Career Spot. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://www.careerspot.org/nursing213659/
Government: National Cancer Institute . (2020). Lung cancer update (NIH Publication No. 20-6548). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.cancer.gov/lungcancer206528/
Note : When using a government website with many layers of agencies, use the most specific agency as the author, then list the name(s) of the parent agencies as the website name, beginning with the biggest agency/parent agency and working towards more specific separating with commas (i.e. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary). Do no repeat agencies in the that were used as the author.
For the website article title, capitalize only proper nouns and the first word of the article title and subtitle. Also italicize the website article title (APA considers it a standalone).
For the website name, capitalize all the significant words in the title. Do not use italics or quotation marks.
Note: If you mention a Website article title in your paper, all major words should be capitalized and it should be in italics.
When author and website name are the same, skip the website name (to avoid repetition).
Do not put a period at the end of entries with a URL.
For the URL, put the exact link to content or page where reader can easily find the cited material. For example, use https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/william-barr-house-judiciary-hearing.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage instead of https://www.nytimes.com.
Some works online note last updated or edited or revised date, you would use this date if listed. If lists last reviewed as the date, you would not use as the content was not necessarily changed when reviewed. You can use copyright date(s) if exist and there is not a last updated/edited/revised date. If the website has no specific date (year or no date), but will not change over time such as an edition of a report or ebook for instance then no retrieval date is needed. Include a retrieval date only if source material could change over time like a webpage or non-published article with just year (2023) or (n.d.). See example above.
Double space entries. If an entry runs more than one line, use hanging indent the next line(s).
- Where to Find Citation Information on a Website This interactive guide will show you where on a website you can find the information needed to complete your citation.
- How to Cite a Website Article in APA Format This handout will break down how to cite a website article in APA format.
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- Citing an Encyclopedia
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- Citing an Article Written for a Database
- Citing a Magazine or Newspaper Article
- Citing Interviews, Emails, etc.
- Citing a Video
- Citing Images or Graphs
- In-text Citations
- Annotated Bibliography - APA
- Formatting Your Title Page and Paper in Word
- Formatting Your Reference Page in Word
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / APA Website Citation
How to Cite a Website in APA
This guide explains all of the important steps to referencing a website/web page in your APA research papers. The guidance below follows APA style, 7th edition.
APA format is much different than MLA format and other styles. If you need to cite websites in MLA , or you’re looking for more styles , check out the other resources on EasyBib.com!
Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:
What is a website? Am I citing a website or a web page?
Citing a website in the text (in-text citation), citing a website on the reference page, citing a general web article without an author, titles of pages on the web, extra information, publisher information, web addresses and dois, apa format for online news articles, additional website citation examples, troubleshooting.
A website is a place on the Internet that holds a group of individual pages (called web pages).
Think of a website like a tree. A website is the tree, and the individual web pages are the branches. Use YouTube as an example. YouTube is the site, and the individual channel pages and video pages are the branches. Wikipedia is a site, and each article has its own individual web page on that site.
Most of the time, you aren’t trying to cite a whole, entire site, but actually an individual web page. If you used a YouTube video to help you with your research project, you wouldn’t cite the entire YouTube site, you would cite the specific YouTube page the video was found on.
Here’s a similar question we’re often asked when it comes to the APA citation of a web page:
Q: This page describes citing specific pages and articles. Can I cite an entire site?
A: According to the APA manual (7th edition), it is not necessary to cite a site in its entirety in a reference list. Instead, include a reference to the website in the body of your paper and cite any web page individually.
The Department of Justice has just released a new site called ReportCrime.gov at https://www.reportcrime.gov/ to help people identify and report crimes in their area.
In the above passage, the website is stated in the text rather than cited. This guide focuses on how to cite individual pages found on the web (web pages). If you used an entire website, it’s perfectly acceptable to cite the whole site in the text of your paper, as shown above, but for the most part, you want to cite the page where the information was found.
If you’re seeking out an APA citation website to take the stress away from proper referencing, try out EasyBib.com! Stop typing into the search bar, “how to cite a website APA” or “APA in-text citation website.” EasyBib.com is the answer to your referencing questions and needs!
When you include a piece of information from a site in your project, you must include two citations: a brief citation in the text and also a full citation on the reference page.
When it comes to mentions in the text, students are sometimes tempted to put the web address in the body of a project. However, URLs can be long, clunky, and distracting. They should never be written in the body of a project.
Instead of writing the full address in the text, use the last name of the author and the date the source was published. If no author is shown, write the title of the individual page and the date.
For direct quotations, you may use paragraphs to indicate the quotation’s location in the work. Count the paragraphs manually if needed and use the abbreviation “para.” for paragraph.
Check out this in-text citation APA website example:
Cite your source
The above APA website in-text citation (the author’s last name and the date the information was published) corresponds to the information on the final page of the project, the reference page.
Here’s how the full APA citation for a web page looks on the final page of the project:
Need more in-text citation APA website info? Here’s more on how to build an APA parenthetical citation . You may also like our full-length guide on how to create an APA in-text citation .
If you’re looking for information on structuring other styles in the text of your paper, check out our page on MLA in-text and parenthetical citations .
In the next section of this APA citation website guide, we’re going to focus on how to format an APA website citation. If you’re wondering how to create an APA citation of a web page, the majority of web references use the structure shown below.
General structure for how to cite a website in APA
Note: A retrieval date is no longer required for online sources. It’s only needed if the content is likely to change over time (such as wikis and social media). The article or page title should be italicized. The URL is at the end and does not have a period after it.
Full reference example:
View Screenshot | Cite your source
Example of an in-text citation for a website in APA:
If you’re looking for an APA format website to do the work for you, try out EasyBib.com’s citation generator. Our APA citation website makes referencing a breeze!
APA citation for website structure:
Do you need to cite a source with no author in APA ? No problem. Wikipedia pages, online dictionary sites, and online encyclopedia sites are just a few examples of sites without an author. When there is no clear individual author, use the website organization (group author) as the author.
There are plenty of times when an individual’s name isn’t listed as the author, but the information on the site is written by a group, organization, or company.
In an APA website citation, it is completely acceptable to use the group’s name in the author position. Type it out in its entirety and add a period at the end. Check out the various APA citation of web page examples at the bottom of the page to see group authors in action!
Note: If the author name and website name is the same, just list it once in as the author; leave out the website name section in the APA citation.
APA citation for website example:
If you’re wondering whether to include the full date in your APA citation for web pages (month, day, and year) or just the year, we have the answer for you here.
An APA citation of web page reference includes the month, day, and year if it’s a site that is updated with new information frequently. Blog posts, newspaper articles, posts from social media profiles, and YouTube videos are just a few of the sources that would display the full date. In an APA citation for web pages, it’s written in this order in parentheses: (Year, Month Day).
If there is any information missing, simply include what is available. Also, if there is no date , indicate this by using (n.d.).
No date APA website example:
If you’re using the EasyBib citation generator to create an APA citation for a web page, our technology structures dates for you in their proper order. It’s the APA format website (and also the APA in-text citation website) you’ve been waiting for. Give it a whirl!
Here’s the advice we provide on many of our guides:
- If the source you are citing is a standalone source, meaning an entire book, television series, or film, the title of such sources should be in italics.
- If, however, you are citing a piece of a larger source, i.e., a journal article, a page on a site, or an episode of a show, the title should be in sentence case and not in italics.
Long story short, do not italicize an APA citation for web pages’ title in the text and on the final page of references.
For full references on the final page of the project, only include capital letters at the beginning of the title, at the beginning of each proper noun, and at the beginning of the first word in the subtitle.
The title is written in the text only when there isn’t an author listed. So, instead of showing the reference as (Author, Date), use (“Title of Page,” Date) in any APA citation for web pages. Notice the switch from sentence case to title case in the text reference.
A little extra information goes a long way when it comes to site citations. If you’re including a unique source type, include information about the medium directly after the title. This information is placed in brackets. Only the first letter is capitalized.
Here are a few examples you might see in an APA citation for a web page:
To see some of the extra information in action, scroll down to the examples towards the bottom of this page.
Speaking of extra information, it may not hurt to get some extra details on grammar topics in that brain of yours. Brush up on your adjective , pronoun , and interjection knowledge with our comprehensive guides!
Any information related to the publisher is not invited to the web citation party. In an APA citation of a web page, you do not need to include information about the company that made the site, where its offices are located, or any other similar information about the company in any web references. One thing less to worry about in your APA citation for web pages!
Other source types are much different, so before you exclude publisher information from all of your references, make sure you check out our APA citation page. While you’re at it, check out our other helpful resources, such as APA reference page and MLA works cited .
We also need a web address and DOI number in an APA citation for a web page. Including site addresses and DOIs are an absolute necessity. Addresses and DOIs (which stand for direct object identifiers) are usually the last item in an APA website citation.
For sites, after adding the full URL to the APA citation for a web page, do not end it with a period. If the address is very long, it is acceptable to roll it onto the next line, but break it up so that a type of punctuation mark or symbol is the first item closest to the left margin. Check out the APA citation of a webpage URL below.
APA citation of a webpage example of a properly structured URL:
DOI numbers are assigned by publishers to electronic sources such as journal articles, e-books, datasets, and more. They’re a string of numbers and sometimes other characters. If the source you’re using has a DOI number assigned to it, place it at the end of the APA website citation, instead of the URL, in this format: https://doi.org/10.XXXXXXXXX. Place the DOI string in place of the X’s shown above.
DOIs were created to combat the problem of broken links and 404 errors (pages taken down). Think about it: if a webpage is taken off of the Internet, it can be pretty difficult to find a copy of it. If you’re lucky, an archive site may have a copy stored somewhere, but for the most part, when sites are gone, they’re gone. DOIs are permanent, making them the ideal choice to include in any APA citation for webpages.
APA properly structured DOI:
APA differentiates between traditional newspapers that are online versus news websites with no daily/weekly/monthly newspaper or magazine edition. Unsure what you’re citing? Follow this decision tree:
- YES –> Cite it as a newspaper article.
- NO –> Cite it as a web page or a news site article.
- NO –> Cite it as a web page or news site article.
Online news article APA example:
News sites with no associated daily/weekly/monthly publication should be cited like a web page. That means the article title is italicized and the publisher/site name is in plan font. This format applies to articles from these sites:
- MSNBC Fox News
Newspaper article online APA example:
Sites associated with a daily/weekly/monthly publication should be cited as a newspaper article. That means the article title is in plain font and the publisher/site name is italicized. This format applies to articles from these sites:
- The New York Times
- The Guardian
- The Times of India
- The Wall Street Journal
- The Washington Post
- Yomiuri Shimbun
Below are various web reference examples to give you a quick visual of how pages are structured and organized. Quick reminder that if you’re trying to create a reference for an e-book found on the web, use the APA book citation page. In addition, if it’s an online article from journal, use our APA journal page.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to build your references, EasyBib.com is an APA citation website that does the work for you. Try it out and say hello to stress-free referencing and goodbye to constantly searching for “how to cite a website APA” or “how to cite APA” on search engines. The APA offers more information here .
How to cite a group/organization/company:
How to cite a blog post in apa:.
The structure is the same, but the format is slightly different: The blog article title is in plain text, and the name of the blog is italicized.
APA citation of a web page example for Facebook:
The text of the post is italicized, while the site name (Facebook) is in plain text.
APA citation of a web page example for Twitter:
Cite your source
If the name of the author is unknown, start the APA citation of a web page for Twitter with the username.
Need another set of eyes to check your paper for grammar and spelling edits? Not quite sure if every determiner , preposition , or conjunction is where it belongs? Check out our grammar and plagiarism checker . It’s the answer to all of your grammar questions!
If you’re still confused and typing into the search bar, “how to cite APA” or “how to cite a website APA,” try out EasyBib.com’s reference generator. It’s fast, easy, and allows you to focus on your writing and research, and less on your references. The best part? It creates both types of references. It has an in-text citation website APA generator and also a full reference generator! What are you waiting for? Go see the magic happen!
Here’s a quick video overview of how to cite a website in APA:
Solution #1: Determining the website company, the author, the publisher, or both (APA)
A website citation included in an APA-format bibliography doesn’t need a publisher, so you do not need to worry whether the website company is the publisher of a page you want to cite!
If an author isn’t credited on a given webpage, the website company should be listed as the author. This also goes for online encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.
Here’s an example for a full bibliography:
Roman empire. (2022, February 6). In Wikipedia . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire
Here is an example for an in-text citation:
(“Roman Empire,” 2022)
Solution #2: How to cite images and videos from social media in APA format
Making a bibliographic citation for a photo or video from social media is similar to making a citation for any website. Examples that fall into this category include photos, videos, or social media-specific mediums like highlights, reels, moments, or lives.
For your full citation in your bibliography, use the caption of the photo or video, up to 20 words, as the title. Denote the style of media in brackets, following the title.
For sources like Instagram Reels, Highlights, and other media whose exact date of posting is hard to discern, include the date you found and cited the photo or video rather than the original date the media was shared.
Here are examples of bibliographic citations:
World Wildlife Foundation [wwf]. (2021, October 20). This year marks our 60 years of action for people and nature. Together, we’ve done so much… [Photo]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQQbF_KmA6/
New York Times [nytimes]. (n.d.) NYC Marathon 2021 [Highlight]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17928514339867051/
Here are the corresponding in-text citations:
(World Wildlife Foundation, 2021)
(New York Times, 2021)
Solution #3: How emojis are cited in APA format
If the website or social media post you are citing contains an emoji, keep the emoji in your full bibliographic citation without altering it.
Reference list example:
Grande, A [arianagrande]. (2021, October 18) the final #voicebattles begin tonight @nbcthevoice.🧚🏼♂️ thank you @kchenoweth, i love you. [Photo]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CVLfY_vv_3c/
In-text citation example:
If you have trouble pasting the emoji into your full citation, put the emoji’s name followed by the word “emoji” all in brackets within your citation instead. Use Unicode’s Emoji Charts to look up the widely accepted, technical name of the emoji you want to cite.
Grande, A [arianagrande]. the final the final #voicebattles begin tonight @nbcthevoice . [woman fairy emoji] thank you @kchenoweth , i love you. [Photo]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CVLfY_vv_3c/
This guide is not officially associated with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, but it does provide information in line with the manual.
APA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Multiple Authors
- Page Numbers
- Parenthetical Citations
- Reference Page
- Sample Paper
- APA 7 Updates
- View APA Guide
- Book Chapter
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- Magazine Article
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- Website (no author)
- View all APA Examples
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You will need the webpage’s author’s name, publication date, title of the page, website name, and the URL.
Here is an example with an author:
Geggel, L. (2021, July 6). A brief history of dinosaurs . LiveScience. https://www.livescience.com/3945-history-dinosaurs.html
Usually, if no author is shown the website is assumed to be the author. In these cases, the website name replaces the author name in the beginning of the reference.
National Park Service. (2018, July 23). Night skies as a cultural-historical resource . https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/cultural.htm
The URL of a website is mandatory if you cite a website or a webpage. Where you include the URL depends on the type of citation. To cite a website as a general reference without any reference to a specific page or particular details, simply add the name of the website in the text and include the URL in parentheses. There is no need to add a reference list entry. However, to cite a webpage on a website, you need to provide both an in-text citation and a reference list entry. Do not add the URL in the in-text citation. Just add the author’s name and year. The URL is given only in the reference list entry. Templates for in-text citations and reference list entries of a website or webpage along with examples are given below.
Website as a general reference
We took the data from the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India (https://censusindia.gov.in/).
Webpage of a website
In-text citation templates and examples:
Author Surname (publication year)
(Author Surname, publication year)
Note that month and day are not mentioned in in-text citations.
Reference list entry template and example:
Author Surname, F. M. (Year, Month Day). Title of the webpage. Name of the Site. URL
Skelton, R. (2017, February 16). Fact check’s return perfect timing in ‘post truth’ age. ABC Opinion. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-16/fact-check-return-perfect-timing-in-post-truth-age/8277268
APA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
Upload a paper to check for plagiarism against billions of sources and get advanced writing suggestions for clarity and style.
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Citing internet sources, internet sources - general information, special demands of internet sources.
- Copying Text without Plagiarizing
How to Cite Internet Sources
Print sources posted online, online versions of print periodicals, databases (like lexis-nexis), online journals, organization websites, topic websites, private websites, online video (like youtube), forums, listservs, chats, & bulletin boards, email & instant messages, i nternet vs. print sources.
Some professors will discourage you from using sources you find or access over the Internet. Although such restrictions may be excessive, there are reasons to be wary. It’s much easier to publish information on the Internet than to publish a book or periodical in print. Since it’s easier, Web posters are not always as careful to make sure that the information is accurate. For one thing, print publishing is more expensive, so many print publishers are careful not to make mistakes or to cut corners, in case what they publish turns out to be unreliable—and therefore useless. The seeming anonymity of the Internet also encourages some people to write things quickly, without checking to be sure of their facts or their conclusions. Most of us have had the experience of sending by email something we wrote quickly—perhaps when rushed or angry. Often these are things we wouldn’t print, sign, and mail, because those extra steps give us time to consider our words more carefully, and also because we recognize a higher expectation that things in print should be trustworthy.
N o Author, No Authority
In the context of writing in college, material from much of the Internet is less reliable than print sources because it’s hard to tell who wrote or posted it. As discussed in the section Why Cite? , the essence of academic scholarship is a conversation among authors. On many websites, it’s difficult to determine the author of the material. If the site creator’s name is listed, it’s still sometimes hard to tell whether the information has been reprinted from some other source. If you reach a website through a search engine, you may have to find the site’s homepage or search around in the “contact” information in order to identify the author or the organization that sponsors the site. Even if you find the author’s name, Internet sources make it harder to tell what status that person has in his or her field. Is the author an expert, a fan, or just a crackpot? After finding a website that seems useful and tracking down the author’s name, you may need additional research (perhaps using Google) to learn whether the author has any claim to credibility.
But of course, countless reliable sources can be accessed on the web, and even unreliable sources have some uses in research writing. (See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more about unreliable sources.) These days, many students and scholars use Web sources extensively in research and teaching. But they take extra care to assess and report the provenance of these sources.
Types of Websites
In this guide’s discussion of Internet sources, we draw distinctions between various kinds of websites: those sponsored by organizations , those devoted to a single topic , and private websites that are maintained by a single person—often a devoted fan of the topic under discussion. To some degree, these categories distinguish more and less reliable sources of information. But the distinctions are neither clear nor entirely stable. Some organizations, while established leaders in their fields, have very few resources available to maintain and update their websites. Some private individuals, although hosting websites as a hobby, are experts in their fields and consider accuracy on their sites to be the highest priority. It’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use material from the Internet. If you give a sense of what kind of Web source you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence.
Basics of Citing Websites
When listing Internet sources in your References or Works Cited, the most important thing to remember is that your goal is to make it easy for a reader to consult your sources. (This same goal is paramount when listing print sources.) For most sites, that means you should include the full URL for the page you cite in your paper (the web address that begins “http”). But websites change, and the address you used won’t always be active when your reader tries to view a source. For that reason, it’s important to include both the date you accessed the site and also a full account of the person, group, or organization that sponsors the site. Knowing more about the author helps readers to assess the source and also, sometimes, to find the source when the website has been moved or revised.
The general form of a citation from an Internet source is:
Author’s name. Title of Document. Title of Website. Sponsor of Website. Date of Document. Date of Access. URL.
As you will see in the discussion of specific categories, however, some of these items may be hard to determine.
The ease of using electronic sources of any kind can make it harder to keep track of where the source ends and your original contribution begins—and you must always keep that distinction clear. See How to Copy and Paste but Not Plagiarize for advice about how to use electronic sources wisely.
Most of this guide focuses on helping you subordinate sources to your own ideas. In general, we highlight your need to respect authors’ intellectual or property rights, explaining how to give people credit for their ideas while distinguishing your own original contributions. But the ease of using electronic sources also raises dangers about what might be called privacy rights, leading you to make public words that the original author intended only as private communication. When someone speaks in public, participates in an interview, or publishes a piece of writing, he or she implicitly agrees that other people may refer to this material in research. But some electronic sources blur the line between public and private communication. (Private communications also have a different force of authority than deliberately published material; see Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.)
If in doubt about whether a given text should be considered public or private, we urge you to check with the original author before quoting it in your own work. Although the following categories overlap, they may help you decide when more care is warranted to avoid an invasion of privacy. (1) Web versions of sources that also appear in print are generally safe to quote, since most print publishers take care to secure rights before publication. (2) Publicly accessible websites are generally safe to quote. You may occasionally find a website reposting information that’s clearly from category 3, in which case you may wish to contact the original author before using the material. But if you can access the information through regular surfing, without passwords, it’s probably safe to use. (3) Communications sent via email or accessed by membership in a specific group are generally considered private, and you should exercise care in quoting from them in your papers.
Even in this last category, there’s not a hard and fast rule you can follow. If your university sends an announcement to all students via email, you may reasonably consider this public information. If your best friend reveals something damaging or embarrassing in an email sent only to you, it’s clearly private. But what if a professor writes to you about something related to the course? Or if you receive a message that’s sent only to the members of a small club? What about the discussion forums that many courses set up for students to exchange ideas about the readings? These cases are all ambiguous. Unless there’s been an explicit agreement that the material is public, we encourage you to check before using such messages in your work.
Copying Text Without Plagiarizing
One convenience of using electronic sources is the ability—once you’ve selected the passages you wish to quote—to copy and paste quotations instead of having the retype them into your paper. Even before you begin drafting a paper, copying and pasting sections from your sources seems an easy way to take notes, so that you can look the material over later without surfing back to the website. This very convenience, however, also leads writers into danger. In the midst of researching and taking notes, it’s just too easy to paste quotations into your file with the intention to go back later and note down the source. When you return to your draft, it can be hard to distinguish your own writing from the passages you’ve copied.
As discussed in Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism , the worst consequence of failing to acknowledge sources is to yourself: if you paste in someone’s words as your own, you will miss the opportunity to add your commentary, and therefore miss an opportunity to grow as a thinker and writer. Most of this guide focuses on such intellectual reasons for working properly with sources, rather than emphasizing the penalties of plagiarism. But because the copy and paste technique is so common, it’s especially important to warn you about its potential for abuse. Every year students come before the Yale Executive Committee having committed plagiarism through pasting material from the Internet into their papers and then forgetting to go back and identify the sources. Even when the oversight seems unintentional, these students are guilty of plagiarism, and must face penalties.
But you can avoid this danger with one very simple precaution:
Every time you highlight material from a website to use in your paper, save the material to a new file. Copy the URL (the full web address that begins with “http”) at the top of the new file, and give the file a name that briefly identifies the website.
Taking this extra step will allow you to review your sources when you’ve made more progress with your paper. So if you were thinking of using a piece of this web page in your paper, you’d copy the relevant portion into a Word file, add the URL, and perhaps call the file “Writing at Yale Copy/Paste Advice.” You’ll still be able to avoid retyping by copying and pasting from the new file you’ve made. But you will have created a record of your excerpts to help you distinguish your sources from your own work. For your own convenience, you may also want to add other citation information below the URL—such as author and date of access—before moving on to examine the next website. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information about how to cite websites. See also Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for advice about how to use Internet sources effectively.
Note: Even when you properly identify Internet sources, the very pasting that feels like a time-saver can lead you to use block quotations that are longer and less precise than necessary. Many writers, especially beginning academic writers, are better served by retyping quotations, because this extra step leads them to edit quotations and to paraphrase. You could still cut and paste to help you keep track of interesting passages before deciding which ones to quote in your paper (remembering, as suggested above, to create a new file for each website you work with).
MLA: Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics . 350 B.C.E. Trans. W. C. Ross. The Internet Classics Archives . Ed. Daniel C. Stevenson. 1994. Web. 20 May 2015. [author.] [ title .] [original publication date.] [ website name .] [website author.] [update date.] [medium.] [date of access.]
APA: Aristotle. (1994). Nicomachean ethics . (W. C. Ross, Trans.). In D. C. Stevenson (Ed.), The internet classics archives . (Original work published 350 B.C.E.). Retrieved from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen(link is external) [author, by last name.] [(posting date).] [ title. ] [website author, (“Ed.”),] [ website name .] [(original publication date).] [ Retrieved from URL]
Note: in APA style, no access date is necessary for information that will not be changed or updated, like an electronic book or a journal or newspaper article.
Also note: when a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is available, list the DOI instead of the URL. (A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet.)
Chicago: 16. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics . [fn. #.] [author last name, shortened t itle .] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Note: In the Bibliography, Chicago style does not generally include date of access.
Also note: You may notice that listing Internet sources often takes more time and care than listing print sources. Since the authorship and location of Web sources are harder to establish, readers need even more information in order to assess sources and to retrieve them for further study. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
MLA: Scott, Janny, and David Leonhardt. “Shadowy Lines That Still Divide.” New York Times 15 May 2005. Web. 20 May 2015. [author.] [“article title.”] [ periodical title ] [publication date.] [medium.] [date of access.]
APA: Scott, J., & Leonhardt, D. (2005, May 15). Shadowy lines that still divide. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0(link is external) [author.] [(publication date).] [article title.] [ periodical title. ] [ Retrieved from URL]
Note: in APA style, no date of access is necessary for information that will not be changed or updated, like an electronic book or a journal or newspaper article.
Chicago: 17. Scott and Leonhardt, “Shadowy Lines.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
If a print journal, magazine, or newspaper maintains a version of its publication URL online, articles that you cite are listed in your Works Cited or list of References by the name of the article’s author. In MLA style, the name is followed by the title of the article—in APA, the publication date comes after the author. (If no author is identified, list by the article’s title. In that case, be sure to give at least a few key words from the title in the body of your paper, so that readers know how to find the source in your bibliography.) Next list the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper. Give the publication date of the article next for MLA, followed by the date that you accessed the site. For APA , give the full URL—the Web address that begins with “http.” When a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is available, list the DOI instead of the URL. (A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet.)
Note: If you use a database service (such as Lexis-Nexis) to access electronic sources, you must credit the database. See Databases (like Lexis-Nexis) for more information.
Also note: Although online versions of print sources are often more reliable than online journals or private websites, their reliability is no greater than that of their print versions. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
MLA: Wallis, Claudia, et al. “The New Science of Happiness.” Time 17 Jan. 2005: A1-A55. Academic Search Premier . Web. 20 May 2015. [author, by last name.] [“article title.”] [ periodical title ] [publication date]: full page numbers for article.] [ database name .] [medium.] [date of access.]
APA: Wallis, C., Coady, E., Cray, D., Park, A., & Ressner, J. (2005, January 17). The new science of happiness. Time , A1-A55. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier [author(s), by last name, initial).] [(publication date).] [article title.] [ periodical title ,] [full page numbers for article.] [ Retrieved from database name or URL]
Chicago: 18. Wallis et al., “The New Science.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Also note: In the Bibliography, Chicago style adds the URL (the Web address that begins with “http”), and does not name the database service directly if that name is part of the Web address. For Chicago, as for APA„ when a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is available, list the DOI instead of the URL. (A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet.)
Several companies maintain databases that make it easier to find articles on the topic you’re researching. Using these databases is especially helpful for connecting you to scholarly sources, which have been vetted by experts in their field before publication. The Yale library system subscribes to many such databases, allowing you to access them for free. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information about using scholarly sources. If you use a service like this—such as Lexis-Nexis—to find an article that you then cite in your paper, you must include the database name in your Works Cited or list of References. (The principle is that you want your reader to know how to retrieve your source for further research.)
Note: You may notice that listing Internet sources often takes more time and care than listing print sources. Since the authorship and location of Web sources are harder to establish, readers need even more information in order to assess sources and to retrieve them for further study. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
Also note: Although online versions of print sources are often more reliable than Online Journals or Private Websites , their reliability is no greater than that of their print versions. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
Hitchens, Christopher. “Unfairenheit 9/11.” Slate 21 June 2004. Web. 20 May 2015. < http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2004/06/unfairenheit_911.single>.(link is external)>. [author, by last name.] [“article title.”] [ online journal title ] [posting date.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
Note: MLA style does not require the use of URLs in citations of internet sources. However, some instructors may prefer that you use URLs. In this case, MLA suggests that the URL appear in angle brackets after the date of access.
APA: Hitchens, C. (2004, June 21). Unfairenheit 9/11. Slate . Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2004/06/unfairenheit_911.single(link is external) [author.] [(posting date).] [article title.] [ online journal title. ] [ Retrieved from URL]
Chicago: 19. Hitchens, “Unfairenheit 9/11.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
An online journal is a website that publishes new material on a regular schedule (often weekly or monthly), with a journal title or other masthead, but that does not release a print publication. An online journal is not the same as the online version of a periodical that also publishes in print. (See Online Versions of Print Periodicals .) The distinction matters, because online journals—while often more reliable than private websites —are often considered less reliable than print sources or Internet versions of print sources. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
When including an article from an online journal in your Works Cited or list of References, list it by the name of the article’s author. This information is followed in MLA style by the article’s title, by the publication date in APA style. (If no author is identified, list by the article’s title.) Next list the online journal’s name. Give the publication date of the article (for MLA), followed by the date that you accessed the site. Finally, give the full URL—the Web address that begins with “http.” When a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is available, list the DOI instead of the URL. (A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet.)
MLA: Fangmann, Alexander. “Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Pension Cuts.” 11 May 2015. World Socialist Web Site . Web. 20 May 2015. < https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/11/illi-m11(link is external) >. [author, by last name.] [“section or page title.”] [posting date.] [ organization name. ] [date of access.] [.]
APA: Fangmann, A. (2015, May 11). Illinois Supreme Court strikes down pension cuts. Retrieved 20 May 2015, from the World Socialist Web Site: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/11/illi-m11(link is external) [author, by last name, initial.] [(posting date).] [page title.] [ Retrieved date of access,] [ from organization name:] [URL]
Chicago: 20. Fangmann, A. “Illinois Supreme Court.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Many organizations maintain websites hosting information about the organization or about the field that they work in. Some examples include commercial companies, universities, non-profit organizations, political groups, and government agencies. The reliability of these websites varies widely, as these organizations often use their websites to promote specific causes and may therefore emphasize only the facts and ideas that support their goals. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
But sometimes these organizations have the most comprehensive coverage of topics that pertain to them. For certain topics, it’s also useful to examine what the interested parties say, even if you must remember to balance it with research into other points of view. If you are conscientious about identifying who sponsors the site, your reader will be better prepared to examine the material you present. Websites hosted by university departments and programs would generally be considered reliable sources, especially in their areas of scholarly expertise. (More caution is warranted when the site discusses politics or issues of university governance. Be careful, too, to distinguish sites created by individual faculty members from those sponsored by the larger institution.)
Whenever possible, you should identify the author of the material you use from a website. Some pages you access will have separate titles or sub-titles, which can be used like the titles of an article in a journal . This title is followed by the name of the main website, if there is one, and the name of the sponsoring organization. After this comes the full URL for the material you’re using.The final item is the date that you accessed the site.
Note: It’s sometimes hard to find the author of material on an organization website. In that case, list by the title of the site—if there is one—or by the name of the organization. If you can’t find any of this information, even after searching through the site’s links, you may be using a private website or topic website , and should review the information for those sources.
MLA: “The Horcrux of Love.” Mugglenet.com: The #1 Harry Potter Site . 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 May 2015. < http://www.mugglenet.com/2013/01/the-horcrux-of-love(link is external) >. [“section or page title.”] [ website name .] [posting date.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
APA: The horcrux of love. (2013, Jan. 3). Mugglenet.com: The #1 Harry Potter site . Retrieved 20 May 2015, from http://www.mugglenet.com/2013/01/the-horcrux-of-love(link is external) [section or page title.] [(posting date).] [ website name .] [ Retrieved date of access,] [ from URL]
Chicago: 21. “The Horcrux of Love.” [fn. #.] [“shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Websites that are print sources posted online , online versions of print periodicals , online journals , or organization websites are discussed separately. By “topic websites,” we mean sites that are dedicated to a single issue, such as the life of a famous person, the main ideas of a social movement, or the details of a popular television show. This category is a little hard to define. Unlike online journals or other periodicals, topic websites are not usually revised on a regular schedule, although material may be added from time to time. And unlike organization websites, topic websites do not usually promote the products or mission of a particular institution—which means they also don’t have the organization’s reputation to back up their authority. Finally, topic websites may also overlap with private websites, which often focus on a single issue that their author is passionate about.
Still, the category is worth knowing about, because a lot of background information on general topics like “Medieval Literature” or “Film Noir” is found on websites that don’t easily fit any of the other categories. You’ll want to double-check material you find on Topic Websites, and you may need to treat them as popular sources rather than scholarly sources . If you take these precautions, topic websites are sometimes useful for giving a broad overview or putting you on the track of more authoritative sources. (See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.)
When these websites appear to be wholly or primarily the work of one author, list by the author’s name, followed by the title of the article or specific page you’re using (if there is one), the website title (often the name of the topic), the date of posting (if known), the date you accessed it, and the full URL—the Web address that begins with “http.”
If the site you’re using is sponsored by an organization of some kind (like a company, a university department, or a political group), it may qualify as an organization website , and you should review the information for those sources.
MLA: Mohanraj, Mary Anne. “The Early Years: 1971-1985.” Mary Anne Mohanraj . 20 May 2015. Web. < http://www.mamohanraj.com/BioPhotos/bio1.html> . [author.] [“section or page title.”] [ website name. ] [date of access] [medium.] [.]
APA: Mohanraj, M. A. The early years: 1971-1985. Mary Anne Mohanraj . Retrieved May 20, 2015, from http://www.mamohanraj.com/BioPhotos/bio1.html [author.] [section or page title.] [ website name .] [ Retrieved date of access,] [ from URL]
Chicago: 22. Mohanraj, “The Early Years.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Private websites come in many forms. Some dabble in multiple topics, about which the site’s author may not even profess any special expertise. Some announce themselves as fan sites, indicating that the author has an intense interest but no special background or credentials. Still others are quite professional in presentation, with authors who profess or demonstrate vast experience.
Just a few years ago, unreliable websites were often riddled with typographical errors or burdened with amateurish design and graphics. But it’s increasingly easy to host websites that look polished and professional, which can make it hard to judge whether the site’s sponsors take seriously the responsibility to check and update their information. For the purpose of academic research, most private websites should be considered popular sources, which can be useful as sources of opinion but should generally not be relied on for authoritative information. (See Popular vs. Scholarly Sources for more information.)
It’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use private websites. If you give a sense of what kind of web source you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence. Private websites also raise issues of privacy, as some sites that require password access may not invite republication of their material in scholarly research. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
When using material from a private website, list by the author (if known), then by the title of the article or specific Webpage you’re using (if known), and the date of posting (if listed). Follow this by the title of the website, if applicable. If the site is part of an identifiable online group (like “Facebook” or “tumblr”), include that title next. Next, list the date that you accessed the site and the full URL—the Web address that begins with “http.”
Some of these details may be hard to identify. In the example above, for instance, it was not possible to determine when the specific section of the website was last updated. Only the date of access is given.
MLA: Martin, George R. R. “A Few More Last Words.” Not a Blog . 8 May 2010. Livejournal. Web. 20 May 2015. < http://grrm.livejournal.com/152340> . [author, by last name.] [“title of entry.”] [ title of weblog .] [posting date.] [site sponsor or publisher.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
APA: Martin, G. R. R. (2010, May 8). A few more last words [Weblog post]. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from Livejournal: http://grrm.livejournal.com/152340 [author, by last name, initial.] [(posting date).] [title of entry [format description].] [Weblog post.] [ Retrieved date of access,] [ from site sponsor or publisher:] [URL]
Chicago: 23. Martin, “Last Words.” [fn. #.] [author last name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Blogs—an abbreviation of “weblogs”—are websites or areas of websites devoted to dated reflections by the site’s author. Many blogs are hosted on or presented as private websites where the author claims little special expertise or no professional affiliation relevant to the blog’s topic. In these cases, see the discussion of Private Websites , and use the same care when evaluating the material you access.
But blogs are increasingly included as a feature of organization websites (Amazon.com, for instance, now invites authors to post blogs on their work) or as elements of online versions of print periodicals (the New York Times website hosts several blogs by reporters and editors). When using a blog that’s identified with a larger journal or organization, follow the advice listed for those general sources.
Even when hosted by a recognized organization, most blogs should probably be treated as popular rather than scholarly sources. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
The example above also lists “Livejournal” as the site’s sponsor. This information might be considered analogous to the organization that sponsors an organization website . But in some cases, it may not be necessary to give the site sponsor. Livejournal, for instance, does not supervise posters’ comments very closely. A sponsor like “Facebook” has more rules and some restrictions to access, but is still doesn’t stand behind the material as much as an online journal would. When deciding whether to include the site sponsor, use your judgment: if the blog pursues a theme in common with the sponsor, list the sponsor.
Note: It’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use blogs. If you give a sense of what kind of web source you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
The formats below cover the most common ways to cite video clips that were published online (on sites like YouTube and Vimeo). Video that was first published elsewhere but accessed online (on sites like Netflix and Hulu) is cited differently. See the notes that follow for more information.
MLA: TED. “Philip Zimbardo: The Psychology of Evil.” Online video clip. YouTube . YouTube, 23 Sept. 2008. Web. 8 Aug 2015. < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tWsg> [author’s name or screen name.] [“title of video.”] [media type.] [ name of website .] [site sponsor or publisher,] [posting date.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
APA: TED. (2008, Sept. 23). Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil [Video file]. Retrieved Aug. 8, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tWsg [author’s name or screen name.] [(posting date).] [ title of entry [format description].] [ Retrieved date of access,] [ from URL]
Note: If you know both the author’s name and his or her screen name (and they are different from one another), APA style cites the author’s name first (last name, first initial) followed by the screen name in square brackets (e.g. Booker, J [jbook].).
Chicago: 24. TED, “Philip Zimbardo.” [fn. #.] [author name or screen name, “shortened title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
Like other film and video formats, conventions for citing online video are less fixed than those for print or other kinds of online sources. The citation for a video clip that was first published online typically attributes the clip to the individual who posted it on the Internet. Video that was first published elsewhere before being posted online, is usually attributed to the individuals most responsible for making it—the director or performers. See the citation formats for Film & Video and Television, Radio Program, or Music Video for more information. Depending on who seems most responsible for the existence of the video you’re citing, you may choose to attribute an online video to its creators rather than the individual who posted it. For example, a film that is released online or an ongoing web series, may be more accurately attributed to the director or actors than the person who uploaded it to the Internet. For citation formats that attribute video to the actors or director, see Film & Video and Television, Radio Program, or Music Video .
MLA: Levy, Michael. “Re: your canon?” Science Fiction Research Association, 19 Apr. 2006. Web. 26 June 2006. < firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) >. [author, by last name.] [“title or subject line.”] [discussion group,] [posting date.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
APA: Levy, M. (2006, April 19). Re: your canon? [Electronic mailing list message]. Retrieved June 26, 2006 from email@example.com (link sends e-mail) . [author, by last name, initial.] [(posting date).] [title or subject line [format description].] [ Retrieved date of access from address.]
Chicago: 24. Levy, “Re: your canon?” [fn. #.] [author last name, ”title or subject heading.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
There are many electronic forums that allow users with a specific interest or affiliation to discuss topics with each other. Some of these are restricted to members of a group, or of a specific course. (Many Yale courses, for instance, provide forum discussions through the Classesv2 server.) Other such discussions are open to any interested party. Although discussions limited to professionals in a field may be more authoritative, in general you should probably treat material from these forums as popular rather than scholarly sources. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
Note: Many such forums expect communications to be private. Be sure to check the group’s policies on reproduction of such material. Even if an FAQ or moderator seems to make reproduction permissible, a decent respect for privacy suggests that you secure the poster’s permission before making the material public.
If you use material from an electronic forum, list by author’s name. Follow that with the most specific identifying information you can give about the particular post. Depending on the type of discussion, there may be subject headings or specific message numbers on a given post. You may or may not be able to tell the posting date.
In MLA style, include the name of the sponsoring forum. Since most of these discussions do not supervise postings, do not put the sponsor name in italics. Follow this with the date you accessed the material. Even when membership is restricted to a particular organization, most listervs should probably be treated as popular rather than scholarly sources. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
The last item in your listing—the electronic address—brings up one point on which MLA and APA styles differ starkly: in APA, if the posting cannot be retrieved, you cite it in your paper as a personal communication and do not include it in your list of References. Even in MLA style, it’s better to cite the message in the form that’s most easily accessible to your reader: many listservs archive their messages on the web, for instance, even though the original postings are delivered by email. Try to include the archive address.
Also note: As discussed in Signaling Sources , it’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use listservs. If you give a sense of what kind of Websource you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
MLA: Donahue, Tiane. “Re: Your WPA Question.” Message to the author. 14 Dec. 2004. Email. [author, by last name.] [“title or subject line.”] [message recipient.] [message date.] [medium.]
APA: Do not include in list of References. Cite in your paper as a personal communication.
Chicago: 25. Tiane Donahue, “Re: Your WPA Question,” email message to author, December 14, 2000. [fn. #.] [author full name, “subject heading,”] [type of message,] [date of message.]
Note: Chicago style footnotes give full information for private messages, but does not list them in the Bibliography.
It’s probably obvious that the authority of material that comes in private communications varies greatly with the status of the source. What someone writes to you by email may be useful as a source of opinion, but can seldom be relied on as definitive information, unless you’re in correspondence with a recognized expert. And even in these cases, the informality of email makes most authors much less careful about checking facts and conclusions, rendering the information less authoritative. Most email messages should probably be treated as popular rather than scholarly sources. See Scholarly vs. Popular Sources for more information.
Note: Most people consider email to be private. Even if the message is sent to more than one recipient, a decent respect for privacy suggests that you secure the sender’s permission before making the material public. If you received the message as a forward, the obligation to seek permission is even more urgent, as the original author likely has no reason to expect you to use the message in your own work. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
If you do use material from an email, the format for listing in MLA style is fairly simple, as in the example above: Author, Subject, “Email to the author,” and Date.
In APA style, you do not include in your list of References any source that can’t be retrieved by your reader. If you use email in your paper, cite it as a personal communication in your text, and do not list it at the end. For Chicago style, private messages are given full citation in a footnote, but not included in the Bibliography.
Note: As discussed in the section on Signaling Sources , it’s often useful to identify your source in the body of your paper (and not just in your citation or footnote); this identification is especially important when you use private messages. If you give a sense of what kind of source you’re using, the reader will be better able to understand the context of your evidence. See Special Demands of Internet Sources for more information.
MLA: “King Arthur.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 18 May 2015. Web. 20 May 2015. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur(link is external) >. [“page title.”] [ website name. ] [site sponsor or publisher,] [date of last revision.] [medium.] [date of access.] [.]
APA: King Arthur. (n.d.). In Wikipedia . Retrieved July 26, 2006, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur(link is external) [page title.] [(“n.d.”).] [ In website name.] [ Retrieved date, from: URL]
Chicago: 26. “King Arthur.” [fn. #.] [“title.”] [Shortened Chicago reference; see More Notes on Chicago Style for more information.]
To list material from Wikipedia, you should review the advice for organization websites . But Wikipedia merits additional attention because of its recent growth and popularity. Some professors will warn you not to use Wikipedia because they believe its information is unreliable. As a community project with no central review committee, Wikipedia certainly contains its share of incorrect information and uninformed opinion. And since it presents itself as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia can sometimes seem more trustworthy than the average website, even to writers who would be duly careful about private websites or topic websites . In this sense, it should be treated as a popular rather than scholarly source. See Popular vs. Scholarly Sources for more information.
But the main problem with using Wikipedia as an important source in your research is not that it gets things wrong. Some of its contributors are leaders in their fields, and, besides, some print sources contain errors. The problem, instead, is that Wikipedia strives for a lower level of expertise than professors expect from Yale students. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia is written for a common readership. But students in Yale courses are already consulting primary materials and learning from experts in the discipline. In this context, to rely on Wikipedia—even when the material is accurate—is to position your work as inexpert and immature.
If you use Wikipedia for general background, check several other sources before using the material in your essays. Some of the facts you find may be attributable to common knowledge (see Common Knowledge for more discussion). You may also be able to track opinions or deeper ideas back to their original sources. In many cases, your course readings will contain similar ideas in better, more quotable language. Many student writers are tempted to use Wikipedia for definitions of terms (the same way a beginning writer might quote a dictionary). But in most cases, a definition drawn or paraphrased from the primary course readings—or from other scholarly sources—will be more effective. See Why Cite? for more discussion of definitions and keyterms.
Of course, if you do use language or information from Wikipedia, you must cite it—to do otherwise constitutes plagiarism. The advice here is not to hide what Wikipedia contributes to your ideas, but rather to move beyond Wikipedia and write from a more knowledgeable, expert stance.
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APA Citations (7th ed.)
- General Formatting
- Professional Paper Elements - Title Page
- Student Paper Elements - Title Page
- In-text Citation Basics
- In-text Citation Author Rules
- Citing Multiple Works
- Personal Communications
- Classroom or Intranet Resources
- Secondary Sources
- Books and Reference Works
- Edited Book Chapters and Entries in Reference Works
- Reports and Gray Literature
- Conference Sessions and Presentations
- Dissertations and Theses
- Data Sets and Software
- Tests, Scales, & Inventories
- Audiovisual Works
- Audio Works
- Visual Works
- Social Media
Webpages & Websites
- Basics & Formatting
- Avoiding Plagiarism
Use the webpages and websites category if there is no other reference category that fits and the work has no parent or overarching publication (e.g., journal, blog, conference proceedings).
If you cite multiple webpages from a website, create a reference entry for each.
To mention a website in general, do not create a reference entry or an in-text citation. Instead, use the name of the website in the text and provide the URL in parentheses.
Webpages & Websites Template
Webpage on a News Website
- Use this format for articles published in online news sources (e.g., BBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, HuffPost, MSNBC, Reuters).
Barnes, B. (2019, November 18). The streaming era has finally arrived. Everything is about to change. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/18/business/media/streaming-hollywood-revolution.html
Forrest, B. (2019, November 19). Watchdog cites shortcomings in FBI's confidential source program . The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/watchdog-cites-shortcomings-in-fbis-confidential-source-program-11574191523
Parenthetical citations: (Barnes, 2019; Forrest, 2019)
Narrative citations: Barnes (2019) and Forrest (2019)
Webpage on a Website With a Group Author
- When the author and site name are the same, omit the site name from the source element.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, March 7). Cigarette smoking and tobacco use among people of low socioeconomic status . https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/disparities/low-ses/index.htm
World Health Organization. (2019, October 31). New WHO report to bolster efforts to tackle leading causes of urban deaths . https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/new-who-report-to-bolster-efforts-to-tackle-leading-causes-of-urban-deaths
Parenthetical citations: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019; World Health Organization, 2019)
Narrative citations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019) and World Health Organization (2019)
Webpage on a Website With an Individual Author
Peterson, S. M. (2017, October 27). Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units . Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/why-aromatherapy-is-showing-up-in-hospital-surgical-units/art-20342126
Parenthetical citation: (Peterson, 2017)
Narrative citation: Peterson (2017)
Webpage on a Website With No Date
American Medical Association. (n.d.). Code of Medical Ethics overview . https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics/code-medical-ethics-overview
Startup Sioux City. (n.d.). Entrepreneurial Resources . http://startupsiouxcity.com/resources/
Parenthetical citations: (American Medical Association, n.d.; Startup Sioux City, n.d.)
Narrative citations: American Medical Association (n.d.) and Startup Sioux City (n.d.)
Webpage on a Website With a Retrieval Date
- Include a retrieval date because the contents of the page are designed to change over time and the page itself is not archived.
- See p. 352 of the manual for more information.
U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock . U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://www.census.gov/popclock
Parenthetical citation: (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
Narrative citation: U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.)
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How to Cite Online Material from a Computer Network in APA
A computer network, such as the Internet, provides access to material such as journal articles, newsletters, and even entire books.
World Wide Web Site
Provide the following information:
- author's name (if known)
- date of publication or last revision (if known), in parentheses (year, month, day)
- title of document
- title of complete work (if applicable), in italics
- the word “Retrieved” followed by the date you accessed the source (month, day, year)
- the word “from” followed by the URL
Harris, J. G. The return of the witch hunts. Witchhunt Information Page . Retrieved May 28, 1996, from <http://liquid2-sun.mit.edu/fells.short.html>.
An Article from a Database
- cite as you would a normal periodical or book
- the number of pages or paragraphs, followed by “p.” (or “pp.”) or “par.” (or “pars.”); if neither is specified, use “n. page.” for “no pagination.”
- the word “Retrieved” followed by the date you accessed the source
- the word “from” followed by the title of the database
Borman, W. C., Hanson, M.A., Oppler, S. H., Pulakos, E. D., & White, L. A. (1993). Role of early supervisory experience in supervisor performance. Journal of Applied Psychology , 78, 443-449. Retrieved October 23, 2000, from PsycARTICLES database.
The information written on this page has been excerpted from three handbooks of the IUP writing center: Hacker, D. A Writer's Reference . (2003). (5th ed.) Boston: St. Martin's. Harnack, A. & Kleppinger, E. (1996). Online! A reference guide to internet sources. New York: St. Martin's. American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Updated January 28, 2005 by Renee Brown
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