How to Cite a Website in APA Style
The American Psychological Association (APA) requires a particular citation format for academic papers. APA style gives readers common guidelines for referencing information. Authors may use many types of citations in their papers, including referencing information from academic articles, online lecture material, or blog posts. This article will cover the stylistic guidelines for how to cite a website in APA style.
The two ways that one may need to cite information from a website are in-text citations and reference list citations. In-text citations for websites are written similarly to citations from other sources (e.g., printed books, and articles). These citations mention the author within the sentence text or at the end of the sentence in parentheses. When referencing information by a single author within a sentence, the APA requires including the author and date. Immediately after mentioning the author’s name, the publication date follows in parentheses. For example, “Etton (2004)…” is the appropriate structure for an in-text citation.
Alternatively, the reference may be included in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The general format for in-text citations includes the author(s) and year of publication. For example, “One study demonstrates that… (Etton, 2004).”
It is often the case that the referenced material will be written by more than one author. When there are two authors for a website, the format is similar to that for one author. Instead of writing “Etton (2004)...” the format would be “Etton and Sillfon (2004)...” to correctly cite a website from two authors. When citing authors at the end of the sentence, both of the names are included in parentheses, separated by “&.” For example, “One study demonstrates that... (Etton & Sillfon, 2004).”
There are sometimes more than two authors for one reference. When citing a work with three authors or more within the text, only the name of the first author is included. The rest of the authors are followed by “et al.,” which is an abbreviation for “and others.” In academia, people often refer to multiple authors as “and colleagues.” For example, when mentioning three authors or more within a sentence, the correct format is as follows, “Etton et al.” It may also be acceptable to format the sentence as “Etton and colleagues.”
If the authors are not directly mentioned within the sentence, they can be referenced at the end of the sentence in parentheses similarly to in the previous sections. With more than three authors, they are referred to as the first author and followed by et al., a comma, and the publication date. For example, “(Etton et al., 2004)” is the required format for authors at the end of the sentence in parentheses.
The reference list is placed at the end of an academic paper. The references from the text are organized in alphabetical order within the reference list. The first line of each reference for a website is left-aligned. If the reference extends to any additional lines, those lines are indented. For example:
Etton & Sillfon (2004, March 27). Title of article on the website. Publisher. URL of the article on the website.
The URL of the website is always included at the end of the reference.
There are many different types of websites that might be used in the reference list for an academic paper, including academic articles, blog posts, and online lecture material. For academic articles, the APA guidelines require a list of up to 20 of the authors’ names in the order that they appeared in the article. If there are more than 20 names, “et al.” is added after the 20th name.
Last names are followed by initials for the first name (and middle name, if provided; e.g., Etton, K. & Sillfon, M.) and the year of the publication. Next, the title of the article is listed. This is followed by the title of the academic journal and the accompanying volume and issue number of the journal. Then, the page numbers of the article are listed. The last section is the DOI, which links to the website of the academic article. For example, the format is the following:
Last name, First Initial, Middle Initial. & Last name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the academic journal, Vol.(Issue), page numbers. DOI link to the website
Etton, K. & Sillfon, M. (2004). The association between variable X and variable Y. Nature Neuroscience, 11(4), 233-240. https://doi.org/10.1234/5555
The APA guidelines for a blog post follow a similar format, but they require the month and date. They also require the publisher and the URL of the post. The format for a blog post is as follows:
Author's Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the blog post. Publisher of the blog. URL of the blog post
Etton, K. (2004, March 20). The association between variable X and variable Y. Nature Neuroscience Blog. https://www.natureneuroscience.blog
Lecture material that is referenced from a website is cited using the same pattern. First, the author’s name is listed. Then, the name is followed by the date and the title of the presentation. After the title, APA guidelines require the type of presentation in single brackets (e.g., Google Doc or PowerPoint presentation). Lastly, the publisher and URL for the website from which the information was retrieved are included in the reference. Specifically, APA requires the following for online lecture material:
Author’s Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title of the lecture. [Lecture material medium]. Publisher of the lecture. URL of the lecture
Etton, K. (2004, March 20). The association between variable X and variable Y. [PowerPoint slides]. GitHub. https://github.com/associationx
While it is important to know how to cite a website in APA style, there are citation managers that automatically format all citations in APA. Some common reference managers include Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote. This overview of how to cite a website is useful for checking these automated citations.
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