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How to Write a Research Paper

Writing a research paper is a bit more difficult that a standard high school essay. You need to site sources, use academic data and show scientific examples. Before beginning, you’ll need guidelines for how to write a research paper.

Start the Research Process

Before you begin writing the research paper, you must do your research. It is important that you understand the subject matter, formulate the ideas of your paper, create your thesis statement and learn how to speak about your given topic in an authoritative manner. You’ll be looking through online databases, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, books, newspapers, government publications, reports, guides and scholarly resources. Take notes as you discover new information about your given topic. Also keep track of the references you use so you can build your bibliography later and cite your resources.

Develop Your Thesis Statement

When organizing your research paper, the thesis statement is where you explain to your readers what they can expect, present your claims, answer any questions that you were asked or explain your interpretation of the subject matter you’re researching. Therefore, the thesis statement must be strong and easy to understand. Your thesis statement must also be precise. It should answer the question you were assigned, and there should be an opportunity for your position to be opposed or disputed. The body of your manuscript should support your thesis, and it should be more than a generic fact.

Create an Outline

Many professors require outlines during the research paper writing process. You’ll find that they want outlines set up with a title page, abstract, introduction, research paper body and reference section. The title page is typically made up of the student’s name, the name of the college, the name of the class and the date of the paper. The abstract is a summary of the paper. An introduction typically consists of one or two pages and comments on the subject matter of the research paper. In the body of the research paper, you’ll be breaking it down into materials and methods, results and discussions. Your references are in your bibliography. Use a research paper example to help you with your outline if necessary.

Organize Your Notes

When writing your first draft, you’re going to have to work on organizing your notes first. During this process, you’ll be deciding which references you’ll be putting in your bibliography and which will work best as in-text citations. You’ll be working on this more as you develop your working drafts and look at more white paper examples to help guide you through the process.

Write Your Final Draft

After you’ve written a first and second draft and received corrections from your professor, it’s time to write your final copy. By now, you should have seen an example of a research paper layout and know how to put your paper together. You’ll have your title page, abstract, introduction, thesis statement, in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography complete. Be sure to check with your professor to ensure if you’re writing in APA style, or if you’re using another style guide.


research paper citation website

How to Cite Online Resources

Citing websites and media sources using harvard referencing.

In-text citations

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:

Department of Social Services 2020, Department of social services website , Australian government, accessed 20 February 2020, <https: //www>.  

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) 

One author:

Li, L 2014,  Chinese scroll painting H533 , Australian Museum, accessed 20 February 2016, <https: //>.

Organisation as author:

World Health Organisation 2013, Financial crisis and global health , The United Nations, accessed 1 August 2013, <http: //www>.

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 .>.

If there is not date on the page, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date):

(ArtsNSW n.d.)

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 . 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: //>.

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 ...

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:

‘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:

(Pianin 2001)

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 .>.

An online news article:

Cite the author name and year:

(Coorey 2007)

Coorey, P 2007, ‘Costello hints at green safety net’, Sydney Morning Herald , 10 May, accessed 14 May 2012, <http: // www .>.

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 .>.

Media releases

Cite the author (the person responsible for the release) and date:

Prime Minister Howard (2007) announced plans for further welfare reform...

Office of the Prime Minister 2007, Welfare Payments Reform , media release, accessed 25 July 2007, <http: // www .>.

See next: Broadcast materials and the rest

Harvard referencing.

How to Cite a Website in APA, MLA and Chicago in Any Paper

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Website citations have become common in academic papers. So, it’s essential to know how to cite a website in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. Get step-by-step instructions for online social media, blog, video, and website citations.

Table of Contents

How to Cite a Website in APA 7

Learn how to cite a website in APA in any paper. Break down how to cite full websites, online articles, blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets, and videos for your APA paper on gene therapy.

How to Cite a Website in APA: Entire Website

When it comes to citing a whole website, APA doesn’t need you to create a citation. Instead, you just include the website text and the URL in parenthesis. That’s pretty simple, right?

We work to create the best citations at Bibliography (

How to Cite Online Articles in APA

When it comes to citing online articles in APA, you need more than the URL. Depending on the website type, the information you need to find includes:

Most of this information is found on the top or bottom of the website.

cite online articles in APA

You’ll also come across issues like not having an author and missing dates. See how to format an APA online article even when you have no author or no date through these APA website examples .

Why some people with anxiety love watching horror movies . (2019, October 31). HuffPost.

How to Cite a Website in APA: Blog Post

How to cite a blog post in APA isn’t common knowledge for everyone. Therefore, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the different parts that go into citing a blog post including:

When you put it all together, it looks like a fabulous APA blog citation.

Author, A. (2019, November 30). Title of the blog post in sentence case. Blog Name in Italics .

How to Cite a Tweet, Facebook, and Instagram Posts in APA

Now, it’s time to look at a few examples of how to cite social media in APA . Typically, you need:

Now, it’s time to see a social media post in action!

Username [@username]. (Year, Month Day). First Twenty Words of Post [Descriptor]. Website. URL

APA Databases [@APA_Databases]. (2020, August 11). APA is continuing to find ways to support #libraries during the #COVID19 pandemic. Bookmark our resources page to find a variety [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

News From Science. (2020, June 21). A galaxy found in the early universe turns out to look—well, remarkably like our own calm, well-ordered Milky [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook.

Chicago Museum of Art [@chicmuseum]. (2020, August 3). It’s amazing to walk into work and see such an amazing collection of paintings and art from artists around the [Photograph]. Instagram.  

How to Cite YouTube in APA

Do you need to cite a video in your APA paper? Well, it’s a good thing that APA gives clear instructions for how to cite a YouTube video in APA.

Author. (Year, Month Day). Title of Video [Descriptor]. Website. URL

locate information on YouTube video for APA citation

How to Cite a Website In-Text APA

When it comes to in-text citations for a website, APA uses the author-date style. So, in the citation, you use the author, if one is available, and the date of the source. If you need to include an identifier for a quote, you include the paragraph number or section.

Date: (Jones, 2020)

Paragraph Number:  (Jones, para. 4)

Section Name: (Center of Disease Control, 2020, Key Facts section)

Back to Table of Contents

How to Cite a Website in MLA 8

Creating a website citation in MLA format is made more accessible by the nine core elements. However, there are different types of websites you might find yourself citing in your MLA paper on Shakespeare. To keep life simple, explore how to create a website, blog, social media, and online video citation.

Cite a Website and Web Page in MLA

When it comes to citing a website , it’s all about adapting the nine core elements system to fit your citation. Just as a reminder, the nine core elements include:

cite website or webpage MLA

Mathewson, Adrienne. “MLA Website Citation Examples.” Bibliography , 17 Aug. 2019,

Mabillard, Amanda, and Jill Danica. “Shakespeare on Jealousy.” Shakespeare Online . 20 Aug. 2020,

Olito, Frank, et al. “Popular Conspiracy Theories in the US.” Insider . 4 May 2020,

“Women in Archaeology.” Indian Art and Culture , Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, 9 Oct. 2020,

How to Cite a Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook Post in MLA

Depending on the topic, you might find it helpful to add information from social media sites to your essay or paper. Be sure to double-check with your instructor first, but the basic format for a social media citation in MLA is pretty simple.

Last Name, First Name, or Account Name. Post Description. Social Media Platform , Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL.

citing facebook, instagram, and twitter in MLA

Between The Posts. “Europa League Trophy.”  Twitter , 12 Aug. 2020, 8:52 a.m.,

The Library of America. “How Libraries of America Happened.”  Facebook , 12 Aug. 2020, 3:36 p.m.,

motherteresaquotes. Photograph of Mother Teresa. Instagram , 5 Sept. 2018,

Blog Post Citation Example MLA

Blogs are becoming all the rage on the internet; therefore, a blog post citation could easily make its way into your works cited. Learn the ins and outs of citing a blog post now.

Last Name, First Name or Username. “Blog Post Title.” Name of Blog , Blog Network/Publisher if given, Day Month Year, URL.

cite blog post MLA

How to Cite an Online Video in MLA

Video citations are another standard website citation students can find tricky. However, it’s not as hard as you think. For a video citation, you need:

cite YouTube video in MLA

Lauritzen, Jacob. “How to Cite Using MLA Style.” YouTube , uploaded by Read, Write, and Cite, 1 Sept. 2017,

How to Cite a Website In-Text MLA

Citing a website in-text in MLA gets even easier.  When it comes to the MLA in-text citation, you just use the author or creator’s name.

How to Cite a Website in Chicago

Looking to cite a website in Chicago style, you’ve come to the right place. Like MLA and APA, the Chicago Manual of Style has its own way to cite a website post. However, since you have two different citation types in Chicago/Turabian style, it’s essential to look at both when creating citations for websites, blogs, and video citations.

How to Cite a Website in Author-Date

When it comes to citing a website in the author-date style, you need a few different things. These include:

Make sure to end with a period.

Mathewson, Adrienne. 2019. “Chicago Author-Date Citations for Websites and Social Media.” Bibliography.

Bibliography. 2020. “Bibliography Citation Generator.” Last modified August 10, 2020.

Mathewson, Adrienne. n.d. “Chicago Author-Date Citations for Social Media.” Bibliography. Accessed August 13, 2020.

How to Cite a Website in Notes-Bibliography

Author-date wasn’t so hard, so now it is time to look at citing a website in notes-bibliography style, too. The notes-bibliography citation includes the same core elements as the author-date style, but their orientation is a bit different. Additionally, for no date, you just add the date you accessed it. See how it works through examples.

Mathewson, Adrienne. “Creating Notes-Biblio Entries for Online Sources.” Accessed August 10, 2020,

Bibliography. “Bibliography Citation Generator.” Accessed August 13, 2020.

How to Reference a Blog and Social Media Posts in Chicago

Blog and social media posts are unique in Chicago style , in the fact that you don’t have to include them in your reference or bibliography citations. The temporary nature of blog and social media posts make them hard to reference, according to Chicago. If you would like to keep a reference for your records, you can take a screenshot of the post.

How to Cite a Video in Author-Date Style

Chicago/Turabian style has you covered when it comes to your author-date video Chicago citations . For these citations, you include:

Barry, Chuck. “Interview With Toby Daniels.” YouTube Video, 1hr., 10 min. December 6, 2019,

How to Cite a Video in Notes-Bibliography Style

You can just include a video in your notes citation. However, if it makes a significant impact on your argument, you might consider adding a bibliography citation. See what this looks like through an example.

Garrett, Dale, and Sally Holmes “#951 – Homeless in America.” Recorded May 17, 2020 in Chicago, IL. NPR Planet Money.

Citation generator

The Art of Citing a Website

Faq how to cite a website properly in any paper, how do you cite a website in apa.

To cite a website article in APA, you need the author, date, title, website, and URL. An example of a website citation looks like: Betts, J. (2020). How to Cite a Website in APA, MLA, and Chicago in Any Paper.

How do you cite a government website in APA?

To cite a government website in APA format, you include the name of the organization in place of the author with appropriate abbreviations. An example looks like: U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). Mortality statistics. U.S. Department of Commerce.

How do you cite a website with no author?

When you need to cite a website with no author, you include the title of the article in place of the author's name. If the website is owned by a government entity, you use the name of the government entity in place of the author.

How do you cite website in MLA format?

To cite a website in MLA format, you use the author, title of work, website, date, and URL. For this website, it looks like: Betts, Jennifer. "How to Cite a Website Properly in Any Paper." Bibliography, 25 Aug. 2020,

How do you cite a government website?

To cite a government website, you use the name of the government entity running the website in place of the author for the different types of citations. For example, in MLA format, this looks like: U.S. Census Bureau. "Mortality Rates." U.S. Department of Commerce, 25 Aug. 2020,

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Apa image citations for photos and digital pictures, 10 common citation mistakes (and how to ensure you avoid them), using endnotes and a bibliography.

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How to cite a website

How do you like this article, 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.


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).

Important Components

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: .

Rudlin, D. (2019, April 11). Why are we so bad at planning cities? The Guardian . Last accessed 12 th Apr 2019: .

Citing a website: Short references in the text

(Ghosh, 2019)

(Rudlin, 2019)

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.

How to cite a website author info

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

how to cite a website trust

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page: This is where you will find the site´s copyright and legal information, which also helps you evaluate whether the website is a reliable source or not (terms of use, name of the operator, regular updates, etc.). If there is no author, this is where you can find the name of the operator.

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In a Nutshell

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. . 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 in APA Style | Format & Examples

Published on November 5, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on June 17, 2022.

APA website citations usually include the author, the publication date, the title of the page or article, the website name, and the URL. If there is no author, start the citation with the title of the article. If the page is likely to change over time, add a retrieval date.

If you are citing an online version of a print publication (e.g. a newspaper , magazine , or dictionary ), use the same format as you would for print, with a URL added at the end. Formats differ for online videos (e.g. TED Talks ), images , and dissertations .

Use the buttons below to explore the format.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

Table of contents, citing an entire website, how to cite online articles, websites with no author, websites with no date, how to cite from social media, frequently asked questions about apa style citations.

When you refer to a website in your text without quoting or paraphrasing from a specific part of it, you don’t need a formal citation. Instead, you can just include the URL in parentheses after the name of the site:

One of the most popular social media sites, Instagram (, allows users to share images and videos.

For this kind of citation, you don’t need to include the website on the reference page . However, if you’re citing a specific page or article from a website, you will need a formal in-text citation and reference list entry.

Various kinds of articles appear online, and how you cite them depends on where the article appears.

Online articles from newspapers, magazines, and blogs

Articles appearing in online versions of print publications (e.g. newspapers and magazines) are cited like their print versions, but with an added URL.

The same format is used for blog posts. Just include the blog name where you would usually put the name of the magazine or newspaper.

Articles from online-only news sites

For articles from news sites without print equivalents (e.g. BBC News, Reuters), italicize the name of the article and  not  the name of the site.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

When a web page does not list an individual author, it can usually be attributed to an organization or government . If this results in the author name being identical to the site name, omit the site name, as in the example below.

If you can’t identify any author at all, replace the author name with the title of the page or article.

In the in-text citation , put the title in quotation marks if it is in plain text in the reference list, or in italics if it is in italics in the reference list. Note that title case is used for the title here, unlike in the reference list. Shorten the title to the first few words if necessary.

When a web page or article does not list a publication or revision date, replace the date with “n.d.” (“no date”) in all citations.

If an online source is likely to change over time, it is recommended to include the date on which you accessed it.

As social media posts are usually untitled, use the first 20 words of the post, in italics, as a title. Also include any relevant information about the type of post and any multimedia aspects (e.g. videos, images, sound, links) in square brackets.

On some social media sites (such as Twitter ), users go by usernames instead of or in addition to their real names. Where the author’s real name is known, include it, along with their username in square brackets:

In some cases, you’ll want to cite a whole social media profile instead of a specific post. In these cases, include an access date, because a profile will obviously change over time:

When citing a webpage or online article , the APA in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and year of publication. For example: (Worland & Williams, 2015). Note that the author can also be an organization. For example: (American Psychological Association, 2019).

If you’re quoting you should also include a locator. Since web pages don’t have page numbers, you can use one of the following options:

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your APA in-text citation . If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website ) but the text is long, you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:

(Caulfield, 2019, Linking section, para. 1).

Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations , as they are unreliable.

If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.

When no individual author name is listed, but the source can clearly be attributed to a specific organization—e.g., a press release by a charity, a report by an agency, or a page from a company’s website—use the organization’s name as the author in the reference entry and APA in-text citations .

When no author at all can be determined—e.g. a collaboratively edited wiki or an online article published anonymously—use the title in place of the author. In the in-text citation, put the title in quotation marks if it appears in plain text in the reference list, and in italics if it appears in italics in the reference list. Shorten it if necessary.

APA Style usually does not require an access date. You never need to include one when citing journal articles , e-books , or other stable online sources.

However, if you are citing a website or online article that’s designed to change over time, it’s a good idea to include an access date. In this case, write it in the following format at the end of the reference: Retrieved October 19, 2020, from

Instead of the author’s name, include the first few words of the work’s title in the in-text citation. Enclose the title in double quotation marks when citing an article, web page or book chapter. Italicize the title of periodicals, books, and reports.

No publication date

If the publication date is unknown , use “n.d.” (no date) instead. For example: (Johnson, n.d.).

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, June 17). How to Cite a Website in APA Style | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 28, 2023, from

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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 ( 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. 

Example: Smith , J. D. (2020, August 10). The secret to a long life . American Cancer Society.

Group Author:   Mayo Clinic. (2011, June 23).  Absence seizure . 

Access Date: Smith, J. D. (n.d.). Considerations for new nurses. Career Spot. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from

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.

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.

Helpful Information

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.

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 instead of

Include a retrieval date only if source material could change over time (and this edition of the material is not archived for the future). If the materials has no date, but will not change over time (an edition of a report or ebook for instance) then no retrieval date is needed.


Double space entries. If an entry runs more than one line, indent the next line(s).

Capitalize proper nouns and first words of title and subtitle.

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MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

The MLA Handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.

However, this guide will highlight a few concerns when citing digital sources in MLA style.

Best Practices for Managing Online Sources

Because online information can change or disappear, it is always a good idea to keep personal copies of important electronic information whenever possible. Downloading or even printing key documents ensures you have a stable backup. You can also use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to build an easy-to-access reference for all of your project's sources (though this will not help you if the information is changed or deleted).

It is also wise to keep a record of when you first consult with each online source. MLA uses the phrase, “Accessed” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so, but it is encouraged (especially when there is no copyright date listed on a website).

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA

Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.

Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.

Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.

Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources

If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. would be used for a single paragraph, while pars. would be used for a span of two or more paragraphs.

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible:

Use the following format:

Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book) , Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2 nd container’s title , Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Citing an Entire Web Site

When citing an entire website, follow the same format as listed above, but include a compiler name if no single author is available.

Author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site . Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites . The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory . Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, Accessed 10 May 2006.

Course or Department Websites

Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title.

Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England . Purdue U, Aug. 2006, Accessed 31 May 2007.

English Department . Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, Accessed 31 May 2015.

A Page on a Web Site

For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.

Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.”  eHow , Accessed 6 July 2015.

“ Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview. ”   WebMD , 25 Sept. 2014,

Citations for e-books closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an e-book by putting the term "e-book" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).

Silva, Paul J.  How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.

If the e-book is formatted for a specific reader device or service, you can indicate this by treating this information the same way you would treat a physical book's edition number. Often, this will mean replacing "e-book" with "[App/Service] ed."

Machiavelli, Niccolo.  The Prince , translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

Note:  The MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device (e.g., a Kindle) or a corresponding web application. These e-books will not have URLs or DOIs. If you are citing book content from an ordinary webpage with a URL, use the "A Page on a Web Site" format above.

An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)

Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, and the date of access.

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV . 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado , Accessed 22 May 2006.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine . 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive , Accessed May 2006.

If the work cited is available on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.

Adams, Clifton R. “People Relax Beside a Swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928.” Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016,

An Article in a Web Magazine

Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.

Bernstein, Mark. “ 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web. ”   A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites , 16 Aug. 2002, Accessed 4 May 2009.

An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a DOI if available, otherwise provide a URL or permalink to help readers locate the source.

Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal

MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, Accessed 20 May 2009.

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print

Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article . Provide the URL and the date of access.

Wheelis, Mark. “ Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. ”   Emerging Infectious Diseases , vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)

Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “ Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates. ”   Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library , Accessed 26 May 2009.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest , Accessed 27 May 2009.

E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)

Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization.

Kunka, Andrew. “ Re: Modernist Literature. ”  Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.

Neyhart, David. “ Re: Online Tutoring. ” Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016.

A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets.

Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site , Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.

Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek , 29 Sept. 2008, Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.

Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary.

@tombrokaw. “ SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign. ”   Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m.,

@PurdueWLab. “ Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week. ”   Twitter , 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m.,

A YouTube Video

Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploader, cite the author’s name before the title.

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube , uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012,

“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016,

A Comment on a Website or Article

List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.

Not Omniscient Enough. Comment on “ Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument Over Pasta. ”  ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m.,

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!

Guide Overview

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 at 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! Stop typing into the search bar, “how to cite a website APA” or “APA in-text citation website.” 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’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.

Group authors

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:

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:

[Image attached]


[Status update]

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: 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:

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:

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:

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, 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’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 .

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.

New York Times [nytimes]. (n.d.) NYC Marathon 2021 [Highlight]. Instagram.

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.

In-text citation example:

(Grande, 2021)

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.

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

APA Formatting

Citation 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.

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.

For example:

National Park Service. (2018, July 23). Night skies as a cultural-historical resource .

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

In-text style:

We took the data from the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India (

Webpage of a website

In-text citation templates and examples:

Author Surname (publication year)

Skelton (2017)


(Author Surname, publication year)

(Skelton, 2017)

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.

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How to Cite a Website

Last Updated: February 9, 2023 References Approved

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. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 20 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,525,753 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

research paper citation website

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.

Image titled Cite a Website Step 2

Image titled Cite a Website Step 3

Image titled Cite a Website Step 4

Image titled Cite a Website Step 5

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.

Image titled Cite a Website Step 6

Image titled Cite a Website Step 7

Image titled Cite a Website Step 8

Image titled Cite a Website Step 9

Image titled Cite a Website Step 10

APA Reference List Format:

Author Last Name, A. A. (Year). Title of web page in sentence case. Retrieved from URL

Image titled Cite a Website Step 11

Image titled Cite a Website Step 12

Image titled Cite a Website Step 13

Image titled Cite a Website Step 14

Image titled Cite a Website Step 15

Image titled Cite a Website Step 16

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.

Image titled Cite a Website Step 17

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About This Article

Michelle Golden, PhD

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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