November 18, 2010
How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style
Perhaps the most common question we get about APA Style is “How do I cite a website?” or “How do I cite something I found on a website?”
First, to cite a website in general, but not a specific document on that website, see this FAQ .
Once you’re at the level of citing a particular page or document, the key to writing the reference list entry is to determine what kind of content the page has. The Publication Manual reference examples in Chapter 7 are sorted by the type of content (e.g. journal article, e-book, newspaper story, blog post), not by the location of that content in a library or on the Internet. The
Manual shows both print- and web-based references for the different types of content.
What seems to flummox our readers is what to do when the content doesn’t fall into an easily defined area. Sometimes the most you can say is that you're looking at information on a page—some kind of article, but not a journal article. To explore this idea, imagine the Internet as a fried egg. The yolk contains easier to categorize content like journal articles and e-books. In that runny, nebulous white you’ll find the harder to define content, like blog posts, lecture notes, or maps. To wit, the egg:
Content in that egg white area may seem confusing to cite, but the template for references from this area is actually very simple, with only four pieces (author, date, title, and source):