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APA Reference List: Citing Websites or Online Content (Template + Examples)

What are APA style reference list rules for websites and online content? The references below use the APA Publication Manual 7 (released on October 2019). Learn how to properly cite a source or reference in APA style format in this full APA format citation guide. Read the other guides to learn how to cite other source types according to research papers, professional papers, scholarly journal’s, and student essays.

Understanding an APA reference list with website sources: what is APA style?

APA is a writing format for academic documents. These documents typically include scholarly journals, books, student essays, and other educational material. For example, in the field of behavioral and social sciences (including sociology, education, health science, criminal justice, and psychology) APA style is used as a standard format for research.

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The APA became involved in journal publishing in 1923. And in 1929, an APA committee had created a seven-page writer’s guide published in the Psychological Bulletin. Editions of the APA manual have since evolved. With major releases in 1974, 1983, 1994, 2001, 2009, and 2019. Each with their edition titles.

For example, the 2019 edition is referred to as “APA 6” style. Revisions of the APA style guide tend to follow developments of the English language and linguistics as a whole.

APA Style 7th Edition font suggestions

APA Publication Manual 7 requires that chosen fonts be accessible to readers and consistent throughout essays and research papers. The APA Manual does not specify a certain typeface or font for papers. They do recommend the following typefaces with their point sizes as follows:

FontPoint size
Lucida Sans Unicode10-point
Times New Roman12-point
Computer Modern10-point
APA Style font recommendations

What are the APA reference list rules for websites, online content, and other online material?

Some electronic citations necessitate the use of brackets. APA style dictates that brackets should surround their content without spaces. If possible, include the year, month, and date in references.

RuleFormat + Template
If the webpage has an individual authorLastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL
If the resource is by a group or organizationGroup name. (Year, Month Date). Title of page. Site name. URL
If the webpages author is not listed, instead use the titleTitle of page. (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
If the date of publication isn’t listed (using the n.d. abbreviation)Author or Group name. (n.d.). Title of page. Site name (if applicable). URL
Citing a wikipedia articleTitle of article. (Year, Month Date). In Wikipedia. URL of archived version of page
Citing DOI’sLastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Vol.(Issue), page numbers. DOI
Electronic or kindle booksLastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book. Publisher. URL
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book [eBook edition]. Publisher. URL
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of book (N. Narrator, Narr.) [Audiobook]. Publisher. URL (if applicable)
Dissertation or thesis from a databaseLastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding Degree]. Database Name.
Data setsLastname, F. M. or Name of Group (Year). Title of dataset (Version No.) [Data set]. Publisher. DOI or URL
Computer software or downloaded softwareLastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (Year). Title of software (Version No.). Publisher. URL
Email (personal communication)(E. Smith, personal communication, January 9, 2009).
Online forumLastname, F. M. or Name of Group [username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of post [Online forum post]. Publisher. URL
Tweet from TwitterLastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words[Tweet]. Site Name. URL
Twitter profileLastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
Facebook postLastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL
Facebook pageLastname, F. M. or Name of Group. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL
Instagram photo or videoLastname, F. M. or Name of Group [@username]. (Year, Month Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Type of post]. Site Name. URL
Blog postLastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title of post. Publisher. URL
YouTube or streaming serviceLast Name, F. M. [Username]. (Year, Month Date). Title of video [Video]. Streaming Service. URL
TED TalksAuthor, A. A. (Year, Month Date). Title of talk [Video]. TED. URL
PodcastsHost, A. A. (Host). (Year, Month Date). Title of episode (No. if provided) [Audio podcast episode]. In Name of podcast. Publisher. URL

What is the DOI?

Note that a DOI references (typically APA PsychNet sources). Their links look like the following url: https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/pspp0000096

When should I use “et al.” in APA in-text citations?

You can use the abbreviation “et. al.” when there are multiple authors that you are not choosing to list. This is best for in-text citations and not in the reference list itself. For example, if a book has more than three authors, you can say (Taylor, Smith, et al., 2019).

It should only get used when referencing the same book, published in the same year, and when more than two authors are part of the published piece.

Do I need to include the publisher’s location in an APA book citation?

In the 7th Edition of the APA manual, no location information is required for publishers.

APA 7th Edition Formatting and Style Guides:

Here are more resources on APA style:


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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