Citing online sources might seem complicated, because websites can contain so much identifying information that print sources typically do not have. Fortunately, the American Psychological Association’s publication manual for style addresses straightforward guidelines for attributing electronic sources. Depending on how much information a web author publishes on his site, some of the identifying components that the APA citation format calls for in citations might not be available. Even if some information is unobtainable, it is still possible to create a proper and informative reference.
Citations for All Web-based Sources
APA citations for all online media should begin with the author’s name. Place the last name first, followed by a comma. Abbreviate the first name with its first letter and a period. The sixth edition of the APA manual instructs writers to cite a web author’s screen name if his real name is unknown. In that case, use the entire screen name as it appears on the site, followed by a period. After the name, enter the publication date enclosed by parentheses. If the day and month are available, enter the year first, followed by a comma. Then, add the unabbreviated month and the day. Insert a period after the close parenthesis. If the publication date is unknown, insert the abbreviation “n.d.” in its place. For example: repjquincya. (n.d.).
Citing Web Pages, Blogs and Whole Websites
After the date, enter the title of the web page, blog post or website. Do not place quotation marks around it. When entering a web page or blog post title, only capitalize the first letters of the first word, first word after a colon, and proper nouns. When entering a website name, capitalize the first letters of all the words except for articles. Italicize a website name, but leave page and blog titles unitalicized. Insert a period after the title. Add the phrase “Retrieved from,” then enter the URL to complete the citation. For example: Adams, J. Q. (1845, September 10). Filibustering Congress to endow a national museum. Retrieved from http://repjqadams.blogspot.com/09101845
Citing Online Journals, Magazines and Newspapers
After the date, enter the title of the article. Only capitalize the first letters of the first word, first word after a colon, and proper nouns. Insert a period after the title. Enter the name of the periodical; italicize the name. Capitalize the first letters of all the words except for articles. Follow the name with a comma. Add the volume number, italicize it, and follow it with a period. If the volume number is unknown, follow the periodical name with a period. Type the phrase “Retrieved from” then enter the URL to complete the citation. For example: Adams, J. Q. (1845, September 10). Filibustering Congress to endow a national museum. Post-Presidencies in America (italicized), 6 (italicized). Retrieved from http://postpresjournal.com/09101845/jqa
Citing Lecture Notes and Presentations
After the date, enter the title of the lecture note set or the presentation. Italicize the title. Only capitalize the first letters of the first word, first word after a colon, and proper nouns. State the medium of the source. For example, common presentation media include PowerPoint slides and PDF documents. Enclose the medium with brackets, then insert a period after the close bracket. Type the phrase “Retrieved from” then enter the URL to complete the citation. For example: Adams, J. Q. (1845, September 10). In Congress after the presidency [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://repjqadams.blogspot.com/pp026
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