Documenting Website Sources - An APA How-To -->

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Documenting Website Sources - An APA How-To

Today we’re going to talk about citing information from a website. Not only is Walden an online university, but the Internet is full of informative and useful sources at our disposal for research! With so much easy access to digital information, we frequently cite website content, but finding the right information that we need for our reference list and in-text citations can be a little bit tricky and takes some know-how and sleuthing. Knowing how to cite a webpage in APA form is very important, so today let’s look at a visual breakdown of some of those harder-to-find parts of a web citation so that you can become a web-citing pro!

Reference Entry
To correctly reference a webpage, you’ll need the following information:

Authors’ Name (or Organization’s Name if there is no given author). Year (if you can’t find one, write “n.d.” like in this example). Webpage title. Retrieved from URL.

Here’s the correct References List entry if we had used website content from the American Federation of Teachers website:

American Federation of Teachers. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved from

Now let’s try another webpage on the AFT site with some visual examples for finding all the necessary information.

A screen capture image of the AFT website, illustrating how to find certain information to create Reference entries for webcontent

First we need the Author/Organization. You’ll see above that the author’s name isn’t at the top of this article and there isn’t any author bio next to it. Sometimes the author information is here, but if it isn’t, check the bottom of the page.

See that name all the way at the bottom of this page? That’s the author! He was pretty hidden, and if there hadn’t been a tag at the bottom, we would cite this page just like the example above with the organization name.

A screen capture image of the AFT website showing the location of the author information

2. Publication Year
Now we need to find the Publication Year if there is one. It will usually be at the top of an article, somewhere near the title of the content. 

Screen Capture Image of the AFT website and how to find the date

There’s our date! We’ll just need the year, 2016, for the webpage.

Special Note: Sometimes the date will be in the form of the copyright date at the bottom of the page. The American Nurses Association page, for example, has the copyright year 2016 at the bottom of the page. However, the APA Style Blog asserts that writers should NOT use the copyright date because that date doesn't always refer to the date of publication. Rather, the copyright date usually refers to the website's copyright date, not the source's. If the only date you can locate is the web page's copyright date, you should use (n.d.) in your reference entry. 

Remember to also only use the most recent date of publication. So if a website was initially published in 2012 and then revised or updated in 2017, your APA documentation would use 2017 as the publication year. 

3. Title of Webpage
Next we need the Title of the Webpage. You can find this in the name at the top of the tab. If the name is longer than the tab length, then look to the page itself for the full title.

Screen capture image of how to find the title of the webpage

In this case, we know that the full title is “Carrying the message about a threat to worker rights”. Don’t forget to format the title with APA reference case.

4. URL
The URL is the easiest part of a web citation! You just copy and paste. For APA you do not need to include a retrieved from date, simply “retrieved from” and then the URL.

Screen capture image on finding the URL to include in your References page

Currently for APA links should not be active in a reference list, so if Word does this automatically, right click and select “remove hyperlink”.

Also, note that APA states to break apart URLs at a punctuation mark (like a period, slash, or dash) with a space so that part of the URL fits on the “retrieved from” line. It’s a little tricky, but fiddle around with adding a space at different punctuation marks to see what helps the URL fit best.

5. Putting it all Together!
Now we have all of our information:
Name: Mike Rose, Year: 2016, Website Title: Carrying the message about a threat to worker rights. URL:

Rose, M., (2016). Carrying the message about a threat to worker rights. Retrieved from

Voila! A website citation. Note that for web citations you’ll need to cite every page you use from that website separately. So if you wanted to use other pages from the American Federation of Teachers, you’d need to have a reference entry for each one.

Using In-Text Citations for your website content
For an in-text citation you use pretty much the same rules as a regular citation, except that if you use a direct quote, you’ll need to use a paragraph number instead of a page number (since webpages are usually not numbered). So if I wanted to quote “On Jan. 6, union members attempted to deliver more than 100,000 petition signatures to the Center for Individual Rights in Washington, D.C., which is behind the Friedrichs lawsuit”, which is in the second paragraph block of the page, my citation would look like this “Quote” (Rose, 2016, para. 2).

This is a lot of information but I promise that you’ll get used to where to look for webpage citation information over time until it becomes habit and you can recognize the patterns. Still having trouble? Bookmark this post and use it as a guide any time you’re stumped! We even have a page on the WUWC webpage that outlines this process. Check it out! In other words, don't memorize this info. Instead, become comfortable using all the resources you have at your disposal. That’s what they're here for.

Have other tips or questions for citing webpages? We'd love to hear them in the comments section below!

Claire Helakoski
 is a Writing Instructor  at the Walden Writing Center and holds an MFA in Creative Writing. She has taught writing and Composition as well as acted as a writer and editor in a variety of mediums. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and enjoys reading, writing creatively, and board games of all kinds 

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  1. Great post, thank you Claire! Citing on-line sources could be tricky and I thank you for the tips. Another challenge I encountered recently is to mention a podcast in my references list. Would you have any tips for that?
    Thank you!

  2. Hello, we are so glad that you enjoyed Claire's blog post.

    To answer your question as to how to cite a podcast in your reference list, you want to: cite the author, the date (including the year, month, and day,) the title (in sentence case and italics), the type of podcast in brackets, and the retrieved from homepage URL (not the full URL of the podcast) (APA Style Blog,2012).

    Here is the link to the resource I referenced. You will find an example of a podcast citation here as well:

    Thank you,

    Walden Writing Center

    Here is

  3. Thanks for the helpful information. Once question I have which I cannot seem to find an answer to is how to cite a reference with no date. It seems simple enough to list a reference with no date by putting (n.d) in the reference, however I can't find any mention of what to do when citing such a reference. Any tips you have would be appreciated.


    1. Great question! For in-text and parenthetical citations, you should just put "n.d." in place of the year. Here's our web page that shows the proper formatting for almost any citation variation you can think of: