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APA Style, 6th ed.

A guide to APA formatting, in-text citation, and the References list


Often, in web sources, one or more of your important citation information is missing. Sometimes this is a warning sign that this source is not very high-quality -- look closely for other signs of credible websites. But sometimes it is still all right to use. 

Here are some tips for how to cite websites when information is missing

Also, note that if you are referring to an entire website in general, and not a specific page on that website, you generally do not have to include it in your References list; it is sufficient simply to indicate in the text which website you mean. For example, "President Obama often used Twitter ( and Facebook ( to keep citizens up to speed on his initiatives."

Key Elements No Author, No Date
Web Page Blog

Key Elements

  1. Author
  2. Year of last update
  3. Web page title (italicized)
  4. ONLY if likely to change: Retrieval date
  5. URL of web page (no period at the end)

Web Page (7.11)

Standard Format

Normally, do NOT include the retrieval date. The only exception is for content that is easily or frequently changed (e.g., unarchived social media posts, blogs, wikis)

           Pietrangelo comma A period (2017 comma Jan period 9) period Everything you need to know about epilepsy period Retrieved from http colon //www dot healthline dot com/health/epilepsy


Corporate or Government Author, and No Date

Often, a webpage has a corporate, organization, or government agency as an author. 

      Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction period (n period d period) period Report cards home period Retrieved from https colon //dpi dot wi dot gov/accountability/report-cards

No Author or No Date (7.11, 7.01.9)

Remember that APA encourages researchers to use the name of a corporate author, a governmental organization, an office, a department, etc. as the author (see directly above).

However, if no author can be found, begin the citation with the title of the Web page. 

If no date can be found, use n.d. 

        How Globe and Mail reporters traced the rise of fentanyl period (2018 comma May 16) period The Globe & Mail period Retrieved from https colon //www dot theglobeandmail dot com

Note that sometimes the page title itself will be italicized -- here, it is not, because the title of the parent organization, the newspaper The Globe and Mail, is italicized instead, but sometimes you will simply have: 

Page title. (date). Retrieved from http://........ 

Other missing information? View this page from APA, How to write an APA Style reference when information is missing

Blog (7.11.76)

If no author's name, use the screen name. Use the year, month, and day for the date of publication.

Lin comma J period comma & Singer comma P period W period (2017 comma Aug period 16) period China’s making major progress with its aircraft carrier tech [Web log message] period Retrieved Aug period 17 comma 2017 from http colon //www dot popsci dot com/china-aircraft-carrier-technology