Commonly Cited Sources: Webpage Reference Entry
Last update 3/18/2020
Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Commonly Cited Sources” and the video title “Webpage Reference Entries.”
Audio: Guitar music
Visual: The screen changes to the title “Webpage Reference Entries” and the following reference entry:
Author, A. A. OR Organization’s Name. (Date). Title of the webpage. Site Name. http://www.exacturl.com
- Copyright date
- Most specific published or last updated date
Audio: The internet is a great source of information for students, and there may be times when you want to use a reputable, scholarly webpage in your writing. In this video, we’ll explore how to create a reference entry for a webpage.
First let’s look at the basic components of webpage reference entries.
Visual: As the speaker discusses each component of the reference entry, it is highlighted on the slide.
Audio: We start with the author or authors of the webpage, which is often the organization, company, or department who owns—or is responsible for—the website.
Next we include the publication date within parentheses. For publication dates, we do not use a copyright date on the webpage; these copyright dates are often automatically updated throughout a website, so they aren’t a reliable indicator of when the source was published or last updated. Instead, look for a specific published or last updated date on the page, and include the most specific date available. If you can’t find any publication date information, use the abbreviation “n.d.” for “no date.”
After the year we include the title. Be sure to use sentence case and italicize this title, meaning only the first word of the title, the first word after a colon, and any proper nouns are capitalized.
After the title, include the site name, if it is different than the author. For example, if there is an individual author for the webpage, then you’ll include the site name; if the entry’s author is an organization, you usually won’t include the site name.
And finally, end the reference entry with the URL of the webpage. Note that this should be the full URL of the specific webpage, not the website’s home page.
Visual: Screenshots of a webpage. They look like the following, and as each is discussed they are highlighted:
American Counseling AssociationYour Passion. Your Profession. Our Purpose.
MEMBERSHIP KNOWLEDGE CENTER CONTINUING EDUCATION GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
ABOUT US HOME > ABOUT US > ABOUT ACA
AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION
6101 Stevenson Ave, Suite 600. Alexandria, VA 22304
800-347-6647 | 800-473-2329 (fax)
©2016, American Counseling Association
All Rights Reserved.
Audio: Finding the right information for citing a webpage can be tricky because each website looks so different. Let’s explore where you can commonly find this information.
For the author of the webpage, look for an individual author either before the content on the page or at the very bottom. If no individual author is listed, then use the organization, company, or department that owns the website as a whole. This information is often listed at the top of the webpage.
After the author, find the date. As mentioned previously, look for a published or last updated date. If there isn’t any other publication date information, use the abbreviation “n.d.” for “no date.”
Next we need to find the title. This can also be tricky because each website uses different formatting. Look for the title that encompasses the entire webpage, which is often placed highest on the page and can be a part of the page’s URL.
The final component is the webpage’s URL. This is found at the top of the browser. Make sure you copy the entire URL, even if it is quite long; doing so will ensure the reader can find this exact webpage.
Visual: The screen changes to the following reference entry:
American Counseling Association. (n.d.). About us. https://www.counseling.org/about-us/about-aca
- No publication date & Organizational author
Audio: Now that we have all of the information, we can create the reference entry. Here you can see that I’ve included the organization’s name as the author. This webpage doesn’t have a publication year, so we’ll use “n.d.” Next appears the title in sentence case and italicized. Finally, I’ve completed the entry with the direct URL of the webpage, although I have not included a site name, since the site name would be the same as the author.
Before we move on, I want to pause for one additional tip:
Visual: The screen changes to the following reference entry:
American Counseling Association. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from https://www.counseling.org/about-us/about-aca
Audio: If the content of a webpage is likely to change or meant to change over time, APA allows writers to include the retrieval date, meaning the date you accessed the webpage. Use your best judgment to determine if this retrieval information is needed, basing your decision on your knowledge of the webpage’s content.
Visual: Slide changes to screenshots of another webpage. They look like the following, and as each is discussed they are highlighted:
5 do’s and don’ts for staying motivated
Recognizing the meaning behind your motivation will help you stick with your health goals—Even when times get tough. Learn five do’s and don’ts for staying motivated.
By Mohamed A. Osman
December 16, 2016
©1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.
Audio: Let’s look at one more example of a webpage reference entry, this time of a page that has an individual author. Here, we can see that this webpage is from the Mayo Clinic website, but it lists M. A. Osman as the author. We can also see a specific published date, December 15, 2016, for this webpage.
Visual: Slide changes to the following:
Osman, M. A. (2016, December 15). 5 do’s and don’ts for staying motivated. Mayo Clinic.https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/5-dos-and-donts-for-staying-motivated/art-20270835
- Publication date & Individual author
Audio: Here is the resulting reference entry. It looks a little different than our previous example because we have an individual author listed, along with the specific date the webpage was published. This entry also includes the site name, Mayo Clinic, because there is an individual author.
I know reference entry formatting can be overwhelming at first, so be sure to follow our suggestions.
Visual: The screen changes to displaying the following bullets as the speaker discusses them:
- Take it each section at a time
- Follow examples
- Keep in mind our tips
- Pay close attention to formatting and punctuation
- Ask if you have questions!
Audio:Approach the reference entry a section at a time; follow the examples on our website, in this video, and in the APA Manual; keep in mind the tips we’ve discussed; pay close attention to formatting and punctuation; and ask if you have questions—we’re happy to help!
Visual: The screen changes to an ending slide a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The email address [email protected] appears on the screen.