How To Reference A Website In The Middle Of An Essay

The Basics

When using APA format for in-text citations, remember that they follow a basic formula of (author, date, p.), for more specific information see the information below, or refer to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), or visit the Purdue Online Writing Law (OWL) for up to date tips.


Place citations within sentences and paragraphs so that is is clear which material has come from which sources. Use pronouns and transitions to help you indicate whether several sentences contain material from the same source or from different sources:

Symthe (1990) found that positioning influences ventilation. In his quasi-experimental study of 20 ICU patients, he used two methods to... However, his findings did not support the work of Karcher (1987) and Atley (1989) who used much larger samples to demonstrate that...

Direct quote

When using quotations taken directly from the text, place the authors last name, the date of publication, and the page number used within parentheses after the quote:

"Rare and special collections are being digitized, not only for preservation purposes, but as a means of encouraging wider access to those materials." (Falk, 2003, p. 259).

or, if introducing the quote, refer to the year directly after the author's name, and the p. # directly afterward:

According to Falk (2003), "Rare and special collections are being digitized, not only for preservation purposes, but as a means of encouraging wider access to those materials." (p. 259)

Two or more authors

When a work has a single author or two authors, cite their names and the date of publication whenever you refer to their work in the text. (Exception: Within a given paragraph, do not include the date after the initial citation unless you are citing other publications elsewhere in your paper by the same authors), Join two co-authors in the text with the word "and", but within parentheses use an ampersand (&).

If authors have the same surname, always include their initial in each citation.

When citing co-author groups of three to five authors, cite all names and the date in the initial citation, but only the first author followed by et al. and the date in the subsequent citations.

For co-author groups of six or more authors, cite in the text only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the date. If two or more six-author groups shorten to the same surname, cite the surnames of as many subsequent authors as need to distinguish between references.

No author

If a work has no author, use the first two or three words of the title (omitting a beginning article), and capitalize each word of your shortened version. Place the short title in quotation marks if it is an article or chapter, or underline it if it is a book or periodical. Substitute the short title for the name of the author. An article: ("Learned Helplessness," 1985). The full title appears alphabetically in the references list (without quotation marks) in the author position.

When citing an edited work (a book, a report, a monograph) and that work has no author, the editor(s) assume the author position.

E-books, or references without page numbers

If a work, such as an e-book does not use page numbers, use as much information from the page as possible.  For example, use a section and paragraph number:

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing” (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).

Multiple references

Alphabetize multiple references within parentheses and separate author groups with a semicolon. You may separate a major reference from others by inserting "see also" before remaining references, which appear alphabetically:

Ex. (Patel, 1990; see also Arndt, 1986; Turgel, 1992).

When selecting one or more authors to represent the work or findings of a large group of authors, inform the reader by including "e.g." within the citation:

Ex. A large number of studies have shown that variations in brain waves are common (e.g., Engle, 1993a; Reuter, 1990, Trautman, 1987).


When an author-date citation appears at the end of a sentence, place the period after the parentheses. When an author-date citation appears mid-sentence, punctuation depends on the context.

Spacing has changed in the new APA guidelines: only one space after periods, excepts for initials within parentheses. For. ex.: (U.S.)

Other guidelines

Indicate in the text when you are citing from a secondary source in one of the following ways:

Place both authors in the same citation at the end of the sentence: (Smith, 1976, cited in Carrginton, 1989)


Cite them separately within the same sentence: Smith (1976) fornulated a theory about deviant behavior (cited in Carrington, 1989).

Use appropriate verbs to distinguish between empirical and nonempirical works:

"Zuckerman (1989) compared two groups of..." [empirical] vs. "Basil (1991) wrote extensively about..." [nonempirical].

Also inform the reader about background information: "For a review, see..." or "(see discussion in Ryan, 1990)."

When citing more than one article published by an author in the same year, repeat the year but add a suffix to represent each article (Wilbourn, 1988a, 1988b). Suffixes are assigned according to the alphabetical order of the first major word in each title and also appear in the reference list, where the author's name is repeated for each article.

Key: [R] References  [T]  In-text


Web pages

  • Where available, use a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to identify the web page. If not available use URL. 
  • If referring to a particular page within a large website, give the precise URL for that page rather than home or menu pages.
  • If there are no page numbers, use paragraph number (use the abbreviation "para" e.g. para.16) or cite the chapter or heading and the number of the paragraph.
  • Use (n.d.) in the date position for sources with no apparent date.

T:     (Benton Foundation, 1998)
R:     Benton Foundation. (1998, July 7). Barriers to closing the gap. In Losing ground bit by
              bit: Low-income communities in the information age
(chap. 2). Retrieved from


For a webpage that has no author, begin the reference with the document title

T:     ("Expenditures for Health Care Plans," 1998)
R:     Expenditures for health care plans for employers and employees. (1998, December 7).
               Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from


 *Rules for reference examples sourced from American Psychological Association Publication Manual (2010, pp 176;198;200)

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