APA Quick Tips: Citing Websites

Mid-quarter has passed—meaning that the end of classes quickly approaches! Why not get a head start on your research papers and projects so that you can finish the quarter stress free AND have some extra time to enjoy the beautiful weather?

The Online Librarians are here to help you reach that goal! In the weeks leading up to the end of the semester, we’ll be feature APA tips to help you cite your sources in a snap.


With all APA style citations, ask yourself four questions about your source:

  1. 1. Who wrote it?
  2. 2. When was it written?
  3. 3. What is it called?
  4. 4. Where did it come from?

If you can answer these four questions, then you have all the information you need to complete an APA citation!

The basic format you want to follow for websites is:

Author, A. (date). Title of document. Retrieved on date from http://URL

Let’s use this page from the American Heart Association website as an example.

Don’t forget that an organization or company can serve as an author—especially for websites. In this case, the author is the American Heart Association.

Finding dates for websites can be tricky—look for a “Last Update” date, or a copyright date at the very bottom of the page. The date for this page would be formatted, (2011, May 2).

How to cite websites






If you don’t have a date, you would put n.d. in parentheses, like this: (n.d.). Keep in mind that the absence of a date may indicate that the source is not trustworthy. For some topics, like healthcare, it’s very important to have up-to-date information. One clue that the information on the American Heart Association website is trustworthy can be found at the bottom of the webpage.

Next you’ll determine the title of your source. You’ll want to cite the actual page you visited, not the website’s homepage. Remember that your goal is to lead your reader back to what you’ve read. If you’re not sure what the title of the page is, check the tab at the top of your browser. The tab will tell you what the page is called. The title for this page is: “Fight Stress with Healthy Habits.”

Finally, you’ll list where you found the information. For websites, you’ll include the web address (URL). Since information on the web changes often, the best practice is to include the date you found the information as well. The final piece of this citation will say: Retrieved May 10, 2012 from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/StressManagement/FightStressWithHealthyHabits/Fight-Stress-with-Healthy-Habits_UCM_307992_Article.jsp

All together now!

The complete APA style citation for our example is:

American Heart Association. (2011, May 2). Fight stress with healthy habits.

May 10, 2012 from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Stress

Management/FightStressWithHealthyHabits/Fight-Stress-with-Healthy Habits_UCM_307992_Article.jsp

If you have more questions about APA style citations, check out the library’s APA Citation Guide, join an APA Citation Webinar, or ask a ibrarian!