Each of the major style guides has specific guidelines for citing information found online. The most basic level is the web site. However, information online can be in a variety of formats from journal articles in databases to electronic books to email — each of which requires different citation rules. For example, APA identifies over 20 variations of online publications. The following is just a quick look at how the major style guides recommend formatting a simple web site.
The basic format for citing Web sites in APA style:
Author’s name [last name, first name and any middle initials]. (Date of Internet posting or revision, use “n.d.” if no date). Title of page. In Title of complete work [if applicable]. Retrieved from http://Web address [URL or DOI].
Example with Author(s)Neyhart, D. & Karper, E. (2012, May 30). APA formatting and style guide. In Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
Example without an Author American Psychological Association. (2011).”Basics of APA Style”. APAStyle.org. Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx
The basic format for citing Web sources in Chicago style:
Author’s name (last name, first name). “Title of Web Page.” Publishing Organization or Name of Website in Italics. Publication date (if available) and/or access date. URL.
Example with Author(s) Clements, Jessica, et al. “Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.” Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Last modified November 20, 2011. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/
Example without an Author“Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.” The Chicago Manual of Style Online. Accessed August 29, 2011. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.
The basic format for citing Web sources in MLA style:
Author or editor’s name (last name first). Name of site. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available, use n.d. of no publishing date given). Medium of publication. Date of access.
Example with Author(s)Russell, Tony, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, and Russell Keck. MLA Formatting and Style Guide. Purdue University Online Writing Lab, 2012. Web. 9 Aug. 2012.
Example without an author MLA Style. Citesource, n.d. Web. 9 Aug. 2012.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2009). Washington, DC : American Psychological Association.
Last updated 8/23/2012 by Sue Thompson