How to cite a web page with APA standards

copyright is protected by the Intellectual Property Law. To avoid plagiarism, each time what someone has said is used or when information found in books, articles or web pages is summarized, the source must always be indicated by means of a citation within the text and its corresponding reference in the bibliography section , which is usually placed at the end of the job.

When writing a scientific document or a work in an academic format, it is important to be clear about how to cite the bibliography used correctly . One of the most widely used citation typologies is the APA standards format, developed by the American Psychological Association and based on the Harvard University citation system.

This system is used in different universities of social sciences, philology, politics, economics and law around the world. It allows you to cite all kinds of works, from traditional physical books to web pages or movies. Find out how to do it in this article!

What does quote mean?

Citing a web page with APA standards at a bibliographic level consists of explicitly mentioning a source from which certain information has been extracted. They can be done both when using textually the same words as the original author of an idea, or to support the arguments that we are using in our document with their work.

Citations are usually made both within the text and in the ‘bibliographic references’ section at the end of the document. To do it correctly, we must follow the rules to quote a website without an author or with an author, as the case may be.

This format was created in 1929 by different professionals from different branches of the world of psychology, but today it is used within any branch. In addition, it receives its name from the American Psychological Association, the association that produced it.

How to cite a web page with APA standards

At some point in the development of your work you may find yourself with the need to use concepts, terms and definitions that have been developed by other people. Or you want to cite work done by others that support your research or theories.

When it comes to reflecting the authorship of said concepts, providing the vision of a specific author and validating the information we provide, it is essential to cite the sources from which we have extracted the information. The best known and most used format, especially in the world of psychology, is the APA format.

  1. Cite a web page with APA standards

To cite a web page with APA standards, the first thing you should do is clarify whether the quote you are going to make is literal or not. You should also make it clear if what you are going to reference is a generic and anonymous text, whose author is not known, or a text that belongs to a publication with an author and date, since the citation will be made differently depending on the case.

  1. How to cite a web page with author and date

If we know the work from which we have extracted the information, you must include that reference in the quote. Begin by writing the author’s last name, followed by a comma, the initial or initials of his first name, and a period.

In case there are several authors, you can put the main one and add the expression “et alii” (and others) or put all the names separated each one by a semicolon. Afterwards, you will have to put the year of publication in parentheses, another period and, in italics, the title of the article along with the type of publication in brackets.

Finally, the name of the web page is added, the URL entered by a “retrieved from” and, between brackets, the date of the query . This last piece of information is very important because publications on the internet change, so that if a publication is consulted in 2020, nothing guarantees that it will continue to be there a year or two later.

Thus, according to APA rules, the appointment should have been as follows: Surname, AA (Date). Article title [type of publication]. Name of the web page. Retrieved from: address from where the document was extracted (URL) [date of consultation].

On the other hand, to cite a web page with APA standards within the text, only the last name and the date will be put. However, the appointment can be made in different ways:

If the text is to be quoted literally, it can be put in two ways:

  • Surname (Date), states: “text of the quote”.
  • “Quote text” (Surname, Date).

Finally, when it is not a literal quote, but a paraphrase or a summary, the correct way to quote according to APA standards would be:

  • As stated by Surname (Date), summarized or paraphrased text.

This way of citing and referencing will be the same when the author signs with a pseudonym, in which case this will be used instead of the name and surname in the reference, as well as in place of the surname in citations within the text.

  1. APA rules cite website without author or date

Things change when we do not have the name of the author or the date the article was published, so that the previous form of citation would be impossible. In this case, the correct way to reference the end of the text would be to substitute the author’s name for the title of the publication and put sf in the place where the date would go.

It would be as follows: Title of the publication. (sf). Article title [type of publication]. Name of the web page . Retrieved from: address from where the document was extracted (URL) [date of consultation].

In-text citations would be done differently. If the text is to be quoted verbatim, it can be quoted like this:

  • Title of the publication (nd), states: “text of the citation”.
  • “Text of the quote” (title of the publication, nd).

When it is not a literal quote, but a paraphrase or a summary, the correct form would be:

  • As stated by Title of the publication (sf), summarized or paraphrased text.


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