Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Guide: Electronic Sources

A guide to writing papers and citing sources in American Psychological Association style.

Formatting

For a References page, your citations need to be double spaced and have a hanging indent. A hanging indent just means that every line after the first in your citation is indented 0.5". 

In Microsoft Word (PC or Mac), highlight your citation and right click on it. Select "Paragraph" in the menu that appears, then under "Indentation" click on the Special drop down and select "Hanging". Make sure the "By" field is set to 0.5".

Important Elements for Citation of Electronic Sources

Try and find as many of the following as possible when you wish to cite an electronic source, especially a web page or other source that may not provide an easy citation.

  • Author and/or editor names
  • Article title
  • Website/project title
  • Version information- editions, revision dates, posting dates, volume or issue numbers
  • Publisher information- this may include a university, government agency, or research group.
  • Page or paragraph numbers
  • URL, DOI, or permalink
  • Date you accessed the material

Webpages

Webpages and online documents use a similar citation format to print sources. You do need to include the URL at the end of the entry. If a document, describe the format at the end of the title.

Eco, U. (2015). How to write a thesis [PDF file]. (Farina C. M. & Farina T., Trans.) Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/

...How_to_write_a_thesis/.../Umberto+Eco-How-to-Write+...

If no author is listed, start with the title. Use (n.d.) if no date of publication is listed.

Spotlight Resources (n.d.). Retrieved from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/about_the_owl/owl_information/spotlight_resources.html

Include a date of access when the page's content is likely to change- a developing news story, a publicly edited source like a wiki, or a social media profile, for example.

YouTube Videos

Online videos follow a similar format to citing from other webpages and web sites. However, you will use the creator's screen name as the author's name- even if you know the author's real name, using the screen name allows your readers to more easily find the video. Spell and capitalized the screen name exactly as it appears with the video.

PBSoffbook. (2013, October 3). How to be creative [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weIQIthC3Ks

Podcasts

Provide as much information as possible when citing a podcast. If the primary name associated with the podcast is not the author, provide an additional identifier with the name. Identifiers can include Producer and Director.

Bell, T., & Phillips, T. (2008, May 6). A solar flare. Science @ NASA Podcast. Podcast retrieved from https://science.nasa.gov/podcast.htm

Scott, D. (Producer). (2007, January 5). The community college classroom [Episode 7]. Adventures in Education. Podcast retrieved from 

https://www.adveeducation.com

Online Correspondence

E-mail: You do not need to cite an email in your reference list, but if you refer to it in your paper, provide an in-text citation including the sender's name: (E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).

Forum and Discussion Board Postings: Include the title of the message and URL of the board. No italicization is used for these citations. Provide the author's name or, if not available, their screen name. Place identifiers like post or message numbers in brackets. If a URL is available for an archive of posts, include it after the URL (Message posted to..., archived at...").

Frook, B. D. (1999, July 23). New inventions in the cyberworld of toylandia [Msg 25]. Message posted to https://groups.earthlink.com/forum/

messages/00025.html

Tweet

To cite a tweet, include the username, date of tweet, full text of tweet followed by [Tweet], and the URL.

@tombrokaw. (2012, January 22). SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/

tombrokaw/status/160996868971704320

All examples on this page taken from Purdue Online Writing Lab (https://owl.purdue.edu)