How to Properly Cite Internet References in Your Research

Woman on laptop
JGI-Tom Grill / Getty

There are multiple North American guidelines for quoting (aka 'citing)' your online research in your essay, paper, or news article. Here are the most common methodologies:

Basic In-Text Citation Method: How You Copy-Paste Into Your Paper

Citation Basics
According to the APA and the Purdue Owl, author-date is the proper style for citing a reference in the middle of other text. (e.g. Gil, 2008)

APA Citing Guide for Social Sciences

(American Psychological Association)
Purdue University APA Reference
(Neyhard, Karper, Seas, Russell, Wagner, and Angeli, 2009)

Formatting Citations: Capitalization, Quotes, Underlining

APA Capitalization Styles
Most titled words of four letters or more are capitalized, as are both words in a compound word (e.g. Environmentally-Friendly Pesticides and Controls)

How to Make Long Quotations or Paraphrases

APA Quotation and Paraphrase Style
Indenting is desirable for longer quotations. Page numbers are ideal for whenever you paraphrase an author.

How to Cite an Author/Authors

APA Author Citation Style
You will use "and" or the ampersand "&", depending on your use of parentheses. In cases where 6 authors or more are cited, the "et al" expression will come into play.

Citing Electronic Documents

APA Source Style
When there is no date on an Internet or electronic reference, use the "n.d." abbreviation. Where there are no page numbers available, you need to help the reader find the exact paragraph as well.