website citation

Website Citation

Comprehensive Guide to Website Citation

In academic writing, entrepreneur blog writing, research article writing, and other forms of writing as well, we draw information, ideas, and shreds of evidence from many sources. And each time we refer to a source (book, journal, or a website), we need to insert citations to give credit to the original author of that idea or information.

The entire web is made of citations. Without website citations, the web would scatter into unconnected digital spaces. For an online world, the citation is more like a necessary community-based value instead of an arbitrary requirement enforced by authority figures. Just take, for example, students who can copy-paste passages from a website or any other digital document without citation or giving credit to the original author. While this type of behavior cannot be policed, it is a good idea for instructors to take advantage of the web and digital cultures to help students understand the importance of citation and the logic behind crediting sources.

In simple words, a citation is a reference made for a published or unpublished source. Citing a website or blog or article is a critical requirement when writing papers, quoting someone or gathering documentation. There is a vast amount of literature and content on the web that is facing the potential pitfalls of plagiarism. This alone might be a good reason why website citation is very critical not just to build a culture of trust among writers, but also to gain trust with the reader.

Importance of Website Citation:

We all know that fake news and misinformation are present all around the internet. Many people on the internet have created their websites and posted a large amount of content without any reference. But as a website owner, it is your responsibility that you make sure that the content is factually accurate and that you are not plagiarizing other people’s work. 

Here are the cure reasons and the importance of website citation and its purposes.

1: Attribution Serve as a Fact-Checking Tool:

The main reason we all should depend on any website for citation is that the accuracy of the content is the most important aspect of any information gathering. We need to double-check every single fact that we have written in the blog or article. Looking up a reference for verification ensures the fidelity of the passage that is being paraphrased in your content is accurately cited. Not only that, but it also serves as a further reference for a curious reader who wants to know more about the subject matter.

2: Citation Helps in Research:

A good research hallmark is paying attention to the small details and the ability to distinguish various patterns in the content. Good citation practice helps the writer to make a connection in the pattern and details. Along with accuracy in facts in the article or blog, you will also perform proper attribution of the sources that include details like spelling of author’s name, the page numbers, or course details, or anything else.

Being detail-oriented is something that will further improve your skills as a researcher. And this will make website citation easier than before. You can spot trends and prepare a bibliography, which is essential for scientific analysis as plenty of information is condensed into small space in such content.

3: Citation Helps You Become a Better Writer:

When you use a website for citation, you are building good attribution habits that also form a strong foundation. With the help of citation, we remove intellectual laziness, sloppy writing, clichés, false claims, and vague thinking patterns from our writing style. That’s why; there are different styles like website APA citation or MLA citation present for citing. This helps a writer to replace the generalization phrases like “everyone” or “they say” with specific sources.

As you improve your citation skills, you can expunge the inappropriate phrases from your articles or blogs or academic papers.

4: Represent Scientific Knowledge:

The key elements of a well-researched paper or blog or article are the extensive bibliography. Having read or cited the references ensure that your facts are all on point. This will prevent a reviewer from pointing out that you are not up to date with your field or have in-depth knowledge. Ignoring citation can make others point their fingers at you even though they are not experts themselves.

5: Careful Citations Builds Credibility:

A website citation is like a cherry on the cake where the cake is the content you are writing. A well-cited paper, blog, or article helps to establish the writer’s credibility among the peers. The more time and effort you spend on researching the information or facts that mentioned, the more credible your content will be.

6: Citation Provides Verification:

Good website content is reviewed several times before it is published. To minimize the criticism of your style, and to get positive feedback, you should simplify the work, and that is why website citation is crucial. If you have already taken the important measures to cite your sources, there will be fewer chances of displaying inaccurate information.

Now you know that citing a website is very important. You should also need to understand that integrating reliable citation tools and choosing the right style for citation is also essential. 

Website Citation Styles

A citation style states the information needed for a citation and how the info is ordered along with punctuation and other rules for formatting.

There are several different ways available to cite resources (website) from your research. To determine which one is the right one for you, continue reading. Well, different website citation styles come with different rules for reference list entries, in-text citations, and the formatting of your work. The differences can be subtle, and thus, it’s vital to check style rules carefully.

Below is a quick overview of every citation style-

1. APA Style

Currently, the APA style is in the 6th edition. The American Psychological Association developed the APA style citation format. The format was introduced to make sure there is consistency and to deliver style rules, especially for scientific writing.

The format is commonly used for –


Social sciences – education, economics, etc.

What does it include?

The structure and format of your article or paper.

Citing other authors within the body of your article.

Compiling a reference sheet at the end of your article.

2. MLA Style

Currently, in the 8th edition, MLA style was established by the Modern Language Association and is quite famous in literacy and language work.

The format is commonly used for –

Foreign languages

English literature and language

Cultural work

What does it include?

The page layout and format of your paper.

Stylistic technicalities – footnotes, abbreviations, and quotations.

When citing other authors within the body of your article.

Compiling a reference sheet at the end of your article.

3. Chicago/Turabian Style

Well, Chicago and Turabian are the same styles.

What’s a key difference?

Turabian is a type of citation incorporating either endnotes or footnotes, and it is the 8th edition. On the other hand, the Chicago style is presently in its 17th edition. The style was established for people to support the writing procedure.

The format is commonly used for –

The arts


English Literature

What does it include?

The page layout and format of your paper.

Stylistic technicalities – footnotes, abbreviations, and quotations.

Citing other authors within the body of your article.

Compiling a reference sheet at the end of your article.

4. CSE Style

Currently, CSE (Council of Science Editors Documentation Style) is in its 8th edition.

The style provides their structures of documentation. In every structure, a reference list at the end of the article offers all the info your reader requires to track down the sources. And in-text references in the sentences tell readers which sources support the info and claims of that sentence.

What does it include?

The page layout and format of your paper.

Stylistic technicalities – footnotes, abbreviations, and quotations.

Citing other authors within the body of your article.

Compiling a reference sheet at the end of your article.

Why Website Owners Prefer APA Style Over Others?

As you can see that there are so many different styles. When it comes to blogging, website owners mostly prefer website APA citation style. For that, there are reasons-

APA style helps you distinguish your unique ideas from others.

APA style helps you in avoiding accidental plagiarism.

APA style helps you communicate important info about your sources.

APA style looks credible and professional.

Website Citation in APA Style

Now, let’s go through examples to better learn how to cite a website in APA style.

Well, there is no doubt that the APA style is the most common format for citing websites and other sources. The citation guide is according to the 6th edition website citation APA style. Not to mention, the APA manual 7th edition, which was introduced in October 2019 and not yet supported.

APA website citations generally incorporate the author, the title of the article, the publication date, and the URL. However, if there’s no author, then begin the citation with your article’s title. If the page is probably to change with time, then adding a retrieval date is recommended.

1. How to Cite an Entire Website

When referring to a site in your text without paraphrasing and quoting from a section of it, you don’t require a formal citation. In its place, you can incorporate the “URL” in “parentheses” after the name of the website.

For instance – one of the most famous social media platforms, Instagram (, enables users to share videos and images.

2. Citing Online Articles

Various types of articles available online and how to cite them entirely rely on where the article comes from.

Article from an online version of magazines and newspapers

Articles that appear in online versions of publications such as magazines and newspapers are cited just like their print versions, but along with an added URL. Rather than a specific article, provide the homepage URL as the latter is more probably to change with time. For example –

“McGillis, A. (2018, November 13). The case against Boeing. The New Yorker. Retrieved from”

Article from Blog

Blog citations incorporate the “Blog post” words and the URL of the article. The blog’s name is not included. For example:

Alexander, S. (2015, November 11). Autism and intelligence: Much more than you liked to know [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Other online articles

When it comes to articles from other sites, when the site’s name is not specified, you can link the URL of the article directly. For example –

Walker, A. (2018, November 15). US election 2020: What is a caucus and how do they work? Retrieved from

3. Websites with no author

What about a webpage that has listed no author? Then, all you need to do is replace the author’s name with the page’s title.

Format – Article Title. (Year, Month, day). Retrieved from URL.

When it comes to website citation APA in-text, place the title of the page in quotation marks.

For example (in-text citation) – (“Title”, date).

Note: if the source is credited to a specific company or organization, you should consider the author’s name instead.

4. Websites with no date

When an article or web page doesn’t list a revision or publication date, replacing the date with no date (“n.d.”) in all citations is suggested.

If an online source is probably to change with time, it is suggested to incorporate the date on which you access it.

Format – Organization or author name. (n.d). Article Title. Retrieved month day, year, from URL. In-text citation – (Organization or author name, n.d).

Website Citation: The Final Verdict

We hope that now you have a keen knowledge of the importance of website citation. Whether you are using the APA style or MLA style, every style has its significance. However, the most important aspect is that you follow the proper guidelines by following the style you choose for website citation. The importance of proper website citation cannot be overlooked, whether you are writing as an entrepreneur blogger or a scientific researcher.

You cannot copy content of this page