- if social media leads you to a source you want to use, cite the source, not social media
- if the post or page title is text, use up to the first 20 words
- do not correct nonstandard capitalization, spelling, emojis, etc; try to retain and/or replicate
- use this reference style only if the web source does not fit into an identifiable source group / category / type, and the website is the only source
- if you use a webpage or pages from a website as sources, create a reference for each webpage
If you want to mention a website as a source, do so in the text followed by the URL in parentheses; do not include a reference for the entire website in the references list.
Authors of works are individuals or groups who participated in its creation. Individuals and groups may appear together in a reference as authors of a work.
Individual names used in a reference generally appear in the formats "LastName, A. A." or "A. A. LastName" depending on location in the reference. For example, "Obama, B. H." or "B. H. Obama."
Group authors can be businesses, government agencies, associations, non-profit organizations, task forces, hospitals, and study groups. In a reference full group names are spelled out. For example, "Delaware County Community College" rather than "DCCC."
Authors in specialized roles such as editors, directors, and so on are identified as such. For example, a director as author would appear as "Anderson, W. W. (Director)."
In reference citations the titles of social media and webpages appear in "sentence case." This means that as with a sentence, most words are lowercase. Words capitalized are:
- first word of a title or subtitle
- first word after a colon or dash
- proper nouns
Titles of posts or webpages are also italicized.
Titles of websites are not italicized.
For less standard sources, after the title bracketed descriptions are often provided to identify what these sources are exactly. There are no absolute rules about the language used to describe such sources, but research paper writers should try to be as consistent as is reasonable. Only the first word of these descriptions are capitalized. Some examples:
- [TV series]
- [Audio podcast]
- [Facebook page]
- stands for "universal resource locator," and normally appears in the editable box near the top of your browser screen
- include the "https://" or "http://" the URL of the website begins with
- do not add a period at the end
- a retrieval date is needed with a URL only for sources which are designed to change and for which prior versions are not archived
Social Media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Etc.)
Format for Twitter, Instagram, Etc.
Group name or Author last name, Initial(s). [@username]. (Publication YYYY, Text month DD). Up to the first 20 words of the post [Additional descriptive information as needed] [Type of post]. Website name. URL
Tweet From a Group
@DCCC_LearnComm [@DLearncomm]. (2020, February 20). Need help with improving your research skills? Sign up for the Getting Started with Research webinar [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/DLearncomm/status/1230166425656053762
Tweet From an Individual
Obama, B. [@BarackObama]. (2020, February 1). Sixty years ago today, the Greensboro Four stood up to injustice by sitting down at a lunch counter [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1223706755693187078
Format for Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Etc. Posts
Group name or Author last name, Initial(s). [Username]. (Publication YYYY, Text month DD). Up to the first 20 words of the post [Additional descriptive information as needed] [Type of post]. Website name. URL
APA Style. (2019, December 3). In your #APAStyle paper's title, capitalize all words of 4+ letters (even "With" and "From"). [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/APAStyle/
Format for Facebook, Tumblr, Linkedin, Etc. Pages
Group name or Author last name, Initial(s). [Username]. (n.d.). Home [Type of page]. Website name. Retrieved Text month DD, YYYY, from URL
Facebook Page With Group Name; No Date
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.facebook.com/AmericanPsychologicalAssociation/
Format for Webpages
Group name OR Author last name, Initial(s). (Publication YYYY, month name, DD). Title of webpage: Subtitle of webpage. Website name. URL of the webpage
News Website Article
Armstrong, K., & Miller, T.C. (2019, September 5). Netflix series based on our work explores costs of not believing rape victims: The series, “Unbelievable,” draws from our award-winning reporting with The Marshall Project and “This American Life.” ProPublica. https://www.propublica.org/article/netflix-series-based-on-our-work-explores-costs-of-not-believing-rape-victims
Webpage With a Group Author
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (n.d.). Vaccine development and surveillance: Strategy overview. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/Global-Health/Vaccine-Development-and-Surveillance