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Writing Center Online Media: Online Media

Online Media

This guide is designed to provide instructions for creating references for online sources that don't have physical representation. As such, this guide includes sample references for a variety of sources, but is not a complete list of every source type that APA provides citation guidelines for.

  • Social Media
  • Webpages and Websites

Social Media

This category refers to original content published via social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. If you discovered original content through social media, there is no need to cite the social media post—just cite the original content directly.

For social media content, the reference structure is as follows:

Author Date Title Source
Social media site name URL
For Twitter and Instagram:


Author, A. A. [@username].


Name of Group [@username].


For Facebook and others:


Author, A. A.


Name of Group.


Name of Group [Username].




(2020, January 11).
Content of the post up to the first 20 words.


Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals].


[Description of audiovisuals].
Site Name. https://xxxxxx


Retrieved May 10, 2020, from https://xxxxxx
(Only included when site content is likely to change, and no archived version is available)


  • For social media posts that contain text only, you can include up to the first 20 words of the post in the title element of your reference. For social media posts with audiovisual content, describe the audiovisual content in brackets after the title: [Image attached], [Animated gif attached], etc.

IPCC [@IPCC_CH]. (2020, May 8). Now reading...Analysis: What impact will the coronavirus pandemic have on atmospheric CO2? [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

DeGeneres, E [@TheEllenShow]. (2020, May 11). Did you know today is National Eat What You Want day? I didn’t, but I was celebrating anyway. [Tweet]. Twitter.

Facebook post

National Institute of Mental Health. (2020, April 20). Depression may sometimes be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in some older adults because sadness is not their main symptom. [Thumbnail with link attached] [Status update]. Facebook.

Webpages and Websites

Webpages and websites refer to online sources that do not fit into any other categories. For example, if you are citing a press release on a company’s website, cite that source as a press release, not a webpage.

NOTE: Only use these examples if your source doesn’t fit into any of the previously mentioned groups or categories. Otherwise, your reference will be incorrect.

The reference structure for webpages and websites is as follows:

Author Date Title Source
Website name URL
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B.


Name of Group.


(2020, August).


(2020, January 11).


Title of work. Site Name. https://xxxxxx


Retrieved December 22, 2020, from https://xxxxxx
(Only included when site content is likely to change, and no archived version is available)



  • If there is no publication date or date of last update, use (n.d.).
  • If you are citing multiple webpages from a single website, create individual references for each webpage.
  • If you just mention a website in your essay, you do not need a citation or reference for that website. However, if you are quoting or paraphrasing material from a webpage or website, you must use in-text citations and references as appropriate.
  • If the webpage includes a specific date, including a month and day, use that information in your reference.
  • You only need to include a retrieval date in your reference if the content on the page is likely to change over time and no archive of individual webpages is available on the website.


Webpage on a news website

Berlinger, J. (2020, May 3). What Kim Yo Jong’s rise to the top says—and doesn’t say—about being a woman in North Korea. CNN.

Stewart, E. (2020, April 23). Essential workers are taking care of America. Are we taking care of them? Vox.

Webpage on a website with a group author

Pew Research Center. (2020, January 22). What Americans know about the Holocaust.

CSU Global Writing Center. (n.d.). Idea development and generation.

Website on a website with an individual author

Deczynski, R. (2020, April 3). A 1-minute face mask DIY that requires zero sewing. Domino.