Are you working on a research paper right now? Maybe you’ve received a writing contract and your client wants APA citations included with the content that you’re delivering? APA writing can be a bit difficult at times, especially when it comes to blog citations. If you want to know how to cite a blog in APA, then the first step of the process is to make sure you’re using the updated 6th edition of the citation resource. Older editions are just going to get you into trouble!
Step #1: Cite the Source
The reference citation is the most important part of listing a blog as a reference in APA. How you cite that reference depends on the type of blog that you’ve actually found that you plan on using. A newspaper blog is treated a little differently than a blog that isn’t considered a periodical.
• Nonperiodical web documents or reports require basic author information. The citation begins with the author(s) last name and is followed by their first and middle initial. If you have multiple authors, then separate those using commas. If you have three or more, then you must use an Oxford comma before the conjunction.
• You must include the full title of the article. Without the title of the article both types of documents are going to be considered an improper citation.
• Periodical documents must include the title of the publication. This means you’ll need to cite the title of the newspaper if you’re pulling an article, even from a blog. If you’ve pulled an actual online periodical or newspaper article, you’ll actually include the title of the periodical and its volume number. Online individual blogs can skip this reference step.
• Include the publication date if it has been published. Although not all APA references require this step for an online blog reference, it is still a good idea to include this information if you can find it. For a blog, it’s often in the roll of articles in a specific date. Include this information after the blog’s article title. Newspapers generally have the publication date near the byline NOTE: this is different than where an online periodical would include this information.
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• Include page ranges, line numbers, or other helpful data. What will set your APA reference apart from all the rest is to include the page range or paragraph number where you found the data. This will help speed up independent verification.
• Provide a link. By providing the actual link to the resource, you can give readers of your document the chance to independently verify your sources. Write “Retrieved from [insert link]” as your reference.
This means your finished reference should look something like this for a regular blog post:
Smith, J. A. (2004, June 18). Blog title placed here. Newspaper or Periodical
title placed here. Volume number if known. Page number if known. Paragraph
number if known. Retrieved from http://www.thewebsiteyougottheinformation.com
Step #2: Cite Your Reference Within the Text Body
Listing your reference at the end of your document is the first step in creating a proper APA reference. You’ve also got to place your references within the body of the text that all of your readers will be reading in the near future. It is important to remember that there are no spaces used with the brackets when using APA.
When citing the reference in the text, there are three things to remember:
1. Any direct quote must be attributed to the source immediately after the quote.
2. General information only requires one reference per paragraph unless there are multiple references within the same paragraph being used.
3. You must always include all of the authors in the content reference unless there are three or more authors to your citation.
Most generic references for a blog post are going to look like this (Smith, 2004). Every time you “have a direct quote that is included” (Smith, 2004) also requires this reference. That’s why it is important to think about how you’re crafting your information. Many in-line references at the same time, though required, can make a document difficult to read.
If there are 3 or more authors in your reference, then you must list out all of your authors in the first reference that is in your document. That means you’ll need to write all of their last names (Smith, Jones, Johnson, & Kramer, 2004). Afterward, however, you may be allowed to write just the first name on the reference (Smith et. al., 2004). This is dependent on what your readers prefer more than anything else. To be safe, you should write out the entire list of names every time.
Step #3: Are You Citing a Video Blog or Comment?
Some blogs have numerous comments on a post that have information that is more useful than the blog post. You can also cite these within the APA format and use them as a reference in your document if need be. This is how that citation would look.
First Initial and last name of comment maker. (2004, June 22). Title of the blog post
where the comment was found. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from
Video blogs can also be a source of high quality information. You might have found a speech or an official presentation that was on film that you want to use. In that case, your reference will look a little different.
Name of blog where the video was found. [Video File]. Retrieved from
Podcasts might also be included on the blog post that you’ve found and you might want to cite those as well. If that is the case, you’ll want to include as much of the information as you can find about this podcast, including a direct link to it, so people can listen to it themselves.
Smith, J. (2004, June 18). Subject of content. Name of the Podcast. Podcast
retrieved from http://www.thewebsiteyougottheinformation.com
By finding this information and citing it correctly, you’ll be able to leave people with the ability to test your facts and form their own opinions. Support your own facts today using these examples and you will know how to cite any blog as a reference in APA.