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APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

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In-Text Citations

Resources on using in-text citations in APA style

Reference List

Resources on writing an APA style reference list, including citation formats

Other APA Resources

  • Free Tools for Students
  • APA Citation Generator

Free APA Citation Generator

Generate citations in APA format quickly and automatically, with MyBib!

APA 7 guide book cover

🤔 What is an APA Citation Generator?

An APA citation generator is a software tool that will automatically format academic citations in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

It will usually request vital details about a source -- like the authors, title, and publish date -- and will output these details with the correct punctuation and layout required by the official APA style guide.

Formatted citations created by a generator can be copied into the bibliography of an academic paper as a way to give credit to the sources referenced in the main body of the paper.

👩‍🎓 Who uses an APA Citation Generator?

College-level and post-graduate students are most likely to use an APA citation generator, because APA style is the most favored style at these learning levels. Before college, in middle and high school, MLA style is more likely to be used. In other parts of the world styles such as Harvard (UK and Australia) and DIN 1505 (Europe) are used more often.

🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?

Like almost every other citation style, APA style can be cryptic and hard to understand when formatting citations. Citations can take an unreasonable amount of time to format manually, and it is easy to accidentally include errors. By using a citation generator to do this work you will:

  • Save a considerable amount of time
  • Ensure that your citations are consistent and formatted correctly
  • Be rewarded with a higher grade

In academia, bibliographies are graded on their accuracy against the official APA rulebook, so it is important for students to ensure their citations are formatted correctly. Special attention should also be given to ensure the entire document (including main body) is structured according to the APA guidelines. Our complete APA format guide has everything you need know to make sure you get it right (including examples and diagrams).

⚙️ How do I use MyBib's APA Citation Generator?

Our APA generator was built with a focus on simplicity and speed. To generate a formatted reference list or bibliography just follow these steps:

  • Start by searching for the source you want to cite in the search box at the top of the page.
  • MyBib will automatically locate all the required information. If any is missing you can add it yourself.
  • Your citation will be generated correctly with the information provided and added to your bibliography.
  • Repeat for each citation, then download the formatted list and append it to the end of your paper.

MyBib supports the following for APA style:

Image of daniel-elias

Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

Home / Guides / Citation Guides

Citation Guides

Citation Basics

Ready to start your journey into learning about citations? This is the best place to start! Learn what a citation is, how to cite, when to cite, and the ins and outs of the three most popular citation styles. Ready, set, cite!

MLA Format Guide

Organizing and structuring your paper in MLA style is no easy task. Luckily, we have everything you need to format your paper properly. Filled with clear guidelines, visual aids, and samples galore, our comprehensive guide will make it simple to structure your next MLA paper.

Don’t forget about our MLA works cited , MLA in-text citation , and MLA annotated bibliography guides! You’ll also need these handy, helpful resources to get your MLA paper in check!

MLA guides : Format | Website | Journal Article  | Book | Book Chapter | eBook | Bible | Blog | Database | Dictionary | Encyclopedia | Image | Interview | Magazine | Newspaper | Report | Thesis | YouTube Video

APA Citation Guide

Need to cite and write in APA style? No sweat! Check out our guide to writing and citing in APA format. Packed with tons of citation examples for books, journals, websites, and more, you’ll find everything you need to create a stellar APA paper!

APA guides : Format | Website | Journal Article  | Book | Book Chapter | eBook | Bible | Blog | Database | Dictionary | Encyclopedia | Image | Interview | Magazine | Newspaper | Report | Thesis | YouTube Video

Chicago/Turabian Citation Guide

So you need to cite in Chicago/Turabian style, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Our Chicago/Turabian guide is jam-packed with clear visuals and examples for over 20 source types. With so many fresh and fabulous examples for websites, books, journals, and more, you’ll rock this citation style in no time!

Chicago guides : Format | Website | Journal Article  | Book | Book Chapter | eBook | Bible | Blog | Database | Dictionary | Encyclopedia | Image | Interview | Magazine | Newspaper | Report | Thesis | YouTube Video

How Do I Cite a…

Comic books, memes, tweets, and Instagram posts. Can you figure out what these sources have in common? Yes, they’re entertaining, but they’re also pretty tricky to cite! If you’re attempting to cite an uncommon source type, then this is the guide for you. Each source comes with straightforward instructions for citing in MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian. Stop scouring the Internet for help and dive into our fab guide!

Something else that’s fab? Our grammar guides ! After you’re through citing those remarkable resources, brush up on your grammar basics with our thorough guides.

Looking for More?

Don’t forget, EasyBib Plus flags pesky potential plagiarism issues in your paper. Run your paper through our plagiarism checker to pick up any instances of plagiarism. Try it now and submit your paper with confidence!

Harvard Referencing

Plagiarism Basics

Plagiarism Checker

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Scribbr Referencing Generator

Accurate Harvard, APA, MLA, and Chicago references, verified by experts, trusted by millions.

Reference sources in seconds with Autocite

Look up your source by its title, URL, ISBN, or DOI, and let Scribbr do the rest! The reference generator will automatically find all the necessary information to generate a perfect reference, including the author(s), publication date, and publisher.

Perfectly formatted references every time

Inaccurate references can cost you points on your assignments, so our seasoned referencing experts have invested countless hours in perfecting Scribbr’s reference generator algorithms. We’re proud to be recommended by teachers and universities across the UK.

Enjoy a referencing generator without flashy ads

Staying focused is already difficult enough, so unlike other reference generators, Scribbr won’t slow you down with flashing banner ads and video pop-ups. That’s a promise!

Citation Generator features you'll love

Look up your source by its title, URL, ISBN, or DOI, and let Scribbr find and fill in all the relevant information automatically.

Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago

Generate flawless references according to the official Harvard , APA , MLA, or Chicago style rules. More referencing styles will be available soon!

Export to Word

When your reference list is complete, export it to Word. We’ll apply the official formatting guidelines automatically.

Lists and folders

Create separate reference lists for each of your assignments to stay organized. You can also group related lists into folders.

Export to Bib(La)TeX

Are you using a LaTex editor like Overleaf? If so, you can easily export your references in Bib(La)TeX format with a single click.

Custom fonts

Change the typeface used for your reference list to match the rest of your document. Options include Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri.

Industry-standard technology

Scribbr’s Referencing Generator is built using the same citation software (CSL) as Mendeley and Zotero, but with an added layer for improved accuracy.


Describe or evaluate your sources in annotations, and Scribbr will generate a perfectly formatted annotated bibliography.

Referencing guides

Scribbr’s popular guides and videos will help you understand everything related to finding, evaluating, and referencing sources.

Secure backup

Your work is saved automatically after every change and stored securely in your Scribbr account.

  • Introduction
  • Finding sources

Evaluating sources

  • Integrating sources

Referencing sources

Tools and resources, a quick guide to working with sources.

Working with sources is an important skill that you’ll need throughout your academic career.

It includes knowing how to find relevant sources, assessing their authority and credibility, and understanding how to integrate sources into your work with proper referencing.

This quick guide will help you get started!

Finding relevant sources

Sources commonly used in academic writing include academic journals, scholarly books, websites, newspapers, and encyclopedias. There are three main places to look for such sources:

  • Research databases: Databases can be general or subject-specific. To get started, check out this list of databases by academic discipline . Another good starting point is Google Scholar .
  • Your institution’s library: Use your library’s database to narrow down your search using keywords to find relevant articles, books, and newspapers matching your topic.
  • Other online resources: Consult popular online sources like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia to find background information. Be sure to carefully evaluate the credibility of those online sources.

When using academic databases or search engines, you can use Boolean operators to refine your results.

Generate Harvard, APA, MLA, and Chicago style references in seconds

Get started

In academic writing, your sources should be credible, up to date, and relevant to your research topic. Useful approaches to evaluating sources include the CRAAP test and lateral reading.

CRAAP is an abbreviation that reminds you of a set of questions to ask yourself when evaluating information.

  • Currency: Does the source reflect recent research?
  • Relevance: Is the source related to your research topic?
  • Authority: Is it a respected publication? Is the author an expert in their field?
  • Accuracy: Does the source support its arguments and conclusions with evidence?
  • Purpose: What is the author’s intention?

Lateral reading

Lateral reading means comparing your source to other sources. This allows you to:

  • Verify evidence
  • Contextualize information
  • Find potential weaknesses

If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.

Integrating sources into your work

Once you have found information that you want to include in your paper, signal phrases can help you to introduce it. Here are a few examples:

Following the signal phrase, you can choose to quote, paraphrase or summarize the source.

  • Quoting : This means including the exact words of another source in your paper. The quoted text must be enclosed in quotation marks or (for longer quotes) presented as a block quote . Quote a source when the meaning is difficult to convey in different words or when you want to analyze the language itself.
  • Paraphrasing: This means putting another person’s ideas into your own words. It allows you to integrate sources more smoothly into your text, maintaining a consistent voice. It also shows that you have understood the meaning of the source.
  • Summarizing : This means giving an overview of the essential points of a source. Summaries should be much shorter than the original text. You should describe the key points in your own words and not quote from the original text.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, you must include a citation crediting the original author.

Referencing your sources is important because it:

  • Allows you to avoid plagiarism
  • Establishes the credentials of your sources
  • Backs up your arguments with evidence
  • Allows your reader to verify the legitimacy of your conclusions

The most common citation styles in the UK are APA, MLA, Harvard, Vancouver, MHRA, and Oscola. Each citation style has specific rules for formatting citations.

Scribbr’s free Reference Generator can generate perfect references and in-text citations in both APA and MLA styles. More citation styles will be available soon!

Scribbr and partners offer tons of tools and resources to make working with sources easier and faster. Take a look at our top picks:

  • Reference Generator: Automatically generate Harvard and APA references .
  • Plagiarism Checker : Detect plagiarism in your paper using the most accurate Turnitin-powered plagiarism software available to students.
  • Proofreading services : Have a human editor improve your writing.
  • Knowledge Base : Explore hundreds of articles, bite-sized videos, time-saving templates, and handy checklists that guide you through the process of research, writing, and citation.

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Free Harvard Citation Generator

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  • Select style:
  • Archive material
  • Chapter of an edited book
  • Conference proceedings
  • Dictionary entry
  • Dissertation
  • DVD, video, or film
  • E-book or PDF
  • Edited book
  • Encyclopedia article
  • Government publication
  • Music or recording
  • Online image or video
  • Presentation
  • Press release
  • Religious text

What is the Harvard Referencing System?

The Harvard citation style is a system that students, writers and researchers can use to incorporate other people’s quotes, findings and ideas into their work in order to support and validate their conclusions without breaching any intellectual property laws. The popular format is typically used in assignments and publications for humanities as well as natural, social and behavioural sciences.

It is a parenthetical referencing system that is made up of two main components:

  • In-text citations including the author’s surname and the year of publication should be shown in brackets wherever another source has contributed to your work
  • A reference list outlining all of the sources directly cited in your work

While in-text citations are used to briefly indicate where you have directly quoted or paraphrased a source, your reference list is an alphabetized list of complete Harvard citations that enables your reader to locate each source with ease. Each entry should be keyed to a corresponding parenthetical citation in the main body of your work, so that a reader can take an in-text citation and quickly retrieve the source from your reference list.

Note that some universities, and certain disciplines, may also require you to provide a bibliography. This is a detailed list of all of the material you have consulted throughout your research and preparation, and it will demonstrate the lengths you have gone to in researching your chosen topic.

‘Harvard referencing’ is an umbrella term for any referencing style that uses the author name and year of publication within the text to indicate where you have inserted a source. This author-date system appeals to both authors and readers of academic work. Scholars find the format an economical way of writing, and it is generally more accessible to the reader as there are no footnotes crowding the page. Only the name of the author, the publication date of the source and, if necessary, the page numbers are included in the parenthetical citations, for example: (Joyce, 2008).

Use the Cite This For Me Harvard style referencing generator to create your fully-formatted in-text references and reference list in the blink of an eye. Stop giving yourself extra pain and work for no reason and sign up to Cite This For Me today – your only regret will be that you didn’t use our citation generator sooner!

Popular Harvard Referencing Examples

  • Chapter of a book
  • Conference proceedings 
  • Court case 
  • Dissertation 
  • Encyclopedia article 
  • Image online or video
  • Presentation or lecture
  • Video, film, or DVD

Cite This For Me Harvard Referencing Guide

The following guide provides you with everything you need to know to do justice to all your hard work and get a mark that reflects those sleepless nights. If you’re not sure how to format your Harvard style citations, what citations are, or are simply curious about the Cite This For Me citation generator, our guide will answer all of your questions while offering you a comprehensive introduction to the style. Keep reading to find out why you need to use a referencing system, how to add citations in the body of your assignment, and how to compile a reference list.

Sometimes, students do not encounter citing until they embark on to degree-level studies, yet it is a crucial academic skill that will propel you towards establishing yourself in the academic community. It’s a common mistake to leave citing and creating a complete and accurate bibliography until the very last minute, but with the Cite This For Me Harvard referencing generator you can cite-as-you-go.

So, if you need a helping hand with your referencing then why not try Cite This For Me’s automated citation generator ? The generator accesses knowledge from across the web, assembling all of the relevant information into a fully-formatted reference list that clearly presents all of the sources that have contributed to your work. Using this Harvard reference generator to cite your sources enables you to cross the finishing line in style.

It is important to bear in mind that there is a plethora of different citation styles out there – the use of any particular one depends on the preference of your college, subject, professor or the publication you are submitting the work to. If you’re unsure which style you should be using, consult your tutor and follow their guidelines. If your lecturer or department does not ask you to use a particular style, we recommend using the Harvard referencing system because it is simple to use and easy to learn.

The powerful citation generator above can auto-generate citations in 7,000+ styles. So, whether your professor prefers that you use the MLA format , or your discipline requires you to adopt the APA citation or Chicago citation style , we have the style you need. Cite This For Me also provides citation generators and handy style guides for styles such as ASA , AMA or IEEE . To accurately create citations in a specific format, simply sign up to Cite This For Me for free and select your chosen style.

Are you struggling with citing an unfamiliar source type? Or feeling confused about whether to cite a piece of common knowledge? This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get both your parenthetical Harvard citations and reference list completed quickly and accurately.

Why Do I Need to Cite?

Harvard referencing can be a confusing task, especially if you are new to the concept, but it’s absolutely essential. In fact, accurate and complete referencing can mean the difference between reaching your academic goals and damaging your reputation amongst scholars. Simply put – referencing is the citing of sources you have utilised to support your essay, research, conference or article, etc.

Even if you are using our Harvard style citation generator, understanding why you need to cite will go a long way in helping you to naturally integrate the process into your research and writing routine.

Firstly, whenever another source contributes to your work you must give the original author the appropriate credit in order to avoid plagiarism, even when you have completely reworded the information. The only exception to this rule is common knowledge – e.g., Brazil is a country in South America. While plagiarism is not always intentional, it is easy to accidentally plagiarize your work when you are under pressure from imminent deadlines, you have managed your time ineffectively, or if you lack confidence when putting ideas into your own words. The consequences can be severe; deduction of marks at best, expulsion from college or legal action from the original author at worst. Find out more here.

This may sound overwhelming, but using our Harvard citation generator can help you avoid plagiarism and carry out your research and written work thoughtfully and responsibly. We have compiled a handy checklist to follow while you are working on an assignment.

How to avoid plagiarism:

  • Formulate a detailed plan – carefully outline both the relevant content you need to include, as well as how you plan on structuring your work
  • Keep track of your sources – record all of the relevant publication information as you go (e.g., If you are citing a book you should note the author or editor’s name(s), year of publication, title, edition number, city of publication and name of publisher). Carefully save each quote, word-for-word, and place it in inverted commas to differentiate it from your own words. Tired of interrupting your workflow to cite? Use our Harvard referencing generator to automate the process.
  • Manage your time effectively – make use of time plans and targets, and give yourself enough time to read, write and proofread
  • When you are paraphrasing information, make sure that you use only your own words and a sentence structure that differs from the original text
  • Every quote or paraphrase should have a corresponding reference in the text. In addition, a full reference is needed on the final page of the project.
  • Save all of your research and citations in a safe place – organise and manage your Harvard style citations

If you carefully check your college or publisher’s advice and guidelines on citing and stick to this checklist, you should be confident that you will not be accused of plagiarism.

Secondly, proving that your writing is informed by appropriate academic reading will enhance your work’s authenticity. Academic writing values original thought that analyzes and builds upon the ideas of other scholars. It is therefore important to use Harvard style referencing to accurately signpost where you have used someone else’s ideas in order to show that your writing is based on knowledge and informed by appropriate academic reading. Citing your sources will demonstrate to your reader that you have delved deeply into your chosen topic and supported your thesis with expert opinions.

Here at Cite This For Me we understand how precious your time is, which is why we created our Harvard citation generator and guide to help relieve the unnecessary stress of citing. Escape assignment-hell and give yourself more time to focus on the content of your work by using the Cite This For Me citation management tool.

Harvard Referencing Guidelines by School

  • Anglia University Harvard Referencing
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bath University
  • Bournemouth University Harvard Referencing
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Cardiff University Harvard Referencing
  • City University London
  • Coventry University Harvard Referencing
  • Cranfield Harvard
  • DMU Harvard Referencing
  • Durham University Business School
  • Edge Hill University Harvard Referencing
  • European Archaeology
  • Imperial College University Harvard Referencing
  • Institute of Physics
  • Leeds University Harvard Referencing
  • King’s College London
  • LSBU Harvard Referencing
  • Manchester Business School
  • MMU Harvard Referencing
  • Newcastle University
  • Northwest University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
  • SHU Harvard Referencing
  • Staffordshire University Harvard Referencing
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • The Open University
  • UCA Harvard Referencing
  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich Harvard
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent – Harvard
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • University of West London
  • UWE Harvard Referencing
  • UWS Harvard Referencing
  • Wolverhampton University Harvard Referencing
  • York University

How Do I Create and Format In-text Harvard Style Citations?

In-text citations are the perfect way to seamlessly integrate sources into your work, allowing you to strengthen the connection between your own ideas, and the source material that you have found, with ease. It is worth noting that in-text citations must be included in your assignment’s final word count.

When adopting Harvard style referencing in your work, if you are inserting a quote, statement, statistic or any other kind of source information into the main body of your essay you should:

  • Provide the author’s surname and date of publication in parentheses right after the taken information or at the end of the sentence

There are many assumptions when it comes to the information processing approach to cognition… (Lutz and Huitt, 2004).

  • If you have already mentioned the author in the sentence, Harvard referencing guidelines require you to only enter the year of publication in parentheses, directly after where the author’s surname is mentioned.

In the overview of these developmental theories, Lutz and Huitt (2004) suggest that…

  • If you are quoting a particular section of the source (rather than the entire work), you should also include a page number, or page range, after the date, within the parenthetical Harvard citation

“…the development of meaning is more important than the acquisition of a large set of knowledge or skills …” (Lutz and Huitt, 2004, p.8), which means that …

  • Note that if the source has four or more authors, you do not need to write out all of their surnames; simply use the first author’s surname followed by the abbreviation ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’).

The results showed that respondents needed to reach out to multiple health agencies in order to cover the costs of their services (Wolbeck Minke et al., 2007).

  • If you are reading a source by one author and they cite work by another author, you may cite that original work as a secondary reference. You are encouraged to track down the original source – usually this is possible to do by consulting the author’s reference list – but if you are unable to access it, the Harvard referencing guidelines state that you must only cite the source you did consult as you did not actually read the original document. Include the words ‘cited in’ in the in-text citation to indicate this.

Fong’s 1987 study (cited in Bertram 1997) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people…

(Fong, cited in Bertram 1997)

Why use a Harvard referencing tool? As well as saving you valuable time, the Cite This For Me generator can help you easily avoid common errors when formatting your in-text citations. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to credit your source material, simply login to your Cite This For Me account to copy, save and export each in-text Harvard citation.

How Do I Format My Reference List?

Utilizing and building on a wide range of relevant sources is one way of impressing your reader, and a comprehensive list of the source material you have used is the perfect platform to exhibit your research efforts. A reference list is always required when you cite other people’s work within your assignment, and the brief in-text Harvard style citations in your work should directly link to your reference list.

As a general rule a reference list includes every source that you have cited in your work, while a bibliography also contains any relevant background reading which you have consulted to familiarise yourself with the topic (even those sources that are never mentioned in the narrative). Your Harvard referencing bibliography should start on its own page, with the same formatting as the rest of the paper and aligned to the left with the sources listed alphabetically. Certain fields ask you to provide an annotated bibliography that includes your full citations with the addition of notes. These notes are added to further analyze the source, and can be of any length.

Many people use the terms ‘reference list’ and ‘bibliography’ interchangeably, and if you are using the Harvard reference style you may be required to provide a bibliography as well as a reference list, so be sure to check this with your tutor.

Follow these guidelines when compiling your reference list:

  • Start your reference list on a new page at the end of your document
  • General formatting should be in keeping with the rest of your work
  • Use ‘Reference List’ as the heading
  • Copy each of your full-length Harvard citations into a list
  • Arrange the list in alphabetical order by the author’s last name (titles with no author are alphabetized by the work’s title, and if you are citing two or more sources by the same author they should be listed in chronological order of the year of publication)
  • When there are several works from one author or source, they should be listed together but in date order – with the earliest work listed first
  • Italicize titles of books, reports, conference proceedings etc. For journal articles, the title of the journal should be printed in italics, rather than the title of the journal article
  • Capitalize the first letter of the publication title, the first letters of all main words in the title of a journal, and all first letters of a place name and publisher

Creating and managing your reference list with the Cite This For Me Harvard referencing generator will help improve the way you reference and conduct research.

Reference list / bibliography examples:

  • Book, one author:

Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project . 5th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

  • One author, book, multiple editions:

Hawking, S.W. (1998) A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes . 10th edn. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

  • Chapter in an edited book:

Jewsiewicki, B. (2010). ‘Historical Memory and Representation of New Nations in Africa’, in Diawara, M., Lategan, B., and Rusen, J. (eds.) Historical memory in Africa: Dealing with the past, reaching for the future in an intercultural context . New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 53-66.

If all information resembles a book, use the template for a book reference

If a page number is unavailable, use chapter number. URL links are not necessary, but can be useful. When including a URL, include the date the book was downloaded at the end of the Harvard citation:

Available at: URL (Downloaded: DD Month YYYY)

  • More than three authors, journal article*:

Shakoor, J., et al. (2011) ‘A prospective longitudinal study of children’s theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , 53(3), pp. 254–261. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02488.x.

  • Conference papers:

Drogen, E. (2014) ‘Changing how we think about war: The role of psychology’, The British Psychological Society 2014 Annual Conference . The ICC, Birmingham British Psychological Society, 07-09 May 2014.

  • Web page, by an individual:

Moon, M. (2019) Ubisoft put an official video game design course inside a video game . Available at https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/25/ubisoft-video-game-design-course/ (Accessed 19 November 2019).

  • Web page, by a company or organization:

RotoBaller (2019) NFL player news . Available at https://www.rotoballer.com/player-news?sport=nfl (Accessed 17 September 2019).

For both types of web page references, the date the page was published or updated is placed in parentheses immediately following the author information. If a date is missing from the source, place (no date) next to the author’s name and make sure to include an accessed date at the end of the reference.

Are you struggling to find all of the publication information to complete a reference? Did you know that our Harvard citation generator can help you?

Time is of the essence when you’re finishing a paper, but there’s no need to panic because you can compile your reference list in a matter of seconds using the Cite This For Me Harvard style citation generator. Sign in to your Cite This For Me account to save and export your reference list.

Harvard Referencing Formatting Guidelines

Accurate referencing doesn’t only protect your work from plagiarism – presenting your source material in a consistent and clear way also enhances the readability of your work. Closely follow the style’s formatting rules on font type, font size, text-alignment and line spacing to ensure that your work is easily legible. Before submitting your work check that you have formatted your whole paper – including your reference list – according to the style’s formatting guidelines.

How to format in Harvard referencing:

  • Margins: 2.5cm on all sides
  • Shortened title followed by the page number in the header, aligned to the right
  • Double-space the entirety of the paper
  • ½ inch indentation for every new paragraph (press tab bar)
  • Suggested fonts: Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New for Windows; Times New Roman, Helvetica and Courier for Mac, 12pt size. Ensure that all Harvard citations are in the same font as the rest of the work
  • Reference list on a separate page at the end of the body of your work

Even when using a Harvard citation generator, always check with your professor for specified guidelines – there is no unified style for the formatting of a paper. Make sure that you apply the recommended formatting rules consistently throughout your work.

A Brief History of the Harvard Reference Style

The author-date system is attributed to eminent zoologist Edward Laurens Mark (1847-1946), Hersey professor of anatomy and director of Harvard’s zoological laboratory. It is widely agreed that the first evidence of Harvard referencing can be traced back to Mark’s landmark cytological paper (Chernin, 1988). The paper breaks away from previous uses of inconsistent and makeshift footnotes through its use of a parenthetical author-date citation accompanied by an explanatory footnote.

  • Parenthetic author-year citation, page 194 of Mark’s 1881 paper:

[…] The appearance may be due solely to reflection from the body itself. (Comp. Flemming, ‘78b, p. 310.*)

  • Mark’s rationale for his Harvard citational scheme:

*The numbers immediately following an author’s name serve the double purpose of referring the reader to the list (p. 591) where the titles of papers are given, and of informing him at once of the approximate date of the paper in question.

A tribute dedicated to Mark in 1903 by 140 students credits Mark’s paper with having ‘introduced into zoology a proper fullness and accuracy of citation and a convenient and uniform method of referring from text to bibliography’ (Parker, 1903). Today Harvard referencing is widely considered one of the most accessible styles and, although it originated in biology, these days it is used across most subjects – particularly in the humanities, history and social science.

The Evolution of the Harvard Referencing Style

Due to its simplicity and ease of use, the format has become one of the most widely used citation styles in the world. Unlike many citing styles there is no official manual, but institutions such as colleges offer their own unique Harvard reference style guide, and each has its own nuances when it comes to punctuation, order of information and formatting rules. Simply go to the Cite This For Me website to login to your Cite This For Me account and search for the version you need. Make sure you apply consistency throughout your work.

It is increasingly easy for writers to access information and knowledge via the internet, and in turn both the style’s guidelines and our citation generator are continually updated to include developments in electronic publishing. The Cite This For Me Harvard style citation generator currently uses the Cite Them Right 10th Edition, which has evolved in recent years to match the rapidly advancing digital age. In order to avoid plagiarism, you must be cautious about pulling information from the internet, and ensure that you accurately cite all source material used in your written work – including all online sources that have contributed to your research.

Key differences from previous Harvard referencing Cite Them Right editions:

  • Previous editions required printed books and eBooks to be referenced differently – in the 10th edition, both are now referenced using the same template (if all the necessary information is available). An Ebook is considered to be the digital format of a published book (or a book that is only published in digital format) that is meant for reading on an electronic device.
  • URLs are no longer a requirement for digital media if the information provided in the Harvard citation is sufficient to find the source without it. They should be included if the source is difficult to find, or pieces of source information – such as an author name – are missing.
  • When a source has more than 3 authors, use the abbreviation “et al.” instead of listing each out.

These days students draw on a diverse range of digital sources to support their written work. Whether you are citing a hashtag on Instagram , a podcast or a mobile app, the Cite This For Me generator will take care of your Harvard citations, regardless of the type of source you want to cite. So don’t be held back by sources that are difficult to cite – locating unusual source material will help your work to stand out from the crowd.

How Do I Create Accurate Harvard Citations?

Creating complete and correctly formatted citations can be a challenge for many writers, especially when documenting multiple source types. Our primary goal at Cite This For Me is to offer support to students and researchers across the globe by transforming the way in which they perceive citing. We hope that after using our citation generator and reading this Harvard referencing guide, what was once considered an arduous process, will be viewed as a highly-valued skill that enhances the quality of your work.

Disheartened by the stressful process of citing? Got a fast-approaching deadline? Using the Cite This For Me fast, accessible and free generator makes creating accurate citations easier than ever, leaving more time for you to focus on achieving your academic goals.

Create a free account to add and edit each Harvard citation on the spot, import and export full projects or individual entries. Things get even easier with Cite This For Me for Chrome – an intuitive, handy browser extension that allows you to create and edit a citation while you browse the web. Use the extension on any webpage that you want to cite, and add it to your chosen project without interrupting your workflow.

The Cite This For Me citation management tool is here to help you, so what are you waiting for? Accurate Harvard citations are just a click away!

Reference List

Chernin, E. (1988) The ‘Harvard System’: A mystery dispelled. Available at: http://www.uefap.com/writing/referenc/harvard.pdf (Accessed: 4 July 2016).

Parker, G. (ed.) (1903) Mark anniversary volume. New York: Henry Holt.

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  • Plagiarism and grammar
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Cite a Website

Don't let plagiarism errors spoil your paper, citing a website in apa.

Once you’ve identified a credible website to use, create a citation and begin building your reference list. Citation Machine citing tools can help you create references for online news articles, government websites, blogs, and many other website! Keeping track of sources as you research and write can help you stay organized and ethical. If you end up not using a source, you can easily delete it from your bibliography. Ready to create a citation? Enter the website’s URL into the search box above. You’ll get a list of results, so you can identify and choose the correct source you want to cite. It’s that easy to begin!

If you’re wondering how to cite a website in APA, use the structure below.

Author Last Name, First initial. (Year, Month Date Published). Title of web page . Name of Website. URL

Example of an APA format website:

Austerlitz, S. (2015, March 3). How long can a spinoff like ‘Better Call Saul’ last? FiveThirtyEight. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-long-can-a-spinoff-like-better-call-saul-last/

Keep in mind that not all information found on a website follows the structure above. Only use the Website format above if your online source does not fit another source category. For example, if you’re looking at a video on YouTube, refer to the ‘YouTube Video’ section. If you’re citing a newspaper article found online, refer to ‘Newspapers Found Online’ section. Again, an APA website citation is strictly for web pages that do not fit better with one of the other categories on this page.

Social media:

When adding the text of a post, keep the original capitalization, spelling, hashtags, emojis (if possible), and links within the text.

Facebook posts:

Structure: Facebook user’s Last name, F. M. (Year, Monday Day of Post). Up to the first 20 words of Facebook post [Source type if attached] [Post type]. Facebook. URL

Source type examples: [Video attached], [Image attached]

Post type examples: [Status update], [Video], [Image], [Infographic]

Gomez, S. (2020, February 4). Guys, I’ve been working on this special project for two years and can officially say Rare Beauty is launching in [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/Selena/videos/1340031502835436/

Life at Chegg. (2020, February 7) It breaks our heart that 50% of college students right here in Silicon Valley are hungry. That’s why Chegg has [Images attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/LifeAtChegg/posts/1076718522691591

Twitter posts:

Structure: Account holder’s Last name, F. M. [Twitter Handle]. (Year, Month Day of Post). Up to the first 20 words of tweet [source type if attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. URL

Source type examples: [Video attached], [Image attached], [Poll attached]

Example: Edelman, J. [Edelman11]. (2018, April 26). Nine years ago today my life changed forever. New England took a chance on a long shot and I’ve worked [Video attached] [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/Edelman11/status/989652345922473985

Instagram posts:

APA citation format: Account holder’s Last name, F. M. [@Instagram handle]. (Year, Month Day). Up to the first 20 words of caption [Photograph(s) and/or Video(s)]. Instagram. URL

Example: Portman, N. [@natalieportman]. (2019, January 5). Many of my best experiences last year were getting to listen to and learn from so many incredible people through [Videos]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsRD-FBB8HI/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

If this guide hasn’t helped solve all of your referencing questions, or if you’re still feeling the need to type “how to cite a website APA” into Google, then check out our APA citation generator on CitationMachine.com, which can build your references for you!

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APA (American Psychological Association) style is most frequently used within the social sciences, in order to cite various sources. This APA Citation Guide provides the general format for in-text citations and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed.

In APA style, two citations are used to cite a source:

  • A short citation used in the text (called the in-text citation ).
  • A full citation (called the reference ) in the reference list at the end of a paper.

The in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information came from the cited source. The reference list entry provides complete details of a source and is shown at the end of a document.

In order to properly cite a source in APA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a reference list entry. Every reference list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.

In-text citations

The basic elements needed for an in-text citation are the author’s surname and the publication year . Sometimes, page numbers are also included, especially when quotes are mentioned in the text. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a narrative citation or a parenthetical citation.

Narrative citations are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, narrative citations use the author’s name in the text and the publication year is enclosed in parenthesis after the name. An example of a narrative citation for one author is given below:

Barbarin (2013) examined socioemotional learning in African boys.


Parenthetical citations add the author’s name and the publication year at the end of the sentence in parenthesis. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

Inhibition and working memory in young children were studied extensively (Aase, 2014).

When are page numbers are included?

Page numbers are referred to within in-text citations when quotes are used. Examples of both narrative citations and parenthetical citations are given below.

Ahmed (2004, p. 44)

Ahmed (2004, pp. 53–56)


(Ahmed, 2004, p. 44)

(Ahmed, 2004, pp. 53–56)

Examples of in-text citations

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for a different number of authors:

Use the surname of the author in in-text citations. Use a comma before the publication year in parenthetical citations.


Bucher (2018)


(Bucher, 2018)

Two authors

Separate the author surnames with an “and” in narrative citations. Use an ampersand symbol (&) in parenthetical citations.

Popescu and Pennacchiotti (2010)

(Popescu & Pennacchiotti, 2010)

Three or more authors

Use the first author surname name followed by et al.

van Dijck et al. (2018)

(van Dijck et al., 2018)

Group author

Treat the group author similar to how you would treat author names.

Auger Collaboration (2003)

(Auger Collaboration, 2018)

If there is no author for the source, use the source title in place of the author’s name. In general, sources with no author appear as parenthetical citations.

When you add such in-text citations, you will either italicize the text or place it in quotations. If the source title is italicized in the reference list entry, italicize the title in the in-text citation. If the title is not italicized, place it in quotation marks.

Parenthetical, book:

( Nothing here , 1997)

Parenthetical, journal article:

(“Examination of parrotfish impact on coral reefs,” 2018)

Reference list entries

Reference list entries are also called full citations. There are four main details that most reference list entries have:

  • The author field.
  • The publication year.
  • The title of the work ( italicized or in “quotation marks”).
  • The source from where the reference can be obtained (e.g., URL, DOI, etc.).

Depending on the source type, you will also need additional details like volume number, publication title, contributors, medium, etc.

Examples of reference list entries

Below are a few examples of different types of reference entries along with their templates. The examples given are for one author. Note that “F” and “M” in the templates denote the first and the middle initials of an author’s name.

The title of the book is set in italics and sentence case.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the book . Publisher.

Ahmed, S. (2014). The cultural politics of emotion . Edinburgh University Press.

Journal article

The title of the article is in sentence case. The first word of a subtitle is capitalized. The journal title and the volume number are set in italics. If an article has a DOI it should always be included. Use “https://doi.org/” before the DOI. If there is no DOI for an online journal, include the URL instead. Do not use a period after the DOI or URL.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. URL or DOI

Collins, R. (2004). Rituals of solidarity and security in the wake of terrorist attack. Sociological Theory, 22 (1), 53–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2004.00204.x

Newspaper or magazine article

Newspaper and magazine articles take the same style. The title of the article is in plain text and sentence case; the title of the newspaper or the magazine is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, and year.

Surname, F. M. (Date of publication). Title of the article. Title of the Newspaper or Magazine . URL

TNN. (2021, July 18). Parents have a habit of comparing kids to others but you don’t need to. The Times of India . https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com//home/sunday-times/parents-have-a-habit-of-comparing-kids-to-others-but-you-dont-need-to/articleshow/84507857.cms

The webpage title is in plain text, while the Website name is set in italics. Follow the format given in the template and example for setting the date, month, year, and URL.

Author or Organization Name. (Year, Month Day of Publication ). Webpage title. Title of the Website. URL

Lamberth, H. (2021, August 12). Binge drinking is problem drinking: How to get back in control. PSYCOM . https://www.psycom.net/binge-drinking-problem-drinking

YouTube video

The video title is set in sentence case and italicized. The first word after a colon is capitalized. The word “Video” is enclosed in brackets after the video title. This is followed followed by the word “YouTube.” Finally, the link is given. Note that a period is not given after the URL.

Uploader’s name, F. (Year, Month Day Published). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL

Ananta, P. (2021, February 21). APJ Abdul Kalam inspirational quotes [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjfL51RFL2k

Reference entries for different number of authors

The number of authors in the source decides how the author name(s) will be set in the references list. Here, you will see many journal references with different numbers of authors.

List the author name followed by the publication year.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range.

Spitka, T. (2017). Mediating among mediators: Building a consensus in multilateral interventions. International Negotiation, 23 , 1–30.

Separate the author names by an ampersand. Use a comma between the first author’s initial and the ampersand symbol.

Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Bernstein, B., & Solomon, J. (1999). Pedagogy, identity and the construction of a theory of symbolic control: Basil Bernstein questioned by Joseph Solomon. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20 (2), 265–279. https://doi:10.1080/01425699995443

When you add two organizations in the author field, do not use a comma before the ampersand.

Organization 1 & Organization 2. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

American Psychological Association & American Psychological Society. (2020). Psychology of children. Journal of Child Psychology, 34 (23), 1–12.

3–20 authors

List all author names. Do not forget to insert an “ampersand” before the last author. The example given below is for three authors.

Author Surname, F. M., Author Surname, F. M., & Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Pyysiäinen, J., Halpin, D., & Guilfoyle, A. (2017). Neoliberal governance and ‘responsibilization’ of agents: Reassessing the mechanisms of responsibility-shift in neoliberal discursive environments. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 18 (2), 215–235. https://doi:10.1080/1600910X.2017.1331858

More than 20 authors

List the names of the first 19 authors followed by an ellipsis. Add the final author name after the ellipsis but without the ampersand symbol before the last author name.

Author Surname1, F. M., Author Surname2, F. M., Author Surname3, F. M., Author Surname4, F. M., Author Surname5, F. M., Author Surname6, F. M., Author Surname7, F. M., Author Surname8, F. M., Author Surname9, F. M., Author Surname10, F. M., Author Surname11, F. M., Author Surname12, F. M., Author Surname13, F. M., Author Surname14, F. M., Author Surname15, F. M., Author Surname16, F. M., Author Surname17, F. M., Author Surname18, F. M.,  Author Surname19, F. M,¼ Last Author name, F. M. (Publication Year). Article title: Subtitle. Journal Title, Volume (issue), page range. DOI or URL

Fox, J., Harper, D., Bird, A., Kindler, F. A., Feng, H.-G., Seng, A. L., Sevel, K., Ed, E., Nell, A., Ten, T., Elin, K. J., Thomas, A., Thendy, S., Fall, W., Fint, E., Gurdy, A. K., Dondy, D., Egert, E., Nanda, A. L., ¼ Long, G.  (2015). Pedagogising knowledge: Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23 (4), 571–582.

For additional information on APA format, select from one of the source types below. For help creating APA citations, check out the BibMe APA citation generator.

Source Types:

  • How to cite a Book in APA
  • How to cite a Magazine in APA
  • How to cite a Newspaper in APA
  • How to cite a Website in APA
  • How to cite a Journal Article in APA
  • How to cite a Film in APA
  • How to cite an Interview in APA
  • How to cite a Lecture in APA
  • How to cite a TV Show / Radio Broadcast in APA
  • How to cite an Encyclopedia in APA
  • How to cite a Photograph in APA
  • APA 7 Updates

APA Format:

  • In-Text Citation Basics
  • Reference Page

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As per Section 8.17 from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , for any work that has three or more authors, the name of the first author and “et al.” should be used as in-text citation. The Latin phrase “et al” means “and others” and is used to reduce the citation length.

Example In-Text Citation Entry:

No stretch of reason can categorize cultural appropriation as imaginary (Rahim et al., 2020).

Sometimes, the same set of initial authors and the same publication year appear in a paper. In such rare circumstances, as per Section 8.18 of the APA manual, write out as many names as needed to differentiate between these similar references.

Example In-Text Citation Entries:

Miller, John, Reighstag et al. (2018)

Miller, John, Amudsen, et al. (2018)

As per Section 8.21 and Table 8.1 of the APA Publication Manual , a citation for a group author may be abbreviated in in-text citations. It is not compulsory to do so; however, if the group author is well known or if it appears at least thrice in the paper, then the name of the group may be abbreviated.

Parenthetical in-text citation template and example:

(Full Name of the Group [Abbreviation], year)

(National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2018)

Whether it is a narrative or parenthetical in-text citation, the full name of the group should be mentioned in the first instance, along with the abbreviation.

Narrative in-text citation examples:

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2017) argues that… (first instance)

As per the APA (2017), it is standard practice that… (subsequent instances)

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  • How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples

How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples

Published on March 5, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.

To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.

This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA , MLA , and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.

Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.

Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image .

Table of contents

Citing a website in mla style, citing a website in apa style, citing a website in chicago style, frequently asked questions about citations.

An MLA Works Cited entry for a webpage lists the author’s name , the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL.

The in-text citation usually just lists the author’s name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to locate the specific passage. Don’t use paragraph numbers unless they’re specifically numbered on the page.

The same format is used for blog posts and online articles from newspapers and magazines.

You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to generate your website citations.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

Citing a whole website.

When you cite an entire website rather than a specific page, include the author if one can be identified for the whole site (e.g. for a single-authored blog). Otherwise, just start with the site name.

List the copyright date displayed on the site; if there isn’t one, provide an access date after the URL.

Webpages with no author or date

When no author is listed, cite the organization as author only if it differs from the website name.

If the organization name is also the website name, start the Works Cited entry with the title instead, and use a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation.

When no publication date is listed, leave it out and include an access date at the end instead.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

An APA reference for a webpage lists the author’s last name and initials, the full date of publication, the title of the page (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.

The in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the year. If it’s a long page, you may include a locator to identify the quote or paraphrase (e.g. a paragraph number and/or section title).

Note that a general reference to an entire website doesn’t require a citation in APA Style; just include the URL in parentheses after you mention the site.

You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to create your webpage citations. Search for a URL to retrieve the details.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

Blog posts and online articles.

Blog posts follow a slightly different format: the title of the post is not italicized, and the name of the blog is.

The same format is used for online newspaper and magazine articles—but not for articles from news sites like Reuters and BBC News (see the previous example).

When a page has no author specified, list the name of the organization that created it instead (and omit it later if it’s the same as the website name).

When it doesn’t list a date of publication, use “n.d.” in place of the date. You can also include an access date if the page seems likely to change over time.

In Chicago notes and bibliography style, footnotes are used to cite sources. They refer to a bibliography at the end that lists all your sources in full.

A Chicago bibliography entry for a website lists the author’s name, the page title (in quotation marks), the website name, the publication date, and the URL.

Chicago also has an alternative author-date citation style . Examples of website citations in this style can be found here .

For blog posts and online articles from newspapers, the name of the publication is italicized. For a blog post, you should also add the word “blog” in parentheses, unless it’s already part of the blog’s name.

When a web source doesn’t list an author , you can usually begin your bibliography entry and short note with the name of the organization responsible. Don’t repeat it later if it’s also the name of the website. A full note should begin with the title instead.

When no publication or revision date is shown, include an access date instead in your bibliography entry.

The main elements included in website citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.

In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.

If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:

  • In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
  • In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.

If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved August 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/cite-a-website/

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‘A work in progress’: The ‘Citation Docket’ meant to reduce Baltimore’s petty crime is off to slow start

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It was around midday that Dallis Glover walked along North Eutaw Street, just past Lexington Market in downtown Baltimore, carrying a 25-ounce can of Natural Ice beer in late June.

Glover, 59, was a block from his home in the Paca House Apartments, which provides supportive housing for residents with low incomes. He had quit his job while grieving the recent deaths of his mother and fiancee, and found himself relying on alcohol to dull his pain. He didn’t know new State’s Attorney Ivan Bates had announced June 1 that he would resume prosecuting petty crimes, like drinking in public.

When a Maryland Transit Administration Police officer approached him, Glover said, he tried tossing the beer in a trash can, but the officer grabbed his hand. Officer Courtney Green wrote a criminal citation charging Glover with possession of an open container of alcohol, according to court documents. The citation listed a court date: Aug. 21, 2023, at the Eastside District Court.

On Monday, Glover rode the bus to court, took a seat in the courtroom and approached the table where lawyers sit when the prosecutor called his name. Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia Deros explained that his charge, a violation of the Baltimore City Code, carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail or a fine up to $1,000. She offered him a deal: Complete five hours of community service and she’d drop his charge.

Glover accepted, becoming one of only a handful of people whose cases on the August dockets were resolved that way, according to an analysis by The Baltimore Sun. In response to The Sun’s request to the Maryland Judiciary, the District Court in Baltimore provided a copy of each citation assigned to an August docket. Of the approximately 70 citations, nearly half were dismissed. More than a dozen were postponed and 16 — nearly 25% — resulted in arrest warrants being issued because people didn’t show up for court.

When Bates started the “Citation Docket,” he touted it as distinguishing him from his predecessor, Marilyn Mosby, also a Democrat, who discontinued the prosecution of low-level offenses. Bates said the goal was to avoid arrests and prosecutions, instead diverting defendants to community service and wraparound help.

“Our goal is not to prosecute,” Bates said at the time, asking for patience as he rolled out the program and dealt with any initial hiccups. “Our goal is to hold people accountable for these quality-of-life crimes.”

Bates declined an interview about the citation docket, which held its first round of court dates in July, saying he would talk about how it’s going Wednesday at a hearing of the City Council’s Public Safety and Government Operations Committee. His office declined to provide data in advance of the hearing. Spokespersons did, however, provide answers to some of The Sun’s questions.

Critics remain concerned Bates’ policy will lead to unnecessary arrests and prosecutions that won’t make Baltimore, which has averaged more than 300 homicides a year for the last eight years, safer. They predict long-term trends will show enforcement disproportionately targeting marginalized communities, and describe a host of consequences from summoning someone to court for loitering, trespassing and open containers.

“Bringing police back into the business of policing low-level offenses means, by definition, bringing them back into address poverty, mental health struggles, addiction, when we know that criminal justice intervention is not the most effective response to those challenges,” said Heather Warnken, director of the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform. “We are creating unnecessary interactions and ongoing inequities.”

Dallis Glover, 59, stands outside of Baltimore’s  Eastside District Court after having his case heard on the city’s nascent “citation docket.” Glover accepted a deal from prosecutors to complete community service in lieu of prosecution, but he has mixed feelings about the program.

Dallis Glover, 59, stands outside of Baltimore’s Eastside District Court after having his case heard on the city’s nascent “citation docket.” Glover accepted a deal from prosecutors to complete community service in lieu of prosecution, but he has mixed feelings about the program. (Alex Mann)

The District Courts in East, South and West Baltimore each host a citation docket once a month. In August, each of the dockets concluded within an hour, with the one in West Baltimore ending in about 15 minutes.

“The volume of cases for the first two citation dockets was less than anticipated,” said Terri Charles, spokeswoman for the Maryland Judiciary, in an email. “The District Court will continue to fairly, effectively, and efficiently adjudicate cases should the volume increase.”

Many of the cases dismissed this month were people cited for conducting business without a license. If a defendant got a license before the court date, prosecutors moved to drop the charges. In other cases, officers mistakenly issued a citation for a more serious charge. Some whose charges got dismissed were people whose cases were held over from July to give them an opportunity to complete community service.

The courts’ community service program sends representatives to citation dockets to arrange opportunities for people to complete their hours. Bates’ office also is partnering with the nonprofit Helping Other People through Empowerment Inc. Known as HOPE, it provides employment, mental health and drug treatment resources.

That organization sends staffers to citation dockets, but it’s unclear how many people it’s helped. HOPE’s leaders did not respond to multiple requests for an interview, and Bates’ office declined to provide the number of people who received wraparound services over the first two months of citation dockets.

A range of law enforcement agencies issued the citations that populated the dockets, including Amtrak Police; the Comptroller of Maryland’s Field Enforcement Bureau; the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission of Maryland, and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

Maryland Transit Administration Police issued citations to the most defendants whose cases were on the August dockets, with 23, The Sun’s analysis found. Spokespeople for that agency did not respond to requests for comment.

The Sun’s analysis showed Baltimore Police issued citations to five defendants on the August dockets.

The department’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice lays out guidelines for how officers address “quality-of-life crimes.” It says the “least intrusive” enforcement is the most appropriate option, with warnings and counseling preferable to citations, and citations preferable to arrests.

At the department’s quarterly hearing Thursday on the consent decree in federal court, Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said he was OK with officers writing few citations, saying the threat of them has helped reduce unwanted behaviors.

“What’s happening is usually when our officers show up, either their mere presence or them saying, ‘Hey, you can’t do that,’ usually abates the behavior,” Worley said.

Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan Bates takes questions after speaking about a new citation initiative for low-level offenses. With Bates are Sheriff Sam Cogen and Mayor Brandon Scott.

Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan Bates takes questions after speaking about a new citation initiative for low-level offenses. With Bates are Sheriff Sam Cogen and Mayor Brandon Scott. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun )

The citation docket process begins with an officer issuing a citation, which is supposed to list a specific courthouse, date and time to appear, according to Bates’ office.

That person shows up to court and, if they are eligible, a prosecutor will offer community service in exchange for dropping the charges if they complete the service hours. Prosecutors also are supposed to offer wraparound services, like drug or mental health treatment. (Bates’ office doesn’t offer community service to people who have pending charges or are on probation for crimes of violence or those involving handguns.)

If a person doesn’t show up for their day in court, the judge typically reschedules their appearance for the next month’s docket and mails a summons to the person’s last known address. For those who haven’t appeared for the second date, judges have been granting prosecutors’ requests for arrest warrants.

The Sun’s analysis found problems with the citations that could explain why many defendants didn’t show up for court: More than half of citations didn’t list a court date, while others directed defendants to the wrong courthouse. About 40% of the citations heard on the August dockets were issued before June 1, when Bates announced the new policy and publicized specific citation docket dates.

“A work in progress,” Deros, the prosecutor, told District Judge Diana S. Smith, who presided Wednesday over the citation docket in West Baltimore.

Only one of 16 people who had cases scheduled on Smith’s docket showed up to court that day. Over the three days of citation dockets in the week of Aug. 21, Smith and her colleagues issued arrest warrants for offenses such as open containers, drug possession, theft and disorderly conduct.

“If people are experiencing unstable housing, the address they may give in good faith to the police officer may no longer be the address they’re living at the when that summons is mailed,” said Alycia Capozello, deputy district public defender for Baltimore. “It calls into question whether citizens received adequate notice prior to a warrant being issued for them, a warrant that will result in them being incarcerated.”

That’s not to mention the potential challenges with, and consequences of, someone showing up to court, Warnken said.

“When you are talking about people who disproportionately are struggling financially, and maybe trying to survive, the amount of effort and resources it takes to show up for a court date cannot be overstated ... practical, tangible needs, like being able to miss work, like being able to get the child care you need, like paying for and navigating the public transportation system in this city,” Warnken said.

[  Baltimore to issue criminal citations, offer community service for petty crimes  ]

To get to District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Kimani Roberts, a 20-year-old from West Baltimore, missed work and relied on a former teacher to drive him to South Baltimore.

Roberts’ citations had listed the wrong courthouse: East Baltimore. He said he went there for his July court date. He never heard his name called, then found out where he had to go in August.

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“I would’ve had a warrant out for my arrest,” said Roberts, if he had missed the second court date. “The communication needs to be better.”

Warnken added there’s an “emotional cost” of going to court for people who are vulnerable or marginalized.

After paying the fare to ride the bus to court, Glover recalled telling his sister and daughter where he was. He said they were concerned, but he had waited to tell them “because it’s a shame.” He hadn’t wanted his daughter to worry. He didn’t want his sister “to feel like her brother is not trying to do the right thing.”

The citation docket felt like a positive experience to Glover at first. He’s OK with doing community service and agreed to work with HOPE, expressing optimism that his experience cleaning and maintaining floors will make it easy for the organization to help him find a job.

But his family’s concern weighed on him. Upon reflection, he said, he wished the officer had just given him a warning, told him about the policy change and left it at that.

“A citation is a citation,” Glover said. “Stealing bubble gum is stealing bubble gum. I’m not trying to get away from that. But can’t you all find something else to do?”

Baltimore Sun reporter Lee O. Sanderlin contributed to this article.

  • >  August  


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