by Timothy McAdoo
Sometimes one's research relies on a very narrow thread of the World Wide Web.
What do I mean? We are sometimes asked how to cite multiple web pages from the same website. “Can’t I just cite the entire website?” our efficiency-minded readers ask. If you merely mention a website, yes.
But, if you quote or paraphrase information from individual pages on a website, create a unique reference for each one. This allows your reader to find your exact source. This may mean your reference list contains a number of references with similar, but distinct, URLs. That’s okay!
Say you are writing a paper about Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). In your paper, you begin by providing some background information about APA and about APA’s divisions, and then you provide more detailed information about Division 47 itself. In the process, you might quote or paraphrase from a number of pages on the APA website, and your reference list would include a unique reference for each.
|American Psychological Association. (n.d.-a). Divisions. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/|
|American Psychological Association. (n.d.-b). Exercise and Sport Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/div47.aspx|
|American Psychological Association. (n.d.-c). For division leaders. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/officers/index.aspx|
|American Psychological Association. (n.d.-d). For division members. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/activities/index.aspx|
|American Psychological Association. (n.d.-e). Sample articles. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/spy/sample.aspx|
It may seems a little unusual to have so many similar references, but in the context of this research topic, it makes perfect sense.
When you quote directly from a web page, be sure to include the paragraph number, in lieu of a page number, with the in-text citation. You may also include a paragraph number when paraphrasing. This will help readers locate the part of the page you are relying on.