Currently, you can look to almost any medium to find information on the COVID-19 pandemic and on campaigns for immediate social reform across the globe. As a result, writers are accessing and using types of works that are published more frequently than those traditionally cited in research papers, such as press releases on government websites, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, tweets, and comments on online articles. The APA Style team is here to help with your APA formatting needs. The guidance in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual makes the process of citing contemporary sources found online easier than ever before.
If you read the blog post “A tale of two reference formats,” then you know a work’s reference format is based on whether the work stands alone—press releases, podcasts, webpages, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and tweets—or is a part of a greater whole—podcast episodes and comments on online periodical articles. The templates in each section of Chapter 10 of the Publication Manual and the Concise Guide to APA Style (7th ed.) show the placement and formatting of the elements (author–date–title–source) for references in each category. This means you can use these templates to create references for works even if you don’t find an example that’s an exact match (i.e., use the Social Media template to create a reference for a Twitter Fleet even though it didn’t exist when the manual was published).
Because the author–date–title–source format is consistent across all reference types, the addition of bracketed text in some reference types helps readers identify the type of work at a glance. Whereas works that do not fall into the category of webpages and websites, such as articles, books, and reports, can appear on websites and thus have no bracketed description in their reference list entries, reference list entries for other types of works that appear on websites include the bracketed description so you can tell a press release from a tweet from a podcast episode, for example.