Learn and Master Bibliographies, Works Cited, and References

How to Use APA Citation With No Author

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Writing can be a fun and exciting time. Don’t let your head get all jumbled over styles. Especially, if you come across a difficult source like a blog or article with no author. Instead of losing your cool, follow these simple steps to citing sources with no author in APA.

Students writing citation with no author for bibliography

No Author, No Problem

Style guides let you wrap everything up in a nice neat package. They even cover you in those sticky situations where no author is listed. And this can happen on any source, including a web page, manual, article or blog, to name a few. It’s easiest to break down the steps for each different one.

Web Page

Websites such as Wikipedia, have multiple authors that are unknown. So, you don’t have to sweat it when it comes time for creating your works cited. Breaking down references for a web page in APA is pretty simple. 

Step 1: List the article title. This is the first piece of information you will note, and it will go in the place of the author.
Step 2: Add the published date in parenthesis. The date will follow the format: year, month and day, if available.
Step 3: Source retrieval information. This will follow the format retrieved from followed by the URL.

Example:

Donald Trump. (2018, November 27). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

 

In-Text:  While citing in-text, include the title in parenthesis and the date.

(“Donald Trump,” 2018)

Article

Imagine you found an informational article but no author. Format your citation in a snap.

Step 1: The title of the article takes the first position.
Step 2: Add the published date. In this instance, there is only a year.
Step 3: Add the publisher of the article. This will be italicized. You’ll also list the volume if it is available.
Step 4: List the retrieved from information.

Example:

Should you put zinc on a stuffy nose? (2005). Nutrition Noteworthy (7). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/75×1

 

In-Text: For an article, you’ll shorten the title (typically to 2-3 words), add the publication date and page numbers. If there are no page numbers, use the paragraph number or heading number.

(“Should you,” 2005, para. 3)

Manual

While combing through a product manual isn’t the highlight of anyone’s evening, there may come a time when you need to source one. This can take on a unique flavor.

Step 1: Start with the company name.
Step 2: Follow with the publication date in parenthesis.
Step 3: Italicize the name of the product.
Step 4: Include the type of product.
Step 5: End with the retrieved from URL or where published and publisher.

Example:

Wrenches. (2015). How to use wrenches: User guide. Boston, MA: Wrenches Outlet.

 

Wrenches. (2015). How to use wrenches: User manual. Retrieved from www.wrenches.com

 

In-Text: To create an in-text citation, you’ll include the company name, publication year and possibly the page numbers.

Example:

(Wrenches, 2015, p. 25)

 

Blog

Blogs can offer a plethora of information and unique experiences to your article. While it’s rare, you might come across a blog with no author. Follow the steps to cite it perfectly. 

Step 1: List the title of the post. There will also be a description in brackets.
Step 2: Add the date the post graced the internet.
Step 3: Retrieval URL for the post itself.

Example:

How to cite a blog post in APA style [blog post]. (2016, April 5). Retrieved from https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2016/04/how-to-cite-a-blog-post-in-apa-style.html

 

In-Text: For a blog, you’ll add a shortened title and date.

(“How to cite,” 2018)

 

No Author, No Date, Oh my!

Not everything is going to have a date listed for you. If you can’t find the date, don’t spend hours trying to comb every single page to find it. Instead, you can just list (n.d.). For a website, this would look like:

  • Title of the page. (n.d.). Retrieved at www.fakewebsite.com

Keeping It Simple

You might be an APA style writing master, but curveballs, like no authors, can throw you for a loop. It can be hard to figure out what to do. Don’t sweat it. Instead take a deep breath and follow the steps for your source. 

About the author

Jennifer Betts

Jennifer Betts is a diverse educational writer who has been published in multiple online forums. She also works part time as a substitute teacher with seven different school districts. Building on skills gained from a brother and son with learning disabilities, she has been a tutor and mentor for disadvantaged children for more than 20 years. Interested in learning more about Jennifer Betts, just ask.

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