Answered By: Sarah Morehouse
Last Updated: May 01, 2015     Views: 22

If the source you want to use has no author, there are three possibilities.

  1. The author is listed as Anonymous. 
  2. It has a corporate author. The company's employees or organization's members write the pages, but the responsibility for the content is with the company or organization. 
  3. The author is unknown.

Anonymous Author

Just treat it as if Anonymous were the author's name! 

The same is true if the author is using a pseudonym, which often happens in blogs and online message forums. Just treat the pseudonym like their actual name. 

Corporate Author

APA

Use the name of the corporation, organization, or government agency as the author's name in the signal phrase, parenthetical reference, and works cited, as needed. 

If the corporation, organization, or government agency has a well-known abbreviation, here is how to introduce it: 

  • "Drugs are really, really bad for you," (Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA], 2012, p. 13).

After that, you can just use the abbreviation. 

  • "No seriously, drugs will mess with your head," (DEA, 2012, p. 13). 

MLA

Use the name of the corporation, organization, or government agency as the author's name in the signal phrase, parenthetical reference, and works cited, as needed. 

  • "Writing citation how-tos is my Anti-drug," (Drug Enforcement Agency 13). 

Unknown Author

APA

If the author of a source is unknown, use the title where you would have used the author in the signal phrase and parenthetical reference. The first time, use the complete title. After that, shorten the title. For example, "Coffee: Gateway Drug To A Life Of Sleepless Productivity" can become "Coffee" or "Coffee: Gateway Drug", depending on whether there are other similar titles that might lead to confusion. 

  • In "Coffee: Gateway Drug," overconsumption of coffee is said to lead to "heart palpitations and bad ideas" (2012, p. 13). 
  • "Drinking too much coffee can lead to heart palpitations and bad ideas" ("Coffee: Gateway Drug", 2012, p. 13). 

MLA

If the author of a source is unknown, use a shortened version of the title where you would have used the author in the signal phrase and parenthetical reference. 

  • In "Coffee: Gateway Drug," overconsumption of coffee is said to lead to "heart palpitations and bad ideas" (13). 
  • "Drinking too much coffee can lead to heart palpitations and bad ideas" ("Coffee: Gateway Drug" 13).

 

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