5 Key Steps to Master APA In-Text Citation Without an Author


The ability to accurately cite sources with no author is a pivotal skill in scholarly writing. This is particularly relevant when employing the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. This article provides a comprehensive guide on mastering APA in-text citation without an author.

Significance of APA In-Text Citation

In social sciences and various other disciplines, APA in-text citation is an essential component. It enables writers to give due credit to the original creators of the ideas or information incorporated into their work. This practice promotes respect for intellectual property, thus preventing plagiarism and fostering a culture of honesty and integrity in scholarly and professional writing.

The Need to Cite Without an Author

Situations arise where sources lack a definite author. This might include reports, articles, or websites with ambiguous authorship. For such scenarios, the APA style guide offers specific guidelines on how to accurately cite these sources.

APA in-text citation without an author

Standard Format for APA In-Text Citation Without Author

The standard method for citing a source without an author in APA style involves using the title of the work as a substitute for the author’s name. The title should be presented in sentence case (only the first word and any proper nouns capitalized) and within double quotation marks.

An example of this would be a webpage titled “Understanding Climate Change,” the in-text citation would appear as: (“Understanding Climate Change,” 2020).

Citation for Sources with No Author and Date

Certain instances may involve a source lacking both an author and a date. In these cases, use the title of the work and append n.d., which signifies “no date.”

For instance: (“Exploring the Universe,” n.d.).

key steps mastering citation paraphrasing

Citing Lengthy Titles

While citing sources with long titles, it is not mandatory to include the full title for each citation. Instead, incorporate enough words from the title to distinguish it from other sources.

For instance, if citing a book titled “The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Modern Art Techniques,” you could abbreviate it to: (“Comprehensive Guide,” 2018).

Citing Multiple Works with the Same Title by Different Authors

When confronted with multiple works with identical titles by different authors, include the source type in brackets following the title.

For example, if citing two articles titled “The Impact of Global Warming,” one from a journal and another from a magazine, they could be differentiated as: (“The Impact of Global Warming [Journal Article],” 2016) and (“The Impact of Global Warming [Magazine Article],” 2019).

Citing Sources with Corporate Authors

When citing sources with corporate authors, use the organization’s name as the author. If the organization also functions as the publisher, simply denote “Author” as the publisher.

For instance: (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020). If APA is also the publisher: (American Psychological Association [Author], 2020).


Becoming proficient in APA in-text citation without an author may initially seem challenging, but with consistent practice, it becomes instinctive. It’s a crucial skill for scholarly and professional writing, enabling you to responsibly acknowledge others’ work. The ultimate aim is to respect intellectual property, avoid plagiarism, and provide your readers with sufficient information to locate the original source.

Learn more about APA style.

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