How to Write APA In-Text Citations Without the Author Name

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The style guidelines of the sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" require you to cite in-text when you report information from one of your references. Though you generally include the author's name in an in-text citation so your readers can easily locate the source in your reference list, you may sometimes need to use reference materials with unknown authors. In such cases, tweak the in-text citations so your readers can still locate the reference.

  • Use the title of the reference or the first few words of the title in place of the author's name. Italicize a book, periodical, report or brochure title and put titles of other works in quotation marks. For example, "How to Write APA."

  • Follow the title with the date of publication. For example, "("How to Write APA," 2011)" or "in the article "How to Write APA" (2011)." Use "n.d." if you do not know the publication date.

  • Include the page or paragraph number when quoting directly from a reference. For example, "("How to Write APA," 2011, para. 5)" or "according to "How to Write APA" (2011), "..." (p. 5)."

Tips & Warnings

  • Use "Anonymous" for the author's name if the author is anonymous, but note that an anonymous author is not the same as an unknown author; use anonymous only if your reference lists "Anonymous" as the author.

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