Still working on that paper?
Good thing you left enough time to work on your citations and references.
You may be getting pretty good at citing articles and books, but what do you do if some of the
sources you used are brochures, reports, and other items that don’t seem to have an author?
Hi, I’m Sara and this is Writing Rescue: a video cast designed to help you write or
maybe mark school papers in APA style whether you’re in university, college, or high school.
First, make sure that you’ve seen Episode 1 of this video series on the basics of citing
in APA style.
If you’re dealing with a formally published article like a journal article or newspaper
article, it’s pretty straightforward to create a citation and reference.
For the citation, all you need is the author’s last name and the year of publication.
But some other items, like brochures, reports, newsletters, and some web pages don’t have
authors associated with them.
If you’re looking at a web page, be sure to check out this episode.
For all other types of documents with no author for individual articles, you have to look
for who published it.
If something is actually printed on paper, someone had to pay for that to happen.
Even if you found the information as a PDF document online, someone put it there, and
you need to figure out who.
Look at the small print at the bottom of the item.
It might say something like “Newsletter of the Organization for Better Citing”.
Ok, I just made that organization up.
But it might say something like that.
And if it does, that would be your author.
Even if there is no full organization or business listed on the bottom, there might be a logo
somewhere on it.
That could be your clue to the organization that published the information.
If the logo only has initials, you might have to do some digging to find out what those
initials stand for.
If there really is no author and no identifiable organization, then you have to use the first
few words of the title of the piece.
So, if the title of the piece is Top Ten Interviewing Tips for New Grads, then you would write a
citation like this or a signal phrase like this.
Then, when you go to create your references, make sure that whatever you put in the author
position for your citation goes in the author position for your reference.
However, if you can’t find an author or an organization, you really do have to ask
yourself whether this is a reliable source to be using in a paper.
Remember, you can’t believe everything you read on paper, and you really can’t believe
everything you read on the internet.
Look up the Tree Octopus sometime.
Now, another matter is whether you can find a date for the publication.
Again, question the reliability of anything that doesn’t have a date.
You simply don’t know how out of date the information is.
If you do need to use something with no date, you can’t just leave the date off.
That would look like a mistake.
Let’s say you had a brochure called “How to Do Stuff” by the organization Doing Stuff
You couldn’t just have a parenthetical citation with no year because it wouldn’t be clear
to the reader that the information in brackets was meant to be a citation.
You can’t just make up a year.
But you need something in place of the year so the citation is complete.
So what do you do?
You use the letters n.d. and these stand for, you guessed it, no date.
Again, when you create your reference for this article, you can’t just leave out the
You have to put in n.d. where the date would normally go.
So that’s it.
That’s how to cite something with no author, but remember to question whether it’s a
There are lots of other things you need to know about citing, so be sure to check out
some of our other episodes for information on citing different types of materials.
Thanks for watching Writing Rescue, and good luck with that paper.