How do I cite a source that has no author?

When a work is published without an author’s name, begin the works-cited-list entry with the title of the work. Do not use “Anonymous” in place of an author’s name:

“English Language Arts Standards.” Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2017, www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/.

“An Homily against Disobedience and Wylful Rebellion.” 1570. Divine Right and Democracy: An Anthology of Political Writing in Stuart England, edited by David Wootton, Penguin Books, 1986, pp. 94–98.

For works created by a corporate author—an institution, a government body, or another kind of organization—list that entity as the author:

Hart Research Associates. It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2013, www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/it-takes-more-major-employer-priorities-college-learning-and.

An exception: if a corporate author is also the work’s publisher, list that entity as the publisher and skip the “Author” slot:

Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. National Endowment for the Arts, June 2004.

Cite these works in your text by title or by corporate author—that is, by the first item in the works-cited-list entry:

The homily argues that rebelling against the English monarch amounts to rebelling against God (“Homily” 97).

Eighty percent of employers believe that all college students “should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences” (Hart).

Review a source carefully before deciding that it has no author. It’s important to credit authors for their work.

Published 9 August 2017

Get MLA Style News from The Source

Be the first to read new posts and updates about MLA style.

The Source Sign-up - Style Center Footer

Skip to toolbar