APA Style Blog_ Missing Pieces_ How to Write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information

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<ul><li><p>Blog Home</p><p>About Us</p><p>Blog Guidelines</p><p>Subscribe to the Blog Feed</p><p>Contact Us</p><p>APA Style Home</p><p>May 17, 2012</p><p>Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information</p><p>by Chelsea Lee</p><p>Most APA Style references are straightforward to writethe guidance and examples in Chapter 7 of the Publication Manual and on this blog make</p><p>that possible. Weve written a good deal about the architecture of a generic reference (the four basic pieces of author, date, title, and source).</p><p>Sometimes, however, one or more of those pieces is missing, and writing the reference can get more difficult. This post will help you adapt the</p><p>classic APA Style reference template to fit any situation where information might be missing, as well as show you how to create the corresponding in-text</p><p>citations for those references.</p><p>The table below shows how to write an APA Style reference when information is missing. It is also available for download as a PDF.</p><p>Whats missing? Solution Reference template</p><p>Position A Position B Position C Position D</p><p>Nothingall pieces</p><p>are present</p><p>List information in the order of author, date,</p><p>title (with description in square brackets if</p><p>necessary for explanation of nonroutine</p><p>information), and source</p><p>Author, A. A. (date). Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>or</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>Retrieved</p><p>from</p><p>http://xxxxx</p><p>or</p><p>Retrieved</p><p>Month Day,</p><p>Year, from</p><p>http://xxxxx</p><p>or</p><p>Location:</p><p>Publisher.</p><p>or</p><p>doi:xxxxx</p><p>Author is missing Substitute title for author; then provide date</p><p>and source</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>or</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>(date). n/a</p><p>Date is missing Provide author, substitute n.d. for no date,</p><p>and then give title and source</p><p>Author, A. A. (n.d.). Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>or</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>Title is missing Provide author and date, describe document</p><p>inside square brackets, and then give source</p><p>Author, A. A. (date). [Description of</p><p>document].</p><p>Author and date</p><p>are both missing</p><p>Substitute title for author and n.d. for no</p><p>date; then give source</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>or</p><p>Title of document</p><p>[Format].</p><p>(n.d.). n/a</p><p>Author and title</p><p>are both missing</p><p>Substitute description of document inside</p><p>square brackets for author; then give date</p><p>and source</p><p>[Description of</p><p>document].</p><p>(date). n/a</p><p>Date and title are</p><p>both missing</p><p>Provide author, substitute n.d. for no date,</p><p>describe document inside square brackets,</p><p>and then give source</p><p>Author, A. A. (n.d.). [Description of</p><p>document].</p><p>Author, date, and</p><p>title are all missing</p><p>Substitute description of document inside</p><p>square brackets for author, substitute n.d. for</p><p>[Description of</p><p>document].</p><p>(n.d.). n/a</p><p>APA Style Blog: Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference... http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/05/missing-pieces.html</p><p>1 of 2 07/04/2015 2:14 PM</p></li><li><p>no date, and then give source</p><p>Source is missing Cite as personal communication (see 6.20)</p><p>or find a substitute</p><p>n/a n/a n/a n/a</p><p>Title Variations</p><p>As shown in the table, the title of a document is only sometimes italicized, depending on the independence of the source. That is, do italicize the title of a</p><p>document that stands alone (books, reports, etc.), but do not italicize the title of a document that is part of a greater whole (chapters, articles, etc., which are part</p><p>of edited books or journals, respectively). Also do not italicize the titles of software, instruments, and apparatus (see 7.08 in the Publication Manual). If you</p><p>have trouble determining whether something stands alone (such as for a document on a website), choose not to italicize. For examples and more explanation, see</p><p>the blog post on capitalization and formatting of reference titles in the reference list.</p><p>Source Variations</p><p>As shown in the Position D column of the table, the source part of a reference list entry can vary as well. It should reflect either a retrieval URL (for online</p><p>documents without DOIs), a publisher location and name (for print sources), or a DOI (for any document that has one, whether print or online). It is not usually</p><p>necessary to include a retrieval date for online sources; one should be provided only if the source is likely to change over time, such as with an unarchived wiki</p><p>page.</p><p>Sometimes source information is incomplete but with a little detective work you can find what you need; for example, if you know a publisher name but not its</p><p>location, you can research the publisher to find the location. Even sources of limited availability can be cited in APA Style, including unpublished and informally</p><p>published works (see 7.09) and archival documents and collections (see 7.10).</p><p>Note, however, that it is not possible to write a traditional APA Style reference if source information is truly missing. The purpose of an APA Style reference is to</p><p>provide readers with information on how to locate the source that you used, and if you cannot tell them how to do so, you either have to find a substitute or cite</p><p>the source as personal communication (see 6.20 in the Publication Manual).</p><p>Creating In-Text Citations</p><p>Create an in-text citation for any reference by using the pieces from Positions A and B in the table above. For most references, this will be the author and date</p><p>(Author, date). For titles in Position A, use italics for works that stand alone (Title of Document, date) and quotation marks for works that are part of a greater</p><p>whole (Title of Document, date). Retain square brackets for descriptions of documents in Position A ([Description of document], date). For examples and more</p><p>explanation, see our post on formatting and capitalization of titles in the text. </p><p>We hope this guide to missing pieces will help you as you create your APA Style references.</p><p>Posted by Chelsea Lee at 12:19:45 PM in Digital Object Identifier (DOI), Electronic references, How-to, Personal communications, Reference list, References,</p><p>Text citations, URLs, Websites ShareThis</p><p>TrackBack</p><p>TrackBack URL for this entry:</p><p>http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a01157041f4e3970b0168eb925b2f970c</p><p>Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference Even Without All the Information:</p><p>Comments</p><p>Sign in with Typepad Facebook Twitter Google+ and more...</p><p>APA Style Blog: Missing Pieces: How to Write an APA Style Reference... http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/05/missing-pieces.html</p><p>2 of 2 07/04/2015 2:14 PM</p></li></ul>