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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition): When Information Is Missing

This guide will help you learn how to cite correctly in MLA style.

No Author

If no author or creator is provided, start the citation with the title/name of the item you are citing instead.

Note: an author/creator won't necessarily be a person's name. It may be an organization or corporation, for example the American Medical Association, or a username on a site such a YouTube.


If and only if an item is signed as being created by Anonymous, use "Anonymous" where you'd normally put the author's name.

Alphabetical Order in Works Cited List

When putting works in alphabetical order, ignore initial articles such as "the", "a", or "an". For example the title The Best of Canada would be alphabetized as if it started with the word Best instead of the word The.

If the title begins with a number, alphabetize it as if the number was spelled out. For example the title 5 Ways to Succeed in Business would be alphabetized under F as if it had started with the word Five .

No Date

If no date is provided, skip that information. It's recommended that you add the date you accessed the work at the end of the citation. Access date is given by putting the word "Accessed" followed by the Day Month (Shortened) Year the work was accessed/viewed. For example Accessed 20 Aug 2016.

No Page Numbers

Page numbers may not be provided for some items, such as online materials. If this is the case leave the page numbers out of the citation.

No Database Name

If you find an article using the library databases, make sure to look for the database name on the article's record. This can be in different places, depending on the database that you are using. You can also look for sample citations, which will often tell you the database name.

Please note: Ebsco and Infotrac are not databases, but database providers. Look for names such as Academic Search Ultimate, Academic OneFile, MasterFILE Premier, etc.