What should I do to give credit to an author whose first name is the same as mine and last name is not provided anywhere? I don't want it to look like I wrote the article which I am citing in any way, shape, or form, but I also don't want to make a big deal out of that one citation. I am using MLA formatting.

  • 1
    did you mean to write the last name is the same as yours and the first name is not provided? Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 1:45
  • Is your name particularly unusual? If not, people are used to there being more than one Smith, Durand, or Zhao.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 2:24
  • @henning No, I wrote it correctly. My first name is the same. @ jakebeal It's kind of in the middle. Generic but not the MOST popular. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 3:12
  • Edit x2 actually now that I look at it, more popular than I thought. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 3:19
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    I'm not sure I understand the situation. Where did you find an article whose author doesn't have a last name listed? (I'm assuming it's not someone with only one name.) I've never seen such a thing. If it's from an unusual source, such as a collection of pseudonymous essays, then it may be worth commenting on this when you cite it. If you give a first-name-only citation with no comment, it will look really weird and people may assume it's a mistake. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 4:47

1 Answer 1


If it's just the first name, cite the work as being authored by a mononymic person. Author names in text are virtually always (a) full name, (b) initials + last name, or (c) just last name.

The consistent use of a first name only, along with an entry in the works cited whose author has that name and that name alone, will make it clear that you are a different person (especially if you actually do quote yourself and have a separate entry, in Last, First format with your works).

If you still feel that there is the possibility for confusion, upon first mention of the author, insert a footnote or parenthetical statement to clarify the distinction.

  • Ok, thanks for the help. I don't have any of my own "quotes" that I put in this essay, but I did use my full name at the top for demonstration purposes. Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 3:23

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