What’s in a Name? Authors With Only One Name
This post is part of a series on author names. Other posts in the series will be linked at the bottom of this post as they are published.
This post addresses how to cite authors who have only one name. These people include celebrities (like Madonna or [the artist formerly known as] Prince) as well as many people from Indonesia. To cite works by these people, provide the full name without abbreviation, because abbreviating the given name would render the name unintelligible. So for example, a work by Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, would be cited as such:
Sukarno. (1965). Sukarno: An autobiography (C. Adams, Trans.). Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
In text: (Sukarno, 1965)
This category does not include people who are well-known by their first name alone but who actually publish under their full name—for example, although you might know who Oprah is from her first name alone, she has published books as Oprah Winfrey and so would be credited in the reference list as Winfrey, O., and would be credited as Winfrey (or Oprah Winfrey) in the text—but never as just “Oprah” unless she published under only that name with no surname.
Do you have more questions on author names in APA Style? See these other posts, or leave a comment below:
- How to write two-part surnames
- Inconsistent formats and name changes
- Cultural variations in name order
- Names with titles in them