How to Cite an Article Not Yet Published

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Articles that are not yet published that you are using for a paper, whether they are in the process of being published, have been submitted to a publisher and are waiting for a response or have not yet been submitted for publishing, require variation in how they are cited. Citation is still a necessity, but some information is adjusted in the bibliography.

APA Style Citation

Write the author’s name. Type the last name first and then put the first and middle initials. For example, write Smith, J. M. for the author name. For more than one author, write all of the names of the authors.

Include the year the unpublished work was written followed by a period. For unpublished articles that are in the process of publication, instead of a date write the words “in press” to show that while it is not yet published, it will become a published work soon.

Write the title of the work. Capitalize only the first word of the title and italicize the title. If the article has a subtitle, write the title first and then put a colon. After the colon, type the subtitle with the first word capitalized. Put a period after the title or subtitle.

Type in “Unpublished Article” or “Unpublished Manuscript.” For any article from a university, include the university name, city and state. If the university name has the city and state included, you do not need to put the city and state afterward. Any work in the process of publication should use the publisher’s information. If it is submitted, but not yet accepted, type “submitted for publication” but leave out any information about the publisher since it might not be accepted. Put a period at the end. This part is not italicized.

MLA Style Citation

Write the author's last name followed by the first name. Like any book or publication in Modern Language Association style, the unpublished work includes the author's full name. If the author puts a middle initial, type this after the first name with a period.

Write the title of the work and put quotation marks around it. Since the work is unpublished, the title should not be written in italics. Instead, put quotation marks around the title. Place a period inside the end quote.

Write out or abbreviate the type of work. For example, an unpublished dissertation is noted as "Diss." to show that the source is a dissertation.

Type in the college information with the city and state. If the name of the city and state is part of the college or university name, you do not need to write it. Otherwise, type the college followed by the city and state. If the work is not related to a school, such as an unpublished book, do not write any information relating to the city or state. Put a comma after the state information.

Write the date. The date the work was written or the day of the interview is appropriate. If a single specific date is unknown, putting just the year is appropriate. Put a period after the date.


  • APA and MLA styles are the two most common citation formats. Other styles are available, so refer to the guidelines of any paper to determine the appropriate style format before writing up your works cited page.


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