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How to Cite a Book in APA Format

UserEthan time04 April,2020

You cannot complete your college/university academic curriculum without writing at least one assignment or research paper. A reference paper is incomplete without proper referencing for all the resources. That is why it is crucial to understand the significance of citation styles.

APA citation of a book is essential for referencing your work at higher studies. It helps to maintain uniformity. Learning proper APA textbook citation skills is imperative as it ensures giving credit to the writers and preserves the authenticity of their work. By learning how to cite a book in APA format, you get to avert acts of potential copyright violation.

How to Cite a Book in APA

The overall consistency helps a reader to navigate the sources and texts. When you write with precise citation, it improves your credibility and throws a positive light on your research skills. So, let us delve deeper into the APA referencing style and understand how the style is used to cite a book.

What is APA Referencing Style?

Citations are used for acknowledging the work or ideas of other eminent scholars that you have used in your paper. Ignoring the guidelines of APA or any different citation style will lead to plagiarism. Hence, before we learn how to cite a book in APA format, let us understand a few fundamental elements of this style.

APA style or American Psychological Association is a popular style of referencing for science-related research papers. Many behavioural and social sciences experts prefer to use the standards of this citing style. It is advisable to consult your subject teacher if the citation style is not mentioned.

Essential Factors of APA Book Citation Style with Examples

While you are citing, you must remember the mantra “Less is more”. There is no room for unnecessary details. All ideas and thoughts must be expressed precisely.

APA citation style breaks the paper into eight major sections. They are:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Appendices

Other essentials to keep in mind for APA book citations are:

  1. Maintain1-inch margins throughout.
  2. Most preferable fonts are Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, and Tahoma. They must be set at 12-point size.
  3. For every new paragraph, left indent by half an inch.
  4. Give double spaces in the entire page with no extra spaces between the quotes, items, and the lines.
  5. The running head should be capitalised on top of every new page.
  6. For the title page of the APA essay:
  • Running head with a page number on the top
  • Title of the research paper
  • Author’s name below the title without mentioning his/her designation
  •  University’s name
  • List out all the references in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Here is the format to cite a textbook in APA with an example:

Format – Author’s last name, Initials, (Year), the title of the book, (edition). City, state/country of publication: Publisher.

Example – Smith J, (2018). The referencing guide for dummies (3rd ed.). London, UK: Verco.

How to Cite a Book in APA In-Text Format?

APA in-text citation style is commonly used to make references, summarise, quote, or paraphrase another source of information.

  • In-text citation format: Author’s last name and year of publication are mentioned. Example: (Cook,2007)
  • For direct quotes: Author’s last name, year of publication, and the page number are mentioned.

Example: (Cook, 2007, p.15)

  • For sources with pagination: Author’s last name, year of publication, paragraph number.

Example: (Cook, 2007, para.2)

Basic APA Book Citation Format

The basic APA book citation format includes:

Author’s last name, initials of the first name.(Year of publishing). The title of the book, and the publisher.

Example: Solomon, R. (2006). The life of Alexander the Great. Penguin Press

Citing a chapter in a book in APA style

When you cite a chapter in an edited book in APA format, start with the author’s name and initials and mention the editor’s name in the reference. Mention the page range for identifying the chapter’s location. Include DOI, if available.

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the chapter. Initials. Editor’s last name (Ed.), the title of the book (pp. page range). Publisher.

Example: Booker, C. (2006). Capitalism. In S. Malpas & K. Wake (Eds.), The Routledge companion to critical theory (pp. 51–61). New York, USA: Penguin Press.

How to cite a chapter in a textbook in APA with different authors:

The APA book citation style varies for a book written by different authors. You have to use a separate reference for each chapter.

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the chapter. Initials. Editor’s last name (Ed.), the title of the book (pp. page range). Publisher. Include DOI if available

Example: Bruyere, Gord. (2007). Making circles: Renewing First Nations ways of keeping. In J. Coates, J.R. Graham, & B. Schwartruber (Eds.), Spirituality and social work: Selected Canadian readings (pp.259-273). Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

Citing Multivolume Books:

For citing multivolume books, use the following format. Remember to check the year of publication of each volume. List them chronologically if they were published in multiple years.

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the book: Volume no. City, Country: Publisher

Example: Bowlby, J. (1976-1984). Attachment and loss (Vols. 1-4). New York, USA: Basic Books.

  • Citing a single volume:

The format of citing a single volume depends on one factor, i.e., if the book comes with a title or just a number. If the book has a volume number, the format will be:

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the book: Volume no. Initials. Editor’s last name (Ed.), City, Country: Publisher

Example: Eliot, T.S. (2015). The poetry collection of T.S Eliot: Vol. 1.Collected and uncollected poems (Ricks, C., & McCue, J. Eds.). London, England: Faber & Faber.

  • Citing a multivolume book as a whole:

When you wish to cite a multivolume textbook in APA style, you do not have to include the titles of each volume even if they are readily available.

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the book: Volume nos. Initials. Editor’s last name (Ed.), City, Country: Publisher

Example: Eliot, T.S. (2015). The poetry collection of T.S Eliot: (Vols.1-2)(Ricks, C., & McCue, J. Eds.). London, England: Faber & Faber.

How to Cite eBooks and online books in APA:

To learn how to cite an eBook, you must make a note of the essential elements. An APA citation of eBooks includes the eBook format in square brackets. Include a DOI or the link of the website where the eBook is available or can be assessed. As per APA guidelines, include a chapter name, paragraph number or section title for easy identification.

Format: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title of the book: [ebook format information] Initials. Assessed from URL or

Example: Burns, A. (2018). Milkman [Kindle version]. Assessed from

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