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EasyBib Guide to Citing Books in APA 7

Are you still stuck trying to make an APA book citation for your research paper? This guide has all of the information that you need in order to make accurate book citations for both your APA in-text citation and reference list. You’ll learn the correct way to cite printed books, text books, digitized books, and e-books. There’s even a section on APA citation of textbook rules and best practices.

If you’re working on a school assignment, scholarly essay, or academic publication, one of the first things you’ll have to learn is to correctly reference and cite a book. After all, books are one of the most common sources of facts, figures, and opinions that you can use to help make your research paper more authoritative and persuasive. 

What’s APA?

APA is short for the American Psychological Association. APA format is based on the association’s Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Now in its 7th edition, “the manual” puts forth a set of clear reference and citation guidelines that are used by writers, researchers, students, and educators all over the globe. In both print and online form, the APA Style Guide is the trusted publishing resource of the social, natural, and behavioral sciences.

Below, we’ve taken guidelines from the Publication manual and condensed them into simple, easy to-digest structures and examples that will help you create APA book citations in just minutes (note that this guide is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association). 

Looking to make citations in a different format? Check out more styles that are available on EasyBib.

References vs. In-text Citations 

To begin, let’s take a look at the two elements required to reference a book: The in-text citation and the reference list entry. 

In-text citation 

An APA in-text citation is what you use within the text of your paper to reference the work of a specific author or chapter within a work. In-text citations are structured under the APA’s author-date citation system (See Section 8.10) in which only the author’s last name and the publication date are required. 

Reference list entry

A reference list entry is what comes at the end of your paper, under “References”. This is the more complete listing of information, and it includes:

  • Author Last Name, First Initial, Middle Initial. 
  • Year Published
  • Title (Name of the Book)
  • Publisher Name
  • Source (DOI or URL)

We go further into the topic of Reference List Entries later in the guide. 

Note on retrieval/access dates

Many online sources change over time and might have different information depending on what you accessed it (e.g., Wikipedia page, Twitter post, etc.). For these sources, the APA often asks for retrieval dates. 

However, stable sources of information that do not usually change over time do NOT require an access or retrieval date (section 9.16 of the Publication manual). 

Books are “stable” sources that do not require a retrieval date.

Note on sentence case

Both APA book in-text citation rules and rules for reference list entries state that the title should be in sentence case. This means that every word in the title should be lowercase, with the following exceptions: 

  • Proper nouns, such as peoples’ names
  • The first word in the title
  • The first word after a colon

Examples:

  • Little house on the prairie
  • And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street
  • Furiously happy: A funny book about horrible things

Part One: APA In-Text Citation Rules and Examples

There are two different forms of in-text citation that are appropriate according to the Publication Manual: Parenthetical citations and narrative citations. It’s important to know how to use both to your benefit.  

Parenthetical citations

The first type of citation is probably more common, and is called an APA parenthetical citation. As you probably guessed, this type of in-text citation places source information within parentheses. It goes at the end of a sentence, before the final punctuation. 

 

Structure:

(Author Last Name, Year Published)

Example:

(Booth, 1988)

 

Narrative citations

The second type of in-text citation is known as narrative. Narrative Citations are appropriate when one or both of the citation elements are already within the sentence, and therefore do not need to be repeated in a parenthetical citation. 

 

Narrative citation structure:

Author Last Name (Year Published) text of the sentence. 

 

There are a number of ways to make a narrative citation; the author does not need to be mentioned at the beginning. Here are two examples:

 

Narrative citation example 1:

Booth (1988) maintained that all critics are tempted to overgeneralize.

Narrative citation example 2:

There are a number of exceptions to this, such as Booth (1988) who maintained that all critics are tempted to over-generalize.

 

With narrative citations, if both the author and publication date are provided as part of the running text, then no in-text citation is needed. Here is an example of one of these rare cases:

 

Narrative citation example 3:

In 1998, Booth argued that all critics are tempted to over-generalize. 

 

Parenthetical and narrative overview

Parenthetical Narrative
Structure: (Author Last Name, Year Published) Author Last Name (Year Published) text of sentence.

OR

Example: It was suggested that all critics are tempted to overgeneralize (Booth, 1988). Booth (1988) suggested that all critics are tempted to overgeneralize.

OR

In 1988, Booth argued that all critics are tempted to overgeneralize.

 

If you’re looking for more information on how to make in-text citations for translations, re-prints, and re-issues, check out Chapter 8.15 of the Publication manual. 

Next, let’s go over different in-text citation situations you may come across.

In-text Citation: One Author

Structure:

(Author Last Name, Year Published)

Example for a basic APA citation of a book:

(Middlekauff, 2007)

In-Text Citation: Two Authors

Structure:

(Author 1 Last Name & Author 2 Last Name, Year Published)

Example:

(Middlekauff & Wagner, 2007)

In-Text Citation: Three or More Authors

Structure:

(Author 1 Last Name et al., Year Published)

Example:

(Middlekauff et al., 2007)

In-Text Citation: Organization as an Author

Structure:

(Organization Name, Year Published)

Example:

(The American Historical Society, 2007)

In-Text Citation: No Author

In the rare case that there is no author listed, then the title of the work moves into the author position for both the reference entry and the in-text citation. 

 

Note that in-text citations use capital letters, even though the corresponding reference entry uses title case (See Section 8.14 for more information about when to use sentence case versus title case).

 

If the title in your reference entry is in italics, then it should also be in italics in your citation. If the title is not in italics, as is the case with some chapter citations, then the in-text citation should be in quotations. 

Structure:

(Title, Year Published)

Example:

(The Glorious Cause, 2007)

In-Text Citation: No Date

If there is no published date available, APA book citation rules state that you should then place the abbreviation “n.d.” in the parenthesis where the year published would normally appear.

Structure:

(Author Last Name, n.d.)

Example:

(Middlekauff, n.d.)

But what if you’re looking for APA in-text citation textbook rules? The formatting specifications for APA citation for a textbook is quite similar to the specifications for citing other types of sources. Keep reading for the structure and an example of correct APA citation of textbook rules.

In-Text APA Citation for a Textbook

Structure:

(Author Last Name, Year Published)

Example:

(Middlekauff, 2007)

It is important to note that each APA in-text citation for books must have a corresponding reference entry at the end of your paper. 

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when adhering to APA in-text citation for book rules: 

  • The names of contributors, such as authors, editors, and translators, should always be capitalized. In-text citation book APA rules also state that all proper nouns should be capitalized.
  • Be sure to place the in-text citation before the ending punctuation in the sentence. 
  • If you are not directly quoting a piece of content from a source, then there is no need to place the page number within the parenthetical citation. 

This is an example of what an in text citation in APA format would look like following a quote in your paper: 

In the context of grammar, a “determiner” is a modifying word that determines the kind of reference a noun or noun group has (Johnson, 2003). Examples of determiners are “a,” “the,” and “every.”

In-text Citation Overview

Structure Example
1 author (Last Name, Date Published) (Middlekauff, 2007)
2 authors (Author 1 Last Name & Author 2 Last Name, Year Published) (Middlekauff & Wagner, 2007)
3+ authors (Author 1 Last Name et al., Year Published) (Middlekauff et al. 2007)
Organization author (Organization Name, Year Published) (American Historical Society, 2007)
No author (Title in Title Case, Year Published) (The Glorious Cause, 2007)
No date (Author Last Name, n.d.) (Middlekauff, n.d.)
Textbook (Author Last Name, Year Published) (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

Looking for even more citation info? EasyBib.com has resources for all of the most popular citation styles, and for source types beyond just an APA book citation. You can find helpful info on topics like how to create MLA in-text & parenthetical citations by visiting our comprehensive guides pages.

 

Part Two: APA Reference List Entries Rules and Examples

Each in-text citation that you include in your paper requires a corresponding citation entry in the “reference list,” or the list of full citations at the end of your paper. Both APA works cited pages and APA bibliography pages are titled “References” in accordance with APA style (see Section 2.12 of the Publication manual). 

There are many different ways to create citations in your reference list. The structure of a book citation in APA citation  format depends on several components, such as what type of book it is (print, from a website, etc.), and whether or not it has editors or translators. 

If you’re looking for information on formatting the references list, see this page on APA format.

Looking for a citation style other than APA? EasyBib.com has your citation needs covered for thousands of popular citation styles including MLA format and Chicago Manual of Style. Visit our MLA works cited page and find tips and tricks for how to cite websites in MLA all in one place.

APA Reference List Entry: Authored Print Book 

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case. Publisher Name. 

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution. Oxford University Press.

 

[/cite_title]In-text citation:[/cite_title]

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Book Accessed on a Website

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

If the book that you accessed online has a DOI and a URL include only the DOI. 

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation E-Book

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Book Accessed on an Online Database

In APA 7, database information is rarely needed to make a reference entry. For this reason, the Publisher Name is usually the only information given under the source element.

 

There are some exceptions to this rule. For more detailed information on how to deal with books from databases, check out Section 9.30 of the Publication Manual. 

 

Also, as mentioned earlier, since books are stable sources that do not change over time, they do not need a retrieval date. 

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution. Oxford University Press.

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Edited Book with No Author

Structure:

Editor Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Ed.). (Year Published). Title in sentence case. Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Chan, D.F. (Ed.). (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Chan, 2007)

APA Citation: Authored Book with an Editor 

If the book in question has an author but the editor is credited on the cover, then the editor must be listed after the title. In this case, in-text citations will refer to the author. 

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case (Editor First Initial. Middle Initial. Last Name, Ed.). Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution (D.F. Chan, Ed.). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Book with Translator

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case (Translator First Initial. Middle Initial. Last Name, Trans.). Publisher name. (Original work published Year)

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution (D.F. Chan, Trans.). Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1905)

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)[/cite

 

APA Citation: Editions of Books

Only list the edition number if the version you are citing is an edition other than the first.

[cite_title]Structure:[/cite_title] [cite]Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case (number ed.). Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Middlekauff, R.H. (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Middlekauff, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Multi-Volume Works

Structure:

Editor Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Ed.). (Year Published). Title in sentence case (Vol. number). Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Chan, D. F. (Ed.). (2007). The glorious cause: The American revolution (Vol. 2). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Chan, 2007)

 

APA Citation: Chapters within an Edited Book 

This section teaches how to create a reference and citation for a chapter within an edited book. In other words, it handles chapters that were written by someone other than the author or editor of the book. 

If you want to cite a specific chapter of an authored book, you can do that within the parenthetical citation, like this:

(Author Last Name, Year Published, Chapter Number)

Here is what  a correct entry looks like for a single chapter out of an edited book, such as an anthology or reference book:

Structure:

Chapter Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of chapter. In Editor First Initial. Middle Initial. Last Name (Ed.), Book title (pp. xx-xx). Publisher Name. DOI if known

Example:

Fox, E. M. (2007). The battle of Long Island. In D.F. Chan (Ed.), The glorious cause: The American Revolution (pp. 75-91). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/1901216

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Fox, 2007)

 

Need help with more than just citations? Don’t know the difference between a pronoun and an adverb? We’re here to help! EasyBib.com has a dedicated tool for grammar, so you can brush up on your interjection, verb, and conjunction knowledge in a snap! Visit our grammar guides pages to learn more.

 

APA Citation for a Textbook

APA citation of textbook formatting is essentially the same as formatting for other types of print sources in APA style. You may want to pay special attention to additional information, however, such as editors, volume numbers, and editions. This is because new editions are released regularly, and therefore edition numbers and volume numbers change to follow suit. For this reason APA citation of textbook rules can be a bit tricky. 

Here is how you should handle APA citation for a textbook.

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title in sentence case ( number ed., Vol. Number). Publisher Name. DOI or URL

Example:

Maggiore, M. (2018). Gravitational waves: Vol. 2 Astrophysics and cosmology. Oxford University Press. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198570899.001.0001

The example above is based on a multi-volume source that has different titles for each volume. If this is the case, then both the volume number and volume title are to be included in the title element in italics.

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Maggiore, 2018)

 

While print sources are great resources for research papers, it is important to include a wide variety of source types in your reference list. You can find additional help with citing sources in APA format by visiting our APA website citation guide, as well as our guide on how to cite APA journal articles. You can also find help on how to create an annotated bibliography. 

Here are a few additional notes to keep in mind when making an APA book citation:

  • If available, add the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at the end of citations in place of a URL. 
  • APA citation of textbook rules are quite similar to other formatting rules, but may require special attention to specific edition information. 

Did you know that EasyBib.com has resources on need-to-know grammar tips and rules? Enhance your noun, adjective, and preposition knowledge in a snap by visiting our grammar guides. 

Writing a research paper can be tough, but EasyBib is here to help! You can find a paper topic more quickly than ever before by checking out our brand new topic guides. And, with dozens of citation tutorials and a grammar and plagiarism checker, you can be confident that your paper is of the highest quality before handing it in. It’s a paper writer’s best friend!


References

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

 


Published October 21, 2013. Updated on April 9, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is an awesome school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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View our visual citation guide on how to cite a Book in APA format.

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