In-Text Citation


Selections from Books


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Other Sources

Citing Books in APA Style

Remember that entries in the References list are listed alphabetically by author.  This page deals with whole books only; there is another page for selections from anthologies and reference books.  There is also another page for anonymous books, since the order is slightly different.  

The components of a References list entry for a book (whose author/editor is known), listed in the proper order:  


Formatting Details

  • For the first (or only) author, first include the author's last name, followed by a comma, followed by the author's first initial  and middle initial (if known).  [Example]

  • For two or more authors, format each author's name as above.  Follow each author's name with a comma and precede the last author with an ampersand (&).  Include up to the sixth author.  For the seventh and subsequent authors use "et al." [Example]

  • If the book is a corporate or institutional publication, give the name of the corporation or institution as the author. [Example]

  • If there is no author, but an editor or editors instead, list the editor(s), using the same format for authors followed by "(Ed.)" or "(Eds.)."  There will be two periods: one inside the parentheses and one outside the parentheses.  [Example]
  • If the work is a translation, give the original author here.  The translator will be listed later.  [Example]
  • If the work is anonymous, start the citation with the title (and alphabetize it based on the title.)  The order will be changed as shown on this page.  (The date follows the title and edition.)  
  • If there is more than one work by an author on the References page, alphabetize the works by the next element.  If there are multiple authors, alphabetize by the second author.  If not, alphabetize by the publication date.  
  • If an author is included with the word "with," include, in parentheses, the word "with" and the author's name, inverted as usual.
  Period (.)
(Only one, i.e. don't write Berman, J..)
Publication Date
  • Include the four-digit year of publication. Enclose the date within parentheses.  (The ending period will be outside the parentheses.)  [Example]
  • The publication place is usually found on the back the title page of the book.  
  • If no date is available, write "n. d."
  Period (.) outside the parentheses
  • Italicize or underline the title of the book. [Example]
  • Click here for notes on capitalization.
  • If you underline, underline the period that follows, unless an edition, translator, or volume information is included.
  Period (.) unless there is information in the next section.
Edition, Translator, and Volume Information
  • This entire section goes in parentheses directly following the title.  Stop italicizing or underlining with the last character of the title, give a single space, and then give parentheses which enclose this information.  
    • The period that would normally follow the title goes after these parentheses. 
    • There will likely be two periods given, one for "ed." or "Trans." within the parentheses and one outside the parentheses to end this part of the citation, as in "(5th ed.)."
    • If you include more than one of these elements, separate them with commas.  
  • If the book is an edition other than the first, give the edition first: 
    • Include the number of the edition followed by "ed." or "Rev. ed." for a revised edition not numbered. [Example]
    • Use a digit for the edition number, as in "5th. ed." or "3rd. ed." or "10th ed."
  • If the book is a translation, give the translator: 
    • Write the first initial, followed by a period, followed by the last name of the author, followed by a comma and "Trans."  [Example]
  • If the book is a multivolume work,  give the volumes used: 
    • Write "Vol." followed by a digit for a single volume.
    • Write "Vols." followed by the first and last volumes used.  Use digits for the volume numbers and separate them with a hyphen (and no spaces).  [Example]
  Period (.) outside the parentheses
Publication Place
  • Include the city of publication[Example]
  • If the city is not on this listfollow the city name with a comma, a space, and the state (or country for foreign cities).  Use the postal state abbreviations (two capital letters, no periods.)  [Example]
  • The publication place is usually found on the title page of the book.  
  Colon (:)
  • Include the publisher's name[Example]
  • You may shorten the publisher's name as long as it remains recognizable.
  • The publisher is usually found on the title page of the book.  
  Period (.)
Original Publication 
  • If the work is a translation, write "(Original work published yyyy)," filling in the yyyy with the four-digit year during which the original was printed. [Example]
  Period (.) outside the parentheses

Read the notes on punctuation and italicization and underlining.

(American Psychological Association, 178-  )

Citation Examples 

American Friends Service Committee.  (1970).  Who shall live?  New York: Hill.
Blotner, J.  (1976).  Faulkner: A biography (Vols. 1-2).  New York: Random House.
Camus, A.  (1988).  The stranger (Matthew Ward, Trans.).  New York: Knopf.  
    (Orginial work published 1958).
Durell, L.  (1959).  Mountolive.  New York: Dutton, 1959.  
Finch, R., & Elder, J. (Eds.).  (1982).  The Norton book of nature writing (2nd ed.). 
    New York: Norton.
Fogel, R. W., & Elton, G. R.  (1983).  Which road to the past: Two views of history.  
    New Haven: Yale University Press.
Frampton, M. E., Kerney, E., & Schattner, R.  (1968).  Forgotten children.
    Boston: Sargent.
Golden, C. (Ed.).  (1992).  The captive imagination: A casebook on "The yellow 
    wall-Paper."  New York: Feminist Press.
Howard, L. (1980).  Zora Neale Hurston.  Boston: Twayne.
Lane, A. J. (Ed.).  (1980).  The Charlotte Perkins Gillman reader: "The yellow
    wallpaper" and other fiction.  New York: Pantheon.  
Lane, A. J. (Ed.).  (1979).  To "Herland" and beyond: The life and work of Charlotte
    Perkins Gillman.  New York: Pantheon.
Orwell, G. (1949).  1984.  New York: Harcourt.
Roberts, E. M. (1982).  The time of man.  Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 
Ruland, R. (Ed.).  (1968).  Twentieth century interpretations of Walden.  Englewood
    Cliffs, NJ: Prentice.
Selzer, R.  (1976).  Mortal lessons.  New York: Touchstone-Simon.
Tuchman, B.  (1978).  A distant mirror.  New York: Knopf.
Which Road to the Past: Two views of history.  (1983).  New Haven: Yale University 
The titles and information given here
are taken from the MLA section of the
Ready Reference Handbook and changed
into APA style (Dodds, 370-371).

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Created: 06/27/2000
Last Modified: 09/25/2002