How to cite a book in APA

For a regular book citation in APA style you need the name of the author, year of publication, title of the book and the location and name of the publisher. This information can be found in the first few pages of the book.

There are slightly different rules when citing a specific chapter, an e-book or a translated book.

APA Guide to Book CitationsFree APA Citation Generator

How to cite a book in APA

APA book citation
FormatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year of publication). Title of book (edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Reference listPorter, M. (1998). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (1st ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.
In-text citation
  • Research suggests that … (Porter, 1998, p. 65).
  • In a study Porter (1998) found that … .

Edition: Note that the edition is included in the above example. If you do not need to include this information, simply omit this part from the citation.

Unknown author: In the rare case that you do not know the name of the author, include the editor’s name in the citation instead. Indicate the person is the editor by adding the abbreviation “(Ed.)” or, when there are multiple editors, “(Eds.)” before the year of publication. E.g. Porter, M. (Ed.) (1998).

Place of publication: The ideal is to include the city and state (abbreviation) in which the book was published. If the book does not list the city, be as specific as possible.

Citing a book chapter in APA

You should use the format for citing an essay or chapter in an edited book when you used only a specific section of the book.

The editor(s) is also acknowledged as it was he or she who was responsible for the book as a whole.

APA citation for book chapter/article
FormatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year of publication). Title of chapter/article. In EditorFirst Initial. EditorSurname (Ed.). Title of book (pp. Pages of chapter/article). Place of publication: Publisher.
Reference listBurrows, J. F. (1997). Style. In E. Copeland & J. McMaster (Eds.). The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (pp. 170–188). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
In-text citation
  • Some works have looked in detail at … (Copeland & McMaster, 1997, pp. 170–188).
  • Burrows (1997, p. 174) explained that … .

E-book citation APA

When you need to include an e-book in your reference list, you must tell the reader where they can find the book. You do this by adding “Retrieved from: URL” or, if you need to purchase the book in order to view it, “Available from: URL.”

APA citation for an e-book
FormatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year of publication). Title of book (edition). [E-book type], Place of publication: Publisher. Retrieved/available from: URL
Reference listGarcia, O. (2015). Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. [EPub], Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. Available from: https://www.amazon.com/Bilingual-Education-21st-Century-Perspective/dp/1405119942
In-text citation
  • Research suggests that … (Garcia, 2015).
  • In a study Garcia (2015) found that … .

Translated book

APA citation for a translated book
FormatAuthorLastName, FirstInitial. (Year of publication). Title of book (TranslatorFirstInitial. TranslatorLastName, Trans.). Place of publication: Publisher. (Original work published Year of original publication)
Reference listBurrows, J. F. (1997). Style. In E. Copeland & J. McMaster (Eds.). The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (pp. 170–188). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
In-text citation
  • In her seminal work, de Beauvoir (1949) argued …
  • Women have traditionally … (de Beauvoir, 1949, p. 43).

Page numbers in APA book citation

When using specific information or quotes from one section of a book, APA citations should include the page number from where the information or quote was taken. If you are referencing a work as a whole, you do not need to include the page number.

Formats for page numbers:
  • Referencing information from one page: p.( Page number). E.g. (de Beauvoir, 1949, p. 43)
  • Referencing a range of pages: pp. (Page number–page number) E.g. (Copeland & McMaster, 1997, pp. 170–188)

Example paragraph with APA style citations

Some choose to examine facets of Australian publishing including freelance editing (White, 1997), history and development (Bolton, 1995; Crittenden, 1995; Galligan, 1999; Thompson, 1995) and the industry today (McPhee, 1996). It is clear these sources are written if not by editors, then by those with experience in the industry. While Aronson (1993) considered the impact of the fictional editor briefly (11; 14–15), specifics of the role are rarely mentioned and the concept is largely ignored (Bolton, 1995; Costello, Doube, Old, Paasuke, & Portel-Nocella, 1999; Galligan, 1999; Thompson, 1995; White, 1997).

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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).

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