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How to cite a book in APA referencing style

How to cite a book in APA referencing style
cal LiveWebTutors cal 18 Jun, 2020

A complete guide to referencing a book using APA citation style

Assignments are a vital ingredient of the mix of your scholarly life. You might have to develop at least one assignment while pursuing your degree program. For these assignments to be received well by the professors and readers, a proper reference list is a must. An accurately cited assignment is considered credible and authentic in nature. As plagiarism is a strict no-no in any academic writing task, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of different citation methods and further enhance their reliability and plausibility. 

The most commonly used referencing styles used in universities are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Oxford. These methods assist in maintaining uniformity in the text and citations of the paper. APA referencing format helps you to get familiar with the right way to acknowledge the work of other authors when used in your own academic piece and also helps you to prevent any act of copyright violation. The overall approach makes it easy for the readers to navigate around the different sources mentioned in the text. An appropriately cited book or assignment sheds light on the student’s exceptional research abilities.

This article will focus on the details associated with citing a book using the APA reference pattern. So let’s not delay anymore and dive deeper into all the particulars of APA referencing style for a book.

A brief introduction to APA referencing format

As stated above, different citation styles are used for crediting the ideas or work of other authors that you have used in your own academic write-up. Neglecting the guidelines associated with the APA referencing method can lead to plagiarism. It is important to know all the basic elements of this referencing pattern before you learn the fundamentals of citing a book using this style. 

Also known as the American Psychological Association, APA referencing style is Frequently used in documents belonging to the fields associated with a science background. Numerous social science and behavioral experts prefer that students incorporate the APA referencing method in their assignments and papers. It is always better to consult your professor or mentor if the citation style is not clearly mentioned in your assignment instructions.

It was in October 2019, the APA referencing style introduced the latest, 7th edition, of its publication manual. Several citation extensive rules and guidelines were added in this version as referencing online materials gained huge popularity. 

APA referencing style consists of two major sections:

  1. Entry in the reference list: This refers to a list with complete details of the references present in a document and it usually appears at the end of the assignment or research paper. In this inventory, the reference entries provide all the details essential to locate a particular source.
  2. In-text referencing: This refers to a brief citation in between the text and usually comprises only the surname of the author and the publication year of the book. It helps the readers to identify the corresponding full source in the reference list easily. 

Along with all this, the APA citation format also breaks a document into 8 chief parts identified as

  1. The title page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. References
  8. Appendices 

Significant factors associated with referencing a book using APA citation format

While referencing a book using the APA citation style, a student should always keep in mind the saying ‘less is more.’ There is no need to include any necessary details in a reference. Precision is the key to expressing your ideas and thoughts clearly in a reference list. 

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while using the APA citation format for adding references to a book. 

  • While preparing a title page as per APA referencing guidelines you should always take care of the below-mentioned arrangements
  1. All the references need to be arranged by mentioning the last name of the author in the alphabetic series.
  2. The title of the book should be added.
  3. The running head should be supported by the page number on the very top.
  4. The name of the author of the book should be presented right below the title of the book, without mentioning his designation.
  5. Make sure to add the name of the university.
  • It is essential to maintain at least a 1-inch margin throughout the reference list.
  • On top of every new page of the book, The Running head should be presented in capitalized form.
  • The APA referencing style supports Calibri, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Arial font styles, all set at 12 font sizes.
  • Double spaces should be added on the entire reference page with no extra spaces included between the lines, items, and quotes.
  • Every new paragraph should be indented to the left by almost half an inch. 

Easy steps associated with the citation of a book using the APA style 

In order to help you get familiar with the APA referencing style effortlessly, here is a list of certain steps involved in the complete referencing procedure of a particular source added in your textbook. 

Step 1: Start by adding the name of the author. Include the last name first, followed by initials. Eg.

  • Single Author: Sheeran, C.
  • Multiple Authors: Sheeran, C., Adams, J., Ronald, D.

Step 2: Add the year of publication of the source being credited in brackets. Eg. 

  • Sheeran, C., (1987).

Step 3: Now is the time to add the title of the source being acknowledged followed by the edition number in brackets. Eg.

  • Sheeran, C., (1987). Introduction to modern literature (2nd ed.)

Step 4: Refer to the publisher of the source you’re crediting. Eg.

  • Sheeran, C., (1987). Introduction to modern literature (2nd ed.). Ohio, USA: Penguin

Step 5: If you’ve taken the reference from a certain page range, it is added before the details of the publisher. Eg. 

  • Sheeran, C., (1987). Introduction to modern literature (2nd ed.), pp 55. Ohio, USA: Penguin

So, the ideal format of a reference following APA style will be- The last name of the author, Initials, Book’s year of publication. Title of the book, (Edition number), Page Number. City, Country, or state of Publication: Name of publisher.

Fundamentals of citing a book using APA citation format 

In-text APA citations in a book:

In-text APA citations are commonly used for paraphrasing, summarising, references, or quotes from a different source of information.

The ideal format for in-text APA citation 

Last name of the author along with the year of the publication of the book enclosed in a bracket. Eg. (Smith,1986)

In terms of adding direct quotes in APA referencing format along with the last name of the author and the year of publication of a book, the page number is also added. Eg. (Smith, 1986, p.22)

The last name of the author, year of publication, and paragraph number are included when referring to a source with pagination. Eg. (Smith, 1986, para. 5)

Fundamental APA book referencing style

The basic book referencing format using APA style generally includes:

Ideal formatting structure

Last name of the author, initials of his first name. (Year in which the source material was published). Title of the source, name of the publisher.

Eg. Kenedy, F. (2003). The modern introduction to history. Book Press

Referencing the chapter of a particular book using the APA  formatting method

Whenever a student is referencing a specific chapter from an edited textbook using the APA citation format, he should always begin with the author’s last name trailed by the initials of his first name and necessarily include the name of the editor as well in the reference. It is important to include the page range for the easy location of the chapter being acknowledged. If available, DOI can also be added to the reference.

Ideal format: Last name of the author, initials of his first name. (Publication year of the source). Title of the chapter. Initials of Editor’s first name. Last name of the editor (Ed.), Name of the book (Page Range). Name of the publisher of the book.

Eg. Sharma, D. (1996). Investment. R. Kumar & S. Gupta (Eds.), The introduction to banking theory (pp. 61-71). London, UK: Penguin Press.

Using APA referencing style for crediting a chapter of a specific book with multiple authors

When it comes to citing books with multiple authors the APA citation guidelines tend to vary. A separate reference entry is made for diverse authors.

Ideal format: Last name of the author, Initials of his first name. (Year of source publication). Name of the chapter. Initials of editor’s name. Last name of the Editor (Ed.), Name of the book (Page Range). Name of publisher. DOI, if available.

Eg. Brown, G. (2005). Introduction to triangles. In J. Chopra, R. Lamba, & B. Bhutani (Eds.), Shapes and Figures (pp.219-223). New Jersey, USA: American Scholar’s Press.

Messi, K. (2005). Introduction to triangles. In J. Chopra, R. Lamba, & B. Bhutani (Eds.), Shapes and Figures (pp.219-223). New Jersey, USA: American Scholar’s Press.

Using APA referencing format for acknowledging multivolume textbooks

While referencing a multi-volume textbox using the APA referencing style, always cross-check the year of publication of each volume mentioned in the reference. Add the years chronologically if they are different.

The ideal structure for referencing

 Last name of the author, initials of his first name. (Publication year of the book). Name of the book: Volume Number. City, State/Country: Name of publisher

Eg. Baker, H. (2003-2005). Depression and cure (Vols.2-3). London, UK: British Books.

When it comes to referencing a single-volume book, the referencing style depends on just a single factor, the book is launched with a title or simply a number. If there is a volume number present the format for referencing will be as follows:

Last name of the author, initials of his first name. (Year in which the book was published). Name of the book: Volume number. Initials of Editor’s first name, Last name of the Editor (Ed.), City, Country: Name of the publisher.

Eg. Bailey, T. (2012). The collection of modern literature: Vol. 2. A. Anderson & J. McCue (Eds.), New York, USA: American books publishing.

Using APA referencing style to acknowledge a book with no author

When you’re adding a book with no author in the reference list of your document, The format structure should include the last name of the editor followed by the initials of his first name. Adding (Ed.) after the names. The remaining reference should follow the fundamental structure of APA referencing a book and mention the year of publication, the name of the book in italics, and the name of the publisher.

Eg. Adams, B., & Allen, H. (Eds.). (2004). Motivation to succeed in the path of life. Penguin Books.

Citing E-books or online books using APA citation style

While referencing a book that you have accessed online using the APA referencing format, switch the information of the publisher with the details of the book’s format and its online location. 

E-book is a term used for referring to books that are generally accessed on an e-reader. The referencing format of these books requires the students to add details about their format in a square bracket. Add the link where the book can be bought or accessed along with the DOI number, if available. 

Many time e-books do not have a page number, in such cases, the APA referencing style suggest some other methodologies for locating a particular passage in the in-text citations in an e-book.

Ideal format: Last name of the author, initials of his first name. (Year of Publication). Name of the book [format details of ebook]. Retrieved from URL or


  • In reference list: Bradley R. (1997). Fairytales [Kindle Version]. Retrieved from https://amzn.fn/3OVfbGh 
  • In-text: (Bradley, 1997, para. 4)

Associate with LiveWebTutors to explore more examples of the APA citation method

If you only have a basic idea of the APA referencing style, there are extremely high chances that you will face challenges while referencing your academic document. In order to assist you with this, the citation experts of LiveWebTutors are readily available with their top-class academic services. Once you plan to avail of their citation service, you get access to their APA book referencing examples citation repository. You deserve to score the best grades possible and referencing plays a major role in the process. So do not hesitate to reach out to our expert professionals even in the wee hours of the day. 

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