Within social and psychological sciences, you’ll find a lot of research papers that cite their sources from books using the American Psychological Association (APA) method of citation. If you want to know how to cite a book in APA, you’re in the right place! In the following article, we’ll provide you with a simplified step by step guide so you can cite a book correctly. Also, we’ll show you how you can cite a chapter from an edited book as well as e-books for e-readers. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

How to Cite a Book in APA in Simple StepsHow to Cite a Book in APA in Simple Steps

In the following list, you’ll find the information needed to create the right citation format for citing books in APA.

Step 1: Start with the Author’s Name

When you’re citing a book in APA, you typically start with the author’s name. Write the last name of the author of that book first. After the last name, place a comma, then write initials of the author’s first and middle names. For example, “Stevens, F. M.” If the book has two authors, simply separate the two names with an ampersand symbol “&”. For example, “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E.”. Similarly, you can add as many authors as the book has provided that you separated them with a “&”. Keep in mind that in the case of translated books, you should cite the name of the author and not the translator in that step. If the book has no author at all, simply skip this step and write the title (Step 3).

Step 2: State the Year of Publication

The year of publication is written following the last initials of the author’s name. The year is written in a full format. For example, 1994 instead of “94”. The publication year should always be written in parentheses, such as (1994). If the book has multiple editions in various years, choose the year of the edition you’re using for citing. After closing the parentheses, you should follow it by a period “.” Unlike the previous step, if the book is translated, you should write the year of the translation, not the original year of publication. Up till now, the citation should look something like this: “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E. (1994).” If the book has no author, the date is written next to the book’s title.

Step 3: State the Title of the Book You’re Citing

Ideally, The book’s title is written after the publication year, unless the book has no author. Surprisingly, the title is typed in italics using sentence-case and not title case. This means that only the first letter of the title is capitalized along with nouns. Moreover, the title always ends with a period. For example: “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E. (1994). Analyzing life in modern-day America.”

Step 4: Specify the Book’s Edition Whenever Possible

In many cases, you might want to cite an academic book, which usually gets a lot of revision throughout the years with multiple editions. If you’re citing a book that has more than one edition, make sure that you specify the edition you’re using for citation. To do that, you specify the order of the edition followed by “ed.” and write it after the title. The book’s edition should also be written in parentheses and followed by a period in the end. Up till now, your citation should look like this: “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E. (1994). Analyzing life in modern-day America. (3rd ed.).”

Step 5: Add the Editors’ and Translators’ Names Whenever Possible

If the book you’re citing happens to have a translator or an editor in addition to the author’s name, you’ll have to include their names as well. The editors and translator’s spot is usually following the book’s edition or the title in the case that the book doesn’t come in multiple editions. Unlike the author’s name, you’ll start by writing their initials followed by their last name while following the appropriate abbreviation (, Ed.) for editors and (, Trans.) for translators. The final result should look like this: “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E. (1994). Analyzing life in modern-day America. (3rd ed.). (M. J. Collins, Trans)”

Step 6: Add the Publisher’s Name 

In previous APA manuals, you needed to write the publisher’s name and location. If the publisher was from the United States, you write the city and postal abbreviation of that state or write the city and country of any other country. However, since the 7th edition of the APA manual, the publisher’s location isn’t necessary anymore. Now, you only need to write the publisher’s name. The publisher’s name is written in the end following all previous entries and followed by a period like this: “Stevens, F. M. & Clark J. E. (1994). Analyzing life in modern-day America. (3rd ed.). (M. J. Collins, Trans). Blue Flower Publications.”

How to Cite a Chapter from an Edited Book in APA

Citing a chapter from an edited book in APA format is quite similar to citing a book with some variations. When you’re citing a specific chapter from an edited book of many authors, you’ll only need to focus on those who contributed to the chapter you’re citing rather than the entire work staff of the book. If that chapter has a single author, you mention their name in the same way you do for basic book citations. However, if there are multiple authors, you write them in “name, name, & name” format while keeping the same “last name first then initials” rules. After that, you type the date of the publication of the book itself in parentheses and the name of the chapter, followed by the same steps from Step 3 above just like a normal book with the same rules.

How to Cite an E-Book from an E-Reader

Citing an e-book is quite similar to normal books with minor differences. You start with the author’s name, year of publication, and the book’s title. The main difference here is that you’ll have to type in the E-reader version in square brackets form [ ]. Also, you’ll need to provide the URL where that e-book can be found.

Wrap Up

There you have it. A complete guide that shows you all the steps needed on how to cite a book in APA. By following these steps, you’ll be able to cite any book, chapter, or even an e-book with no mistakes!

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