HOW TO GENERATE ANY APA BOOK CITATION

This page details everything you need to know about constructing an APA book citation. It has been compiled by experts, and the information comes from the most recent version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition).

THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF AN APA CITATION FOR A BOOK

In general, a citation for a book written by a single author should include the following information: 

  • The Author Surname followed by their Initial(s).
  • (The publication year in brackets).
  • The title and subtitle with the first word of both capitalized
  • (The edition if not the first).
  • The publisher.
  • For online works: a DOI, if available, hyperlinked in the form https://doi.org/DOI
  • Alternatively, a URL, hyperlinked in the form: https://www.URL

Once you have located this information, organize it as follows:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Publication Year). Title (Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

Thus, a work in its first print edition without a DOI would be cited as follows:

Rutherford, A. (2018). The book of humans: A brief history of culture, sex, war and the evolution of us. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

A later edition of an ebook with a DOI would be cited like this:

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/14801-000

A QUICK NOTE ON DOIS, URLS AND EBOOKS

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. In contrast to a URL, which can change at any time, a DOI is always tied to a particular source. As a result, DOIs are considered more stable than URLs, so you should always cite a source’s DOI if one is provided. 

That said, if an ebook is simply hosted on an academic database (such as Google Scholar or JSTOR), you should not include any information about the database in your citation. The citation should be the same as it would be for the printed edition of the work.

Also, note that, while you should include a period after the publisher whenever you cite a work, you shouldn’t include a period after the DOI or URL. As a result, in your reference list, print works will end in a period whereas online works will not. 

CREATING AN APA IN-TEXT CITATION FOR A BOOK

As well as citing a work in your reference list, you should also include an in-text citation in your essay whenever you mention the source. This can take two forms. The first form is a narrative citation, which is when the name of the author is woven into your text, followed by the publication year in round brackets. The second form is a parenthetical citation, in which the author’s surname and the publication year for your source both appear in round brackets together. Examples of each of these for the above sources would be as follows:

Narrative: Rutherford (2018) explores the entangled connections between the history and science of genetics.

Parenthetical: Therapists sometimes struggle to tailor their technique to people from different cultural backgrounds (Hays, 2016).

Note that, as in these examples, if you are drawing attention to an entire source or mentioning its ideas in general, then you only need to include the author’s surname and the publication year in your text. If, on the other hand, you are directly quoting from a work or borrowing from a specific part of the text, then you should also include a page number. Use the abbreviation “p.” for one page or “pp.” for multiple pages, like so:

Some human behaviors are simply “by-products of our evolved existence” (Rutherford, 2018, p. 15).

For more detail on this, please see our guide to in-text citations.    

DIFFERENT KINDS OF SOURCES

The above examples show you how to generate an APA book citation for a single-author work. There are many different kinds of sources, however, so in what follows we provide examples for how to cite the most common ones.

A WORK WRITTEN BY TWO AUTHORS

Some books, particularly textbooks, will have more than one author. An APA citation for a textbook with two authors is very similar to a work with one author:

First Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Second Author Surname, Initial(s). (Publication Year). Title (Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Hays-Grudo, J., & Morris, A. S. (2020). Adverse and protective childhood experiences: A developmental perspective. American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000177-000

When citing such works in your text, you should also include the surnames of both authors. However, the formatting differs slightly depending on whether you want to use a parenthetical or a narrative citation. 

Parenthetical: (Hays-Grudo & Morris, 2020) 

Narrative: Hays-Grudo and Morris (2020)

As these examples show, you should use an ampersand (&) to separate the authors’ names in a parenthetical citation but the word “and” to separate them in a narrative citation. In your reference list, you should always use an ampersand (&).

WHAT IF THERE ARE THREE OR MORE AUTHORS?

For a work with three or more authors (up to a maximum of 20), include the surname of every author and their initials in your reference list. Use “&” before the last author, like so: 

First Author Surname, Initial(s)., Second Author Surname, Initial(s)., & Third Author Surname, Initial(s). (Up to 20 authors) (Publication Year). Title (Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Bohata, K., Jones, A., Mantin, M., & Thompson, S. (2018). Disability in industrial Britain: A cultural and literary history of impairment in the coal industry, 1880-1948. Manchester University Press.

For a work with 21 or more authors, list the first 19 names, followed by an ellipsis (…) and then the last name. 

In your essay, to cite any work with three or more authors, list the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” This stands for the Latin “et alia,” and means “and the rest.” For example:

(Bohata et al., 2018)

NO AUTHOR? NO PROBLEM

When citing a book with no author, start with the title and edition, then follow this with the publication year and any other necessary details:

Title (Edition if not the first). (Publication Year). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

The Chambers Dictionary (13th ed.). (2014). Chambers Harrap Publishers.

In your text, include the title (or part of the title if it is very long):

(The Chambers Dictionary, 2014)

Note that, in your alphabetized reference list, books without authors should be sorted by the first significant word in the title. Thus, the above example would come under “C” for “Chambers.

EDITORS INSTEAD OF AUTHORS

For a source that lists editors instead of authors on its title page, simply include the abbreviation “Ed(s).” in brackets after their names, like so:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Ed(s).). (Publication Year). Title (Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Cottingham, J. (Ed.) (2008) Western philosophy: An anthology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishing.

In your text, you don’t need to include the abbreviation “ed.”:

(Cottingham, 2008)

HOW DO I CITE MULTIPLE VOLUMES?

If a work is spread across multiple volumes, include a note in brackets detailing all of the volumes you want to cite, like so:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Ed(s). if applicable). (Publication Year). Title (Vols. 1–X). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Anshel, M. H., Petrie, T. A., & Steinfeldt, J. A. (Eds.). (2019). APA handbook of sport and exercise psychology (Vols. 1–2). American Psychological Association.

In-text:

(Anshel et al., 2019)

BOOKS IN OTHER LANGUAGES

If you’re citing a text in a foreign language, include the title in the original language followed by your own translation in square brackets. Note that your translation should not be italicized:

Author Surname, Initial(s). (Ed(s). if applicable). (Publication Year). Title in original language [Translated title] (Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Flaubert, G. (1973). Trois contes [Three tales]. Gallimard. 

In-text:

(Flaubert, 1973)

BOOKS IN TRANSLATION

If you are citing a work in translation, include details about the translator after the title of the work. Sort the work alphabetically by the name of the original author not the translator:

Original Author Surname, Initial(s). (Publication Year). Title in English (Translator Initial(s). Surname, Trans.; Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Flaubert, G. (2008). Madame Bovary (M. Mauldon, Trans.). Oxford University Press.

Again, the original author is cited in your text:

(Flaubert, 2008)

WHAT ABOUT BOOKS THAT ARE REPUBLISHED WITH NEW EDITORS?

Sometimes, classic works will be republished with new editors. In such cases, the editor of the text often plays a key role, so you should include information about them after the title of the work. You should also note the work’s original publication date:

Original Author Surname, Initial(s). (Publication Year). Title (Editor Initial(s). Surname, Ed(s).; Edition if not the first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable (Original work published Year)

For example:

Austen, J. (2013). Persuasion (P. M. Spacks, Ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1817)

Note that both the original publication date and the date of the republished edition should appear in your text, like so:

(Austen, 1817/2013)

THE MOST COMPLEX OF ALL: WORKS THAT ARE REPUBLISHED WITH A NEW FOREWORD OR OTHER MATERIAL

If a work is republished with additions by another author or editor, such as a new foreword, afterword, or introduction, include the name of the additional author in brackets:

Original Author Surname, Initial(s). (with Additional Author or Editor Surname, Initial(s).). (Publication Year). Title (Edition if not first). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable (Original work published Year)

For example:

Arendt, H. (with Allen, D., & Canovan, M.). (2018). The human condition (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1958) 

If you are citing the main text of the work, include the main author’s name in your in-text citation:

(Arendt, 1958/2018)

If you are specifically citing the foreword or the introduction, use the name of the author of that specific part, as in:

Margaret Canovan argues that Hannah Arendt (1958/2018) is “preeminently the theorist of beginnings” (p. xix).

Or:

The space race was an important influence on The Human Condition (Arendt, 1958/2018, foreword by Allen).

CHAPTERS IN EDITED COLLECTIONS

To cite a particular chapter where the author is different from the editor of the work as a whole (as in a collection of essays, for example), include both the name of the chapter and the title of the collection:

Chapter Author Surname, Initial(s). (Publication Year). Title of chapter. In Editor(s) Initial(s) Editor(s) Surname(s) (Ed(s).), Title of book (Edition if not first, pp. page numbers). Publisher. DOI or URL if applicable

For example:

Dolar, M. (1992). The spectator who knew too much. In S. Zižek (Ed.), Everything you always wanted to know about Lacan but were afraid to ask Hitchcock (pp. 129—136). Verso.

Cite the name of the chapter author in your text:

(Dolar, 1992)

Similarly to when you cite a whole book, if your chapter is part of an online text, you should include a DOI or a URL as well, as in the following example:

Scarborough, E., & Rutherford, A. (2018). Women in the American Psychological Association. In W. E. Pickren & A. Rutherford (Eds.), 125 years of the American Psychological Association (pp. 321–357). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000050-011

REFERENCES

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

Anshel, M. H., Petrie, T. A., & Steinfeldt, J. A. (Eds.). (2019). APA handbook of sport and exercise psychology (Vols. 1–2). American Psychological Association.

Arendt, H. (with Allen, D., & Canovan, M.). (2018). The human condition (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1958) 

Austen, J. (2013). Persuasion (P. M. Spacks, Ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. (Original work published 1817)

Bohata, K., Jones, A., Mantin, M., & Thompson, S. (2018). Disability in industrial Britain: A cultural and literary history of impairment in the coal industry, 1880-1948. Manchester University Press.

The Chambers Dictionary (13th ed.). (2014). Chambers Harrap Publishers.

Cottingham, J. (Ed.) (2008) Western philosophy: An anthology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishing.

Dolar, M. (1992). The spectator who knew too much. In S. Zižek (Ed.), Everything you always wanted to know about Lacan but were afraid to ask Hitchcock (pp. 129–136). Verso.

Flaubert, G. (1973). Trois contes [Three tales]. Gallimard. 

Flaubert, G. (2008). Madame Bovary (M. Mauldon, Trans.). Oxford University Press.

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/14801-000

Hays-Grudo, J., & Morris, A. S. (2020). Adverse and protective childhood experiences: A developmental perspective. American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000177-000

Rutherford, A. (2018). The book of humans: A brief history of culture, sex, war and the evolution of us. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Scarborough, E., & Rutherford, A. (2018). Women in the American Psychological Association. In W. E. Pickren & A. Rutherford (Eds.), 125 years of the American Psychological Association (pp. 321–357). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000050-011

Hannah Berry (Ph.D.)

Hannah Berry has lectured at several colleges and teaches at the WEA. Besides publishing extensively, she has taught citation skills and written multiple style guides.