How to cite a book in APA
To cite a book in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:
- Author(s) of the book: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to seven authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For eight or more authors include the first six names followed by an ellipsis (…) and add the last author's name.
- Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
- Title of the book: Book titles are italicized. Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalised.
- Edition number: Include information about the edition if it is not the first.
- Place of publication: List the city and the US state using the two-letter abbreviation. Spell out country names if outside of the UK or the USA.
- Publisher: Give the name of the publisher but omit terms, such as Publishers, Co., and Inc. Retain the words Books and Press.
Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a book in APA style 6th edition:
.(Year of publication). Title of the book. (Edition number ed.). Place of publication: Publisher.
APA reference list examples
Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for a book citation in action:
A book with one author
King, S. (1986). It. New York, NY: Viking Press.
A book with two authors
King, S., & Straub, P. (1984). The talisman. New York, NY: Viking Press.
A book with three authors
Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2013). Fundamentals of physics (10th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Specific edition of a book
Axler, S. (2015). Linear algebra done right (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
APA in-text citations
General APA in-text citations follow the pattern (Author, Year of publication).
If you need to in-text reference a specific page or a range of pages in a book, you can do so easily in this form (Author, Year of publication, p. Page number) or (Author, Year of publication, pp. Page range).
The same principle applies to in-text referencing of a whole chapter in a book: (Author, Year of publication, Chapter number).
Here are some examples to illustrate (citing from a fictional book by an author named Smith published in 2009):
Parenthetical citation of a page from a book
The results of the pilot study were later declared breakthrough of the year (Smith, 2009, p. 40).
Narrative citation of a page range from a book
While Smith (2009, pp. 55-57) reported similar results back in 1995, it was only ...
Parenthetical citation of a chapter from a book
The initial idea for the pilot study was coined on a lab retreat (Smith, 2009, Chapter 3).
Narrative citation of chapter from a book
While Smith (2009, Chapter 11) initially failed to interpret the results correctly, ...
This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).