How to cite a preface in APA

APA preface citation

To cite a preface in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the preface: 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.
  2. Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
  3. Title of the preface: Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  4. Editor(s) or Author of the book: Give the name of the author or editor of the book. If it is an editor, write the name (e.g. J. Smith), followed by (Ed.) or (Eds.) respectively. If not available, omit this part.
  5. Title of the book: Book titles are italicized. Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalised.
  6. Page number: Give the full page range.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 preface in APA style 6th edition:

Author(s) of the preface. (Year of publication). Title of the preface. In Editor(s) or Author of the book, Title of the book (pp. Page number). Place of publication: Publisher.

APA reference list examples

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for a preface citation in action:


A preface by one author from a book of poems by a different author

Felstiner, J. (2001). Preface. In P. Celan, Selected poems and prose of Paul Celan (pp. xix– xxxvi). New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

A preface from a collection of works by one author

Felder, D.G. (2005). Preface. In A bookshelf of our own: Works that changed women's lives (pp. xi-xv). New York, NY: Citadel P.

Note: Here, you can note there was no author given before the book title as the author of the book and the preface is the same.

apa cover page

This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

6th edition 7th edition

Automatic citations in seconds

Alternative to