How to cite a book in APA format

The APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association and is used for academic and professional writing.

Before creating a reference page for your paper, essay, article, or report, it is important to understand how to format your reference material in the correct APA style. This style lays down certain rules and guidelines for different types of reference materials (including books).

Not all book citations adopt the APA style. The format may vary based on many factors, including the type of book and the number of authors.

APA Book Citation: Basic Structure

The basic structure of the bibliography should list the author’s last name, first letter of first name, first letter of middle name (if applicable), publication year, title, edition (if not the first), and publisher. This is the same format for books and e-books. If the source has a DOI link, it should also be included at the end of the reference.

The following example shows a citation with a DOI hyperlink, but the second one does not. Pay attention to punctuation and style. The year of publication is in parentheses. The title of the book is in italics and a period, and the version information is in parentheses.

Book citations in APA

Jackson, LM (2019). Bias Psychology: From Attitudes to Social Actions (Version 2). American Psychological Association.

Rogers, CR (1961). Becoming a person. Horton Mifflin.

This basic format can be used for multiple types of books with a single author or multiple authors. However, for books that have been edited, have no author, have been translated, or require some special format, you may need to use one of the following formats.

Books edited by one or more authors

Books edited by one or more authors will include the editor’s name in the citation. It should follow the basic structure of the book reference, but also include initials, surnames, and “Ed”. For an editor or “editor”. For multiple editors in parentheses after the title of the book. Use the ampersand to separate multiple authors and multiple editors.

Citing authors and editors

Adler, A. (1956). Alfred Adler’s Personal Psychology: A systematic introduction selected from his works. (HL Ansbacher, & RR Ansbacher, Eds.). Basic books.

Marson, G., Keenan-Miller, D. and Costin, C. (2020). Binge eating prevention workbook. (M. Solis, Ed.). New pioneer publication.

Edited book without author

An edited book without an author should list the editor first. List the editor’s last name and first letter, followed by “Ed”. Or “edit”. In brackets. The rest of the reference should follow the basic structure, including the year of publication, the title of the book in italics, and the publisher.

If the book is not the first edition, it should be noted in parentheses after the title of the book instead of italics. Remember, you don’t need to include the publisher’s location.


Atkinson, JW, & Rayner, JO (Eds.). (1974). Motivation and achievement. VH Winston.

Selected articles from edited books

Sometimes edited books contain articles written by different authors. To cite articles in such collections, you should list the last name and initials of the individual authors, followed by the publication date and chapter title.

Next, the editor should be listed, followed by the title of the book and the chapter page number. The publisher’s name is placed last.

Quoting an article in the book

Bartol, CR, & Bartol, AM (2005). History of forensic psychology. In IB Weiner and AK Hess (editors), Handbook of Forensic Psychology (Pages 1-27). Willie.

Translated book

Many famous psychology works were originally written in another language and then translated into English. Books translated from other languages ​​should include the author’s last name and initials, followed by the year of publication and the title of the book.

The first letter and last name of the translator and the “Trans” symbol. Then it should be included in parentheses. Next, provide the publisher and the original publication year.

Citation translation

Freud, S. (1914). Psychopathology of everyday life (AA Brill, Trans.). T. Fisher Winwin. (The original work was published in 1901).

If you are citing a republished book, the text citation should include the original date and the republished date. For example, if you want to cite the above publication in the text, it should be written as “(Freud 1901/1914)”.

Multi-volume works

The APA style guide also explains how to cite multi-volume works. You list the last name and initials of the author or editor, and then list the year of publication in parentheses. Then, you italicize the name of the publication in sentence case.

You list specific volumes in parentheses, using hyphens between numbers. Then list the name of the publisher.

Multi-volume works cited

Harris, KR, Graham, S. and Urdan T. (editors). (2012). APA Handbook of Educational Psychology (Volumes 1-3). American Psychological Association.

E-book or audio book

If the e-book or audiobook is also in print and the content is the same, you can cite it like a printed book. However, for audiobooks, you may want to mark specific information, such as the name of the narrator.

If you want to sign the narrator of an audiobook, the format is the author’s first name and last name, followed by the year of publication in parentheses. After listing the title in italics, enter the narrator’s first initials and last name, followed by “Narr”. In brackets.

Then add “audiobooks” in parentheses, followed by the publisher name and URL. The seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association gives the following examples:

Cite audiobooks

Rowling, JK (2015). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J. Dale, Gnar.) [Audiobook]. Portmore Press. (The original work was published in 1997)

More tips to follow

When you cite books in APA style, there seems to be a lot of information to remember. But remember, the more you practice, the easier it will be!

When you use citations throughout your paper, you need to make sure to track them separately so that you can add them to the reference page at the end.

Traditionally, the term “citation” is used to refer to the source of the text, and “reference” is the correct term for the source listed on the APA format paper reference page.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when writing an APA style reference paper:

  • Double line spacing: Remember that your reference page needs to double line spacing.
  • Indentation: The first line of each reference should be aligned to the left of the page margin. Each line of the reference should be indented.
  • Use DOI: If a digital object identifier (DOI) is available, include it at the end of the reference.
  • Include URL: If you have accessed a book through an online database, please follow the basic APA format and include the full URL at the end.
  • Follow other guidelines: Make sure you follow the other guidelines on the reference page.

Very good sentence

APA citations are an integral part of APA style writing. It is best to check the latest edition of the “American Psychological Association Publication Manual” Keep up to date with all the guides and useful tips.


How to cite a book in APA format
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