How to Cite Books in APA

When citing books, make sure to gather the following bibliographic elements:

  • the author name(s)
  • translator and editor name(s)
  • the book’s title
  • the edition
  • the publication date
  • the publisher
  • the place of publication.

Note that locations in the U.S. are abbreviated in accordance with the U.S. Postal Service guidelines for abbreviating states and territories.

Example: Massachusetts, MA.

Provide the name of the publisher after a colon excluding Co. and Inc., which are not necessary for the identification of the publisher.

However, do not omit words Books and Press.

When the author and the publisher are the same, use the word Author instead of the publisher’s name.


In our citation examples we use the following color coding:

  • Red – Author
  • Blue – Title of book/article/charter/webpage
  • Pink – Date
  • Orange – Website/Publisher
  • Turquoise – Place of publication
  • Violet – Editor/Translator
  • Black – Volume/Issue
  • Sienna – Pages
  • Gray – URL/database/website where the source is retrieved
  • Gold – Book, a part/chapter of which is being cited
  • Peach – Additional information about the source (i.e. its type, specific features etc.)
One author Two authors Three to five authors Six to seven authors More than seven authors Corporate/Organization Author Unknown author Two or more works by the same author Two or more works by the same author, same year Edited book, no author Edited book with an author/authors Author with a translator Different editions Chapter in an edited book Multivolume work Encyclopedia/Dictionary Foreword, introduction, preface, or afterword Online books

One author

Drewett, P. (2012). Field archaeology: An introduction. London, England: UCL Press.

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Two authors

Greene, J., & Scott, D. (2004). Finding Sand Creek. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

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Three to five authors

McNeil, A. J., Frey, R., & Embrechts, P. (2015). Quantitative risk management: Concepts, techniques and tools. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Six to seven authors

Bexby, C., Nigel, E., Smith, K., Rodgers, G. A., Williams, H., & Robinson, J. (2005). Referencing and plagiarism: A complete guide. London, England: Sage Publications.

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More than seven authors

Provide last names and initials for six authors of the work. Insert three dots after the name of the sixth author followed by the last author’s name.

Mehrer, M., Flatman, J., Flemming, N., Baxter, J., Orser, C., Wescot, K.,…Wescott, K. (2006). GIS and archaeological site location modeling. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis.

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Corporate/Organization Author

If there is a report, publication or contract number assigned to a document by the issuing organization, write that number in parenthesis after the title.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). 2008 Physical activity guidelines for Americans (NIH Publication No. U0036). Retrieved from https://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf

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Unknown author

Alluvial archaeology in Europe. (2009). New York, NY: Routledge.

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Two or more works by the same author

If you have to cite several works by the same author – those that have been written earlier come first in the list.

Malhotra, Y. (2012). Knowledge management and virtual organizations. Naperville, IL: SAGE.

Malhotra, Y. (2014). Managing organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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Two or more works by the same author, same year

Works by the same author and with the same publication date are ordered alphabetically by the title (disregarding articles). Add a, b, c … to distinguish citations.

Gabarro, J. (2011a). Criminal justice organizations: Administration and management. Reston, VA: Routledge.

Gabarro, J. (2011b). Managing and organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Edited book, no author

In a reference to an edited book with no author, move the editor name in the author position, and follow it with the parenthetical abbreviation (Ed.) for one editor or (Eds.) for multiple editors.

Palenchar, M., & Greenwald, H. (Eds.). (2009). The management of organizations: Responsibility for performance. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

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Edited book with an author/authors

When citing APA book with editor source, place names of editors immediately after the book’s title followed by the parenthetical abbreviation (Ed.) for one editor or (Eds.) for multiple editors. Mind that when writing editor’s names, you should write initials of their names first.

Calfee, M. (2011). Strategic issues management: A systems and human resources approach. K.V. Emory (Ed.). Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Author with a translator

Need APA reference for translated book?

Easy!

Just place the translator’s names immediately after the book’s title, add the abbreviation “Trans.” in brackets.

If the book is republished, provide both publishing dates.

Leary, P. (2009). Metaphors in the history of psychology. (A. W. Burt& F. L. Kernberg, Trans.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1921).

Note that in-text referencing of a republished source also includes both publishing dates.

Leary (1921/2009).

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Different editions

Include information about the edition in parenthesis immediately after the title.

Shotton, M. L., & Schiraldi, G. (2016). The need for revision (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Dover.

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Chapter in an edited book

When it comes to chapter in an edited book, make sure that:

  • You do not invert the editors’ names and do not place them in the author position.
  • The editors’ names are preceded by the word In. and followed by the parenthetical abbreviation (Ed.) for one editor or (Eds.) for multiple editors.

Note: if an editorial board consists of more than 3 members, include the name of the lead editor and follow it by et al.

Wiener, P. (2013). Gender issues across the globe. In A. A. Krugman & F. D. Kempe (Eds.), Gender identity and gender politics (pp. 134-146). Frankfurt, Germany: Springer.

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Multivolume work

Multivolume work sounds scary in works cited APA.

In fact, it’s super simple:

Just add information about volume number(s) in parenthesis immediately after the book’s title.

Haybron, D. M. (2009-2011). Perspectives on Piaget’s theory (Vols. 1-4). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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Encyclopedia/Dictionary

Graham, T. (Ed.). (2009). Encyclopedia of psychology: The great discoveries (Vols. 1-3). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

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Foreword, introduction, preface, or afterword

Provide the names of the authors of the book and follow the date of the book’s publishing with the word Foreword (or Introduction, Preface, Afterword). Add the page numbers after the book’s title.

Brooks, G. (2013). Introduction. Consequences of government spending (pp. 3-11). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

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Online books

Taubman, M. (2015). The psychoanalytic vision: The experiencing subject, transcendence and the therapeutic process [EBSCO NetLibrary version]. Retrieved from http://www.ebscohost.com

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