APA Book Citation – Format And Examples

10.01.23 Commonly used citations Time to read: 4min

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APA style is a widely recognized and used style guide for citing sources in academic writing. It has specific rules for different types of sources, including books. When citing a book in APA format, key compounds like the author’s name, publication year, book title, and publisher are required. Applying APA book citation standards correctly is crucial for maintaining academic integrity, giving credit to original authors for their work, and providing the information needed to track the sources. The following article will provide a detailed exploration with APA examples.

APA Book Citation – In a Nutshell

  • APA book citation stipulates the rules for citing different sources used in research.
  • APA book citation gives credit to several research sources.
  • Citing sources incorrectly or forgetting it completely often leads to plagiarism.
  • APA book citation can be in the form of an e-book, multi-volume book, or a book with several authors.

Definition: APA book citation

APA book citation is the citation style that researchers use in the APA style of writing. There are different specifications for citing different types of sources, such as books, journals, videos, and other sources.

The APA book citation format includes:

  • Author’s name
  • Book title
  • Year of publication
  • Publisher’s name
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Basic APA book citation format

The citation follows the following format:

  • Last name, Initials. (Year). Book title (Editor/translator initials, Last name, Ed. or Trans.) (Edition). Publisher.


  • Author: Brian Adams
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Title: The Story of Bees
  • Chapter: Communication of Bees, pg. 67
  • Publisher: Jason
In-text citation Adams, 2019, pg. 67
Reference list citation Adams, B. (2019). The Story of Bees: Communication of Bees. Jason.

APA book citation – E-books and online books

E-books and online books have changed the way we interact with information. Their digital formats make them easy to access and store on several devices, making them valuable research tools.

APA book citation of digital literature usually includes Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). These unique string identifiers are used to search and retrieve online documents.

The APA citation style of e-books is structured as follows:

  • Last name, Initials. (Year). Book title. Publisher. URL or DOI


  • Author name: Cassie Drew
  • Year: 2020
  • Title: World Sites
  • Publisher: Thames & Kye
  • DOI: https://witley.to/2ObKrVf
In-text citation (Drew, 2020, para. 7)
Reference page citation Drew, C. (2020). World Sites. Thames & Kye. https://witley.to/2ObKrVf

APA book citation – Chapter of an edited book

When citing a book with multiple contributors, such as a collection of works by different authors, you should start with the author of the chapter. Mention other contributors later on the reference page.


Format Last name, Initials. (Year). Chapter Title. Editor initials. Last name (Ed. or Eds.), Title (pp). Publisher. DOI.
Reference page citation Warren, P. (2007). Neocolonialism. In H. Parker & J. Willz (Eds.), Back To Our Roots (pp. 87–91). Routledge. https://wiltley.to/2ObKrVf
In-text citation (Warren, 2007, p. 87).

APA book citation – Multi-volume books

Many publications have several volumes. If you cite a single volume, cite the specific volume. In cases where you have used multiple volumes, you should cite the whole book.

If the title is missing, write the volume number in parentheses without italics.


Volumes with specific titles

James, P. H. (2014). The essays of P. H. James: Vol. 2. The Works of Yesterday (W. Ross & F. Wardell, Eds.). Thames & Kye.


Volumes without titles

Fischer, B. (2004). Chronicles (Vol. 2). Thames & Kye.

Citing the whole multi-volume book in APA

Cite the whole book when you use several volumes for your research. The APA guide stipulates the format as following example shows.


James, P. G. (2015). The Essays of P G. James (Vols. 6–9) (P. Ross & D. Hall, Eds.). Thames & Kye.

Finding the information for an APA book citation

The details to include in the APA book citation, including the title of the book, year of publishing, and the author, can be found on the title and copyright pages at the beginning of the book.

More information is available at the back of the book should you require it.

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Always mention:

  • Author’s name(s)
  • Title of the book (or chapter)
  • Year of publication
  • Publisher

Use the standard format, i.e., the author’s last name and initials, as well as parenthesis for volumes without titles.

An in-text citation is used throughout the body of the text. APA guidelines recommend the author-date format.

For example:

  • We see a strong correlation in the data set in recent years (Barnes, 2019).

In addition to in-text citations distributed in the body of your research paper, you should include a reference page. This is the last page before submitting your paper.

It outlines the sources used in your research from different books and publications. List your references in a numbered list in the order that they appear in the text.

The American Psychological Association developed the APA style guide to create a uniform format for research papers.

This citation style is used to prevent plagiarism, which is one of the biggest problems in research.