How to Reference a Book in APA Format

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How to Reference a Book in APA Format
APA has specific rules about how to cite a book. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

The American Psychological Association (APA) specifies the requirements for APA format in the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association." This manual provides guidelines on how to reference a book in APA style. APA requires writers to cite any information taken from an outside source in the text of a paper and to give more specific information about the source in the References section of the paper.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association"
  • Books

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Instructions

    References Page

  1. 1

    Insert the References page after the discussion section of the paper and centre the word "References" at the top of the page.

  2. 2

    List references in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author.

  3. 3

    References are formatted with a hanging indentation. In other words, the beginning of the reference is flush left and the second and subsequent lines are indented. Go to "Format" at the top of your word processing program and select "Paragraph." In the dialogue box, select "Indents and Spacing." Click the arrow next to "Special" and select "Hanging."

    Referencing Books

  1. 1

    Type the author's last name followed by a comma, the author's first initial with a period, and the year of publication in parentheses followed by a period. Type the title of the book in italics, capitalising only the first word and any proper nouns, followed by a period. Insert the location where it was published (city, state) followed by a colon and then the name of the publisher. For example: Estrich, S. (1987). Real rape [in italics]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  2. 2

    When referencing a book with two authors, type the name of the first author as in the step above followed by a comma. Use an ampersand (&) and insert the name of the second author in the same way. The rest of the reference is the same as in the previous step.

  3. 3

    Books that are published in electronic form only are referenced in the same way. Type the author's last name followed by a comma, the author's first initial with a period, the year of publication in parentheses followed by a period. Type the title of the book in italics followed by a period. Then insert "Retrieved from http://www.xxxxx.">

  4. 4

    If a DOI (digital object identifier) is assigned to a book, reference it as in step one, but replace the location and publisher with "doi:xxxxx."

  5. 5

    For edited books, type in the last name of the editor, comma, first initial, period, "Ed." in parentheses, and a period. Follow the format in step one for the rest of the reference. For example: Jones, B. (Ed.). (2001). Readings in social psychology [in italics]. New York, NY: Sage.

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