Authored Book: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Find out what an authored book is, and how it's different from other types of books. Learn how authored books are cited in different formats. Read the lesson, and take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Authored Books

An authored book is one that's been written by one or more authors. This might seem obvious, but in the world of publishing, a distinction is made between authored books and edited books. When editors compile a group of articles or chapters written by different authors and publish it in a single volume, it's called an 'edited book.'

Citing Authored Books

Authored books are good primary sources for research papers and essays. When you quote or paraphrase the author in your document, you'll need to give credit with an in-text citation. Like other sources, the authored book should also have a corresponding citation in the Works Cited or References page at the end of your paper.

MLA (Modern Language Association)

When you cite an authored book in-text in MLA style, use the author's name and the page number where it originally appeared.

  • Direct quote: Marcus Jones reports that students '...spend too much time on Facebook' (24).
  • Paraphrase: Jones says that social media has changed the interpersonal landscape (46).

If there's no page number, use paragraph numbers if available in the original, for example: (Jones, par. 4)

  • Multiple authors in-text: Identify two or three-author books by the last name and page number (Jones, Smith, and Olson 24). Books with four or more authors can have all four be identified by last name, or one last name and 'et al.' (Johnson et al. 34)

This is how authored books should appear on your Works Cited page:

One-author book:

  • McInerney, Jay. Bright Lights Big City. New York: Random House, 1984. Print.

When your authored book has two or more authors, the last name of the first author (the one that appears first in the book title) is followed by his first name. For example:

  • Hinds, Denise, Marlene Ames, John Smith, and Mavis Simons. 'Smart Women Gathered.' New York: Penguin, 1965. Print.

APA (American Psychological Association)

In APA style, you should use the author-year method when citing in-text. With APA, only direct quotes require a page number in the citation.

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