Book Citation: Formats & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone

Mary Firestone has a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Firestone has experience as an instructor for English, English Composition, Advanced Composition, Contemporary World Literature, Contemporary Literature, and Creative Writing. She has taught at a variety of schools such as Ottawa University Online, Rasmussen College, Excelsior College, and Southern New Hampshire University.

Learn about book citations, and how to create them in different formats. Find out which format is right for your paper. Read the lesson and then take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Book Citations

A book citation is an entry in your research paper or essay that shows who you have paraphrased, quoted or summarized. Books citations give credit to the original sources, and help authors avoid plagiarism. They always include the author's name, but the way books are cited will vary depending on which format you're using for your paper.

If you're writing a paper in the social sciences (psychology or sociology, for example), you're probably using the APA format (American Psychological Association). If your topic is in the humanities (literature, philosophy and the arts) then you're probably using the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. These are general guidelines; your instructor might state a preference for one or the other.

Any time you paraphrase or quote, add a citation in-text with a corresponding citation in a References page (in APA), or a Works Cited page (in MLA).

Book Citations In-text (APA)

  • Direct quote example: Jones (2011) states, 'When all the information was considered, we decided to do a review' (p. 28). Note that APA requires page numbers in-text for direct quotes.
  • Paraphrase example: Jones (2001) was very clear about his decision to do a review of the findings.

References Page

Books should be listed by the author's last name first, followed by the first initial. Next, add the year of publication followed by the title in italics. When adding the publisher's city and state, use the two letter abbreviation for the state. For example, 'IL' for Illinois. The References page should be double spaced, and second and subsequent lines of each entry should be indented five spaces to create a 'hanging indent.' These are easily created in Microsoft Word by placing your cursor on the second line, and CNTRL + T.

Author, A. (20XX). Title of the book. City, ST: Publisher.

If you're citing an 'edited book' (a book with chapters or articles by different authors collected by editors) use the following format:

Editor, A. (Ed.). (20XX). Title of the book. City, ST: Publisher.

Book Citations In-text (MLA)

When you quote or paraphrase in your MLA-style paper, include an in-text citation in the author-page number format.

  • Direct quote example: Project manager Dave Wilson stated, 'We've spent a lot of time on the editing process' (16).
  • Paraphrase example: The project has received a lot of attention from the editors (Wilson 16).

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