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This page will teach you how to cite longer works such as books and reference works, as well as the chapters or entries in them. If the examples don’t perfectly match what you’re looking for, find the closest one and improvise.


Basic Format

Here’s the default format for citing a book:

Author, A. A. (year of publication). Title. Location: Publisher.

And here’s what that looks like in practice:

Youngblood, A. (1999). Addicted to Facebook and fake news: Studies in gerontology. Toronto, Canada: We The North Press.

You can vary the format by replacing the author with an editor, and by inserting a URL or DOI instead of a location and publisher.

Print Book

Groysman, V. & Putin, V. (2017). The fate of the pierogi in Russian controlled Ukraine. Sevastopol, Russia: Black Sea Press.

Print Book Read Online

If you’ve read a print book in an online format, provide the name of the e-reader as well as a URL or DOI:

Carbuncle, R. D. (2015). How to fake a fake smile [Glow Worm Reader version]. Retrieved from https://www.colgatepubs.com/html.fake/url

Whitman, W. (2016). An introduction to urinal etiquette [Pissoir Digital Reader version]. https://doi.org/10.8248/357709ggg0

Electronic Book

Here’s how to cite an electronic book that lacks a print version:

Nibali, B. (2002). A brief history of the little black dress. Retrieved from https://www.blackhistory.org/sartorial/little-black-dress/an335other592fake.url/

If the work has a DOI, provide that instead. If the publication lacks a date, write “n.d.” (no date).

Edited Multi-volume Work

The following entry includes an editor, a publication date that spans multiple years, and a number of volumes:

Sharp, B. (Ed.). (1999-2009). Famous Freudian slips: The complete anals (Vols. 1-11). Lima, Peru: Parapraxis Press.

Edition with Author and Editor

Templeton, R. (2009). The destructive work habits of slobs (2nd ed.). T. V. Time (Ed.). Perth, Australia: Billabong University Press.

Republished Work

Idler, A., Freude, S., & Dung, C. (1999). Hope I don’t fall in love with you: Problems with patient-therapist transference. In B. Stricter (Ed. & Trans.), The Complete Works of Alfred Idler (Vol. 3, pp. 23-166). San Francisco, CA: Golden Gate Press. (Original work published 1928)

Translated Book

Grettirsdottir, L. (2002). A brief introduction to Icelandic humour (T. Smith, Trans.). Thaxted, England: Oxbridge University Press.

If the title is in a foreign language, you can add an English translation in square brackets behind it.

Chapters and Entries

Basic Format

Here is the basic format for citing a specific section of a book:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year of publication). Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, & B. Editor (Eds.), Book Title (pp. xx-xx). Location: Publisher.

And this is what that looks like in practice:

Prune, B., & Bucket, C. J. (2017). Are splash parks a waste of water? In N. Green, & B. B. Gun (Eds.), Climate change and urban planning (pp. 14-19). Barcelona, Spain: Solar.

As with books, you can remove the location and publisher and substitute a URL or DOI.

Now that you know the basic format, let’s look at a few sample variations.

Book Chapter, Reprinted

Cork, V. (2005). The pedagogy of surprise. In B. P. MacDonald, & E. Sorenson (Eds.), Teaching with Emotion (pp. 89-102). Houston, TX: Big Hat Press. (Reprinted from Journal of Sentimentality, 4(3), pp. 66-81)

Online Reference Work

Online works will typically lack page numbers:

Norton, F. (2010). Trauma. In H. Ypnosis (Ed.), The Gobsmack Encyclopedia of Psychology. Retrieved from https://gobsmack.encycl.org/terms/trauma/

Other information that may be missing includes the author, editor, and date:

Adhocracy. (n.d.). In Dictionary of economic jargon (6th ed.). Retrieved from https://www.doej.com/business/adhocracy/

Include the edition number only if there is a corresponding print edition. Otherwise you might want to include a date instead (e.g., Winter 2011 ed.)


We have not provided every last possible variant for citing books and chapters. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, consult the APA manual (or fudge it …).


For more information about citing books and sections of books, please see pp. 202-05 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).