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APA Citation Guide: Books

You can usually find all the information you need to cite a book on the title and copyright pages. One major change in the 7th edition is that publisher locations are no longer required. A citation for an eBook is exactly the same as for the print version--simply swap out the name of the publisher for the DOI or the URL to the book. Do not supply a URL, however, if the eBook is from a library database or may be otherwise inaccessible to your reader.

The examples below cover common scenarios for book citations.

Book by a single author

Basic format:

Lastname, I. (year). Title of book. Publisher.


Panella, V. (2001). 26-hour day: How to gain at least two hours a day with time control. Career Press.

Cited in text: (Panella, 2001)

Book by three to 20 authors

For a book with two to 20 authors, list all author names (inverted), connecting the final name with an ampersand (&). For the in-text citation, use the first author's last name followed by et al.

Basic format:

Lastname, I., Lastname, I., Lastname, I., & Lastname, I. (year). Title of book. Publisher.


Bexby, C., Nigel, E., Smith, K., Rodgers, G. A., Williams, H., & Robinson, J. (2005). Referencing and plagiarism: A complete guide. Sage.

Cited in text: (Bexby et al., 2005)

Chapter in an edited book

Use this format if the author(s) of the chapter is/are different than the editor(s) of the book.

Basic format:

Lastname, I. (year). Title of chapter you are citing. In I. M. Lastname (Ed.), Title of book: Subtitle of book (pp. ##-##). Publisher.


Killgore, D. S., & Weber, M. (2013). Sleep deprivation and cognitive performance. In M. T. Bianchi (Ed.), Sleep deprivation and disease: Effects on the body, brain and behavior (pp. 209-229). Springer.

Cited in text: (Killgore & Weber, 2013)

Encyclopedia entry

The dictionary example previously given has a group author, and you would follow this format if there is no personal author for the encyclopedia entry. If there is a personal author, the format is similar to a chapter in a book. The example below also shows how to handle a multi-volume work.

Basic format:

Author. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of Source. Publisher. DOI or URL 


Werder, O. (2009). Advertising theories. In S. W. Littlejohn & K. A. Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory (Vol. 1, pp. 19-22). Sage.

Cited in text: (Werder, 2009)

Book by two authors

For a book with two authors, list both author names (inverted), connecting them with an ampersand (&).

Basic format:

Lastname, I., & Lastname, I. (year). Title of book. Publisher.


Kipp, M., & Kipp, S. (2012). Surviving your first year of college. The Foundry Publishing.

Cited in text: (Kipp & Kipp, 2012)

Editors instead of authors

Basic format:

Lastname, I., & Lastname, I. (Eds.). (year). Title of book: Subtitle of book. Publisher.


Fulke, P., & Vaughan, S. (Eds.). (2009). Sleep deprivation: Causes, effects, and treatment. Nova Science Publishers.

Cited in text: (Fulke & Vaughan, 2009)

Dictionary entry

The format below is for an entry in an online dictionary. If no publication date is given, use the abbreviation "n.d." in place of the year. If the publisher and author are the same, you do not need to repeat it after the title. A retrieval date is necessary as definitions are subject to change.

Basic format:

Author. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of Source. Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL 


Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Culture. In Dictionary. Retrieved January 15, 2020, from

Cited in text: (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

Dissertation or thesis

Dissertations in a database or available online are considered "published" while those you have to retrieve in print from a university or directly from the author are considered "unpublished." The format varies slightly for each.

Basic format (unpublished)

Author. (Year). Title of dissertation. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University Name.

Basic format (published)


Author. (Year). Title of dissertation (Publication no.) [Doctoral dissertation, University Name]. Archive or Database Name. URL


Schaffer, S. A. (2015). The relationships between principal preparation, leadership, and school effectiveness (Order No. 10099929) [Doctoral dissertation, Azusa University]. ProQuest Education Database.

Cited in text: (Schaffer, 2015)

Note: For a master's thesis, swap out the words "Doctoral dissertation" for "Master's thesis."