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APA Citation Style 6th ed.: Citing Books

This is a guide on how to use the American Psychological Association citation style. It provides examples of basic formats for sources using APA Style.

Basic Book Styles

There are many potential types of books to be cited.  For more examples, check out section 7.02 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Your citations will follow this general format:    

Author(s). (Date). Title. Place of publication: Publisher.


Single author:

Doe, J. (2009). Writing styles.  New York, NY:  Doe Publishers.

Two to seven authors:

Doe, J., Richards, R.S., & Smith, T.J.  (2001). Writing

      techniques. New York, NY:  Doe Publishers.

More than seven authors:

Doe, J., Richards, R.S., Jones, J.A., Jones, J.D., Johnson, R.D.,

      Smith, T.J., ...Thomas, L.  (2002). The style and technique of writing

      New York, NY: Doe Publishers.

No author listed:

Electronic reference formats in the community. (2002). 

      New York, NY:  Doe Publishers.

Secondary Sources

Only cite secondary sources when you are unable to obtain the original. When you are quoting or paraphrasing information by someone who was quoted in a secondary source, and you have not read the original, you should cite the original source within the text, and then cite the secondary source in the reference list.  You should attempt to find and read the original work, if possible. 

Citing original work within text:

Example: noted by Virginia Chou (as cited in Appiah, 2010)...

Citing secondary source in reference list:


   Appiah, K.W. (2010). The Honor Code: How moral revolutions

         happen. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

ERIC Documents

ERIC Documents are cited like other Technical and Research Reports (see page 205 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association):


Author(s). (Date of publication). Title of Document (Report #).

      Retrieved from Database name.


Sales, A. (2004). Preventing substance abuse: a guide for school

      counselors (ED482769). Retrieved from ERIC database.

Other examples

Place of publication outside the United States:

Johnston, A. (2003). Missionary and empire, 1800-1860. Cambridge,

        England: Cambridge University Press.

Book chapters:

Smith, T.R. (2008).  How to write. In R.D. Jones, & R.S. Richards (Eds.),

        Writing with style and technique (pp. 96-101).  New York, NY:

        Doe Publishers.

Electronic only books (doi is used in sample below.  If doi is not available, identify url of publisher instead):

Jones, S.P. (2008). Writing for the future. doi:109.876.5X43.21

Encyclopedia articles

Encyclopedia Article:

   Print Encyclopedia:


            Author(s). (Date). Title of chapter or entry. In Editor(s),

                  Title of book (Page numbers). Place of publication: Publisher.


             Waas, G.A. & Kleckler, D.M. (2000). Play Therapy. In A.E. Kazdin

                  (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology (Vol. 6, pp 218-222). Washington,|

                  D.C.: American Psychological Association.

   Online Encyclopedia:


            Author(s). (Date). Title of chapter or entry. In Editor(s).

                  Title of book (page numbers). Retrieved from URL


            Crane, S.C.M. (2008). Play Therapy. In Frederick T. L. Leong,

                  Elizabeth M. Altmaier, and Brian D. Johnson (Eds.), Encyclopedia

                  of Counseling: Vol. 1: Changes and Challenges for Counseling in the

                  21st Century (pp. 331-334). Retrieved from



Dissertations & Theses

Below is the basic format for citing dissertations and theses in APA citation style.  For more details, go to page 207 in the paperback edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. If available, include the accession number at the end of the citation.


Author. (Date of publication). Title of Dissertation or Thesis

      (Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis). Retrieved from

      Name of database. (Accession #)


Threinen, Noni. (2009). Ways of learning and leadership: Midlife women in

        communities of practice
(Doctoral dissertation).  Retrieved from ProQuest

        Dissertations and Theses Full-Text database. (AAT 3360817)