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APA Style, 7th Edition

A guide to using APA Style for writing research papers.

Books come in a variety of shapes, sizes and formats and each format requires variations reference citation is created. Guidance is provided for the variations in the boxes below.

10.2 Books

APA describes how to cite books in a reference list in section 10.2.  

Book citations included in the reference list must include the following elements:

Author. (Year). Title. Publisher.

  • Author's name listed last name, then initials separated by a comma and ending with a period.
  • Publication date appears immediately after the author's name in parentheses and is followed by a period.
  • Titles are capitalized in sentence style meaning only the first word of the title or subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.
  • The complete book title, including subtitle, needs to be italicized. Separate the title from the subtitle with a colon and place a period at the end of the title. 
  • Publisher with a period at the end.

Most parenthetical citations, placed immediately after a quotation or paraphrase, must include the following elements as shown in section 8.11 and 8.13.

  • Include only the author's last name without any initials or suffixes followed by a comma
  • Include only the year of publication
  • When citing a specific quotation, idea, or figure from a specific page of the source, indicate the page number, chapter, or figure or table number after the publication year with a comma in between.  The word page may be abbreviated but not chapter or figure.
  • Place all elements in parentheses with the period after the closing parentheses

This is an example of a reference citation and parenthetical citation for a single author book.

R: Stott, J.R.W. (1996). Guard the truth: The message of I Timothy and Titus. InterVarsity Press.

P: (Stott, 1996, p. 54)


Some books have been published more than once incorporating changes in content.  These books are referred to as editions which must be noted in the reference.

Revised editions note a revised or second edition on the title page.  APA section 9.19 and 10.2 indicate the number or description of the edition should be placed in parentheses after the title but before the period.

R: Stott, J.R.W (2001). Understanding the Bible (2nd ed.). Baker Books.

P: (Stott, 2001, p. 45)

Multiple Authors

Section 9.8 of the APA Manual describes how to list multiple authors of a single source.

In a reference list, list the author's name last name first followed by initials.  All additional authors, up to twenty, are also listed in the same manner. Separate each author's name with a comma. Use & before the final author's name followed by a period.

If there are twenty-one or more authors, list the first 19 authors then an ellipsis and the final author's name. 

The parenthetical citation follows the same format but requires slight changes in how the authors are listed depending on how many authors were involved with the work as outlined in section 8.17.

When citing an item written by one or two authors, give the name of both authors each time you cite the work.  In a parenthetical citation, use & between the author's names.  If mentioning the authors within the text, use and between their names. 

R: Parrot, L. & Parrot, L. (2006). Your time-starved marriage: How to stay connected at the speed of life. Zondervan.

P: (Parrot and Parrot, 2006, p.104)

When creating a parenthetical citation for an item written by three or more, give only the first author's name and then the phrase "et al." However, section 8.18 provides additional instructions for times when there are works by the same multiple authors that shortened would be identical. In those cases, include as many author names as needed to distinguish between articles. If it is necessary to include all author names, omit "et al." 

R: Millon, T., Grossman, S., Millon, C., Megher, S., & Ramnath, R. (2004). Personality disorders in modern life (2nd ed.). Wiley.

P: (Millon et al., 2004, p. 168)

Editors or Translators

Section 9.10 and some examples from section 10.2 of the APA Manual describes how to cite works with an editor, translator, or other special roles.

When an editor or translator is listed in place of an author, treat that name as the author using the abbreviation Ed. or Trans. after the name as seen in examples 10.2.24 and 25.

R: Sweeney, J. M.  (Trans.).  (2013).  Francis of Assisi in his own words: The essential writings. Paraclete Press.

P: (Sweeney, J. 2013, p. 52)

A book republished in a translation includes the translator information in parentheses after the title as shown here and in example 10.2.28.

R: Augustine, Saint. (1961). Confessions. (R. S. Pine-Coffin, Trans.).  Penguin Books. 

P: (Augustine, 1961, p. 34)

Multi-Volume Works

How to cite a multi-volume work depends on several variables which are described in section 9.20 and 10.2 examples 30 and 31 of APA.

When citing a single volume from a multi-volume work, give the title of the entire work followed by the volume number used in parentheses. 

R: Henry, C. F. H. (1979). God, revelation and authority (Vol. 3). Word.

P: (Henry, 1979, p. 150)

When citing a republished work insert the phrase "Original work published yyyy-yyyy" in parentheses after the title and volume information with no period at the end.  For the parenthetical citation cite both the original publication date followed by the date of republication separated by a slash.  See 9.41 and 10.2 example 29 for more information.

The following example is a citation for one volume of a multi-volume republished work.

R: Spurgeon, C. H. (1984). The treasury of David: An expository and devotional commentary on the Psalms (Vol. 3). Baker. (Original work published 1882-1887).

P: (Spurgeon, 1882-1887/1984, p. 120)

If utilizing an entire multi-volume set, give the total number of volumes in parentheses after the title in the bibliography entry such as Vols 1-7.

R: Spurgeon, C. H. (1984). The treasury of David: An expository and devotional commentary on the Psalms (Vols. 1-7). Baker. (Original work published 1882-1887).