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APA Style (7th edition)

Based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition.


Books are are an important type of resource because they take a broader view of a topic that does a research article or a review article. It is also critical that we use a variety of resources when looking at the scholarly literature or scholarly conversation.

This means that ideally, we should see a mix of source types in our References list such as, print books, eBooks, scholarly articles, and popular sources.

Citing Books: Basic Format

As explained in the Principles of References List section, a citation in APA Style provides four basic elements: Author, Date, Title, and Source.

The basic citation format for a book is:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Copyright Year). Title of the book (7th ed.). Publisher. DOI or URL

Citing Books: The Details

Author(s) – list the author by last name, first name initial. Put a period after the first name initial. (sections 9.7 - 9.9)

  • More than one author – list authors by last name, first name initial (up to 20 authors); put a comma in between the names, and put an ampersand (&) before the last author. [e.g. Hayward, D., Smith, A., & Brown, J.]
  • More than 21 authors – list the first 19 authors and insert three ellipsis points […] then add the last author without an ampersand (&) before the last author (see Chapter 10, example 4 on pg. 317).
  • No author – when there is no author, start with the title of the work (section 9.12).
  • Group authors – such as government agencies, associations, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, etc.  Spell out the full name of the group in the reference list followed by a period. (section 9.11).

Title - capitalize using sentence case (i.e. only capitalize the first word of the title and of the subtitle, and any proper nouns).  (sections 9.18 & 9.19)

  • Titles that are part of a larger work (e.g. book chapters, newspaper article, magazine article, journal articles) – do not italicize or use quotation marks.
  • Titles that are stand alone works (e.g. books, reports, newspaper, magazine and journal) – Italicize 

DOIs & URLs - both DOIs (Digital Object Identifier) and URLs should be treated as hyperlinks beginning with "http://" or "https://".  The hyperlinks should be live and takes readers directly to the content.  It is not necessary to state "Retrieved from" or "Accessed from" before a DOI or URL. (section 9.35).

  • Follow the current recommendations of the International DOI foundation for DOIs formatting.  Currently, the format is:
  • Do not add a period after the DOI or URL as it may interfere with the hyperlink functionality.

Missing elements - see the chart on what to do when certain citation elements are missing in the References List, "What To Do When Information is Missing" section.

Database Sources - Only provide the database name if the reader need to go to the specific database to retrieve the cited work (i.e. limited circulation works or archived works).  Do not need to include database name for works that can be accessed from most academic research databases such as ProQuest, EBSCOhost, JSTOR, Google Scholar, etc. (section 9.30).

Retrieval date - Retrieval date is not needed for most online sources or archived online sources.  Only include retrieval date for sources with contents designed to change over time and the page/content is not intended to be archived (section 9.16). 

  • Follow the format: Retrieved October 11, 2019, from https://xxxxx

More Examples

Print Book with Multiple Authors 

Haddow, K., Bullock, J., & Haddow, G. D. (2009). Global warming, natural hazards, and emergency

management. CRC Press.

Chapter in an edited book with a DOI

Balsam, K. F., Martell, C. R., Jones, K. P., & Safren, S. A. (2019) Affirmative cognitive behavior therapy with sexual

and gender minority people. In G. Y. Iwamasa & P. A. Hayes (Eds.), Culturally responsive cognitive behavior

therapy: Practice and supervision (2nd ed., pp. 287-314). American Psychological Association.

Edited book without a DOI, from most academic research database or print version 

Hacker Hughes, J. (Ed.). (2017). Military veteran psychological health and social care: Contemporary approaches.


Chapter in an edited book, republished in translation

Heidegger, M. (2008). On the essence of truth (J. Sallis, Trans.). In D. F. Krell (Ed.), Basic writings (pp. 111-138).

Harper Perennial Modern Thought. (Original work published 1961). 

Entry in a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, with group author

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Self-report. In dictionary. Retrieved July 12,  2019, from

Note: Retrieval date not needed for most cases; only provide retrieval date for sources that changes or updates frequently.  See section 9.16 in APA Manual for more explanation.  

Religious work 

The Qu'ran (M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Trans). (2004). Oxford University Press.

One volume of a multivolume work

Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, D. T., & Lindsey, G. (2010). Handbook of social psychology (5th ed., Vol. 1). John

Wiley & Sons.


For more examples see sections 10.2 & 10.3 in the APA 7th manual.