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How to Cite School Books as a Reference in APA Format


Your professor may have given you the go-ahead to use one of your textbooks as a reference for a research paper. When it comes to formatting a textbook in your references list, the American Psychological Association doesn't format it differently than any other bound book.

APA Book Format

Textbooks usually consist of chapters written by many authors. So, the name that appears on the binding is usually that of the editor. In APA style, list the editor's last name first, followed by his initials, and in parentheses, list "Ed" followed by a period; use "Eds" for textbooks with more than one editor. Then, list the year of publication in parenthesis followed by a period. Write out the name of the book in italicized, sentence case followed by a period. Write the name of the city and state where the book was published followed by a colon and the publisher's name. For example:

Jones, L. (Ed.). (2013). An American school book. New York, NY: Textbook Publisher.

If the textbook has an editor and an author, format the reference as follows:

Adams, M. (2013). An American school book. Jones, L. (Ed.). New York, NY: Textbook Publisher.

A textbook with two or more editors should look like this:

Jones, L., & Smith, A. (Eds.).; or, Jones, L., Smith, A., & James, B. C. (Eds).

Use an ampersand rather than the word "and."

In-Text Citation

When citing a textbook in-text, follow the same format used to cite an author, for example: (Jones, 2013) if there is one editor, or (Jones & Smith, 2013) if there are two or more editors. Add the page number only if you are quoting the editor directly, for example: (Jones, 2013, p. 4).

About the Author

Maya Black has been covering business, food, travel, cultural topics and decorating since 1992. She has bachelor's degree in art and a master's degree in cultural studies from University of Texas, a culinary arts certificate and a real estate license. Her articles appear in magazines such as Virginia Living and Albemarle.

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