How to Cite a Textbook in APA, MLA & Chicago Style

How to Cite a Textbook in APA, MLA & Chicago Style

When people are writing papers or articles, if they have to use some points or data from other published books or articles, they have to cite the books as a reference resource. There are three main styles that most people would use while they need to cite a textbook, which includes MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style. 

MLA is mostly used in humanities and liberal arts writings, while APA would be adopted in education, psychology, or any other social sciences related subjects. In addition, the Chicago style will be mostly applied while people write articles or papers about business, law, or history. Each citation style has the format it needs to obey. So here, the review will guide you on how to cite a book using different styles.

How to Cite a Book in APA Style

To cite a book in APA style, you need to include 6 elements in the citation, including the author of the book, year of the book’s publication, the title of the book, edition number of the book, publication area, and the publisher’s name.

They should be put in order as the following example shows you:

Name of the Author(s). (Year of publication). Title of the book (Edition number). The publication area: Publisher’s name.

Here are also some details you should pay attention to while you entering the citation information.


Name of the Author(s): You need to list the last name of the book’s author, and if he/she has an initial, please also write it behind the name (like Watson, J. D.).

If the book has more than one author, you should include all of their last names, and use the ampersand to separate. But if the authors have over eight or eight people, you just need to list six of them and then use an ellipsis after the last one’s name.

Title of the book: You need to write the full title of the book, including the subtitles (if it has). In addition, the words have to be italicized, and the first letter of each word, as well as some nouns, should be capitalized too.

Edition number: If the edition is not the first one, you need to include its edition number here, following the title of the book.

The publication is: Here you need to write the city or the country where the book was published. If the area is in the USA, you just need to write the city and the US state with its abbreviation, which contains two letters only. If the area is outside of the USA, then you need to write the full country name instead.

Publisher’s name: After listing the publication area, you should also list the name of the publish, but use the terms which have been omitted such as Co., Inc, etc.

How to Cite a Book in MLA Style

Using the MLA style would be slightly different from using the APA style, but the elements you should include in the reference are mostly the same, which include the author’s name, book’s title, detailed chapter (if necessary), publication information (publisher’s area and name, year and the medium of the publication).

Here is an example you can have a glance:

Lane, Lois, and Clark Kent. Superhuman Powers in Global History. New York: Penguin, 2007. Print.

Author’s name: Write the last name then follows the first name. If there are more than two authors, you can just write two of them and use an abbreviation “eds” at the end. For example, “Lane, Lois, and Clark Kent, eds.”.

Book’s title and detailed chapter: You need to capitalize the first words of the book’s title. Please include the subtitle or chapter if there has one. In addition, the whole title needs to be italicized as well.

Publication information: Firstly, write the city where the book was published, then follow a colon. After that, enter the name of the publisher behind the colon, and here you need to add a comma to separate. Finally, write the year of publication and also the medium. Use periods behind both of them.


How to Cite a Book in Chicago Style

Now let’s also see how to cite a book in Chicago style. The major elements include the author’s name, book title (chapter title), publication information, page number.

A full example is provided here:

Lane, Lois, and Clark Kent. Superhuman Powers in Global History. New York: Penguin, 2007.

Authors name: Write the last name first, then follows the first name of the author. If there are both author and editor or translator, the editor and translator’s names should be placed after the book’s title. For example, “Lane, Lois, and Clark Kent. Superhuman Powers in Global History, ed. Stan Lee.”.

Book’s title: You can write the full title of the book or just a single chapter of the book directly. But remember to capitalize and italicize it.

Publication information: Just like APA and MLA style, you need to write the publication city, publisher’s name, and the year of the publication. Remember to put the correct punctuation marks in the right places.


In Conclusion

It is not difficult to cite the books of different categories once you have this guide in hand. When you have completed writing and editing the article, converting it into a PDF format can have a better visual effect and it is more difficult for others to change your content, which greatly improves its security. 

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.