how to cite a book in an essay 11

Citing Books

According to the Modern Language Association and Chicago Manual of Style names of books, among other longer works such as newspapers should be in italic. On the other end, APA’s Publication Manual suggests that you use quotation marks with the exceptions of Bible and reference materials such as almanacs and dictionaries. Since these citations can be quite confusing, you don’t have to cram the specific style since you can use citation generators to help get the correct format based on the required reference format. If the source used is part of a larger work, for example, a chapter or essay, the title should be placed in quotation marks and this title should be followed by a period in the end.

When citing an individual chapter, you should also always include the edition of the book in the citation . There are also software programs, for example, Endnote and Refworks that are designed to manage references. They include the facility to incorporate 'author, date' insertions within your text, and to format reference lists automatically. Full details of the reference are then given at the bottom of the relevant page or, if endnotes are preferred, in numerical order at the end of the writing.

Rules for the formatting of the detailed references follow the same principles as for the reference lists for the 'author, date' system. As the name suggests, the citation in the text normally includes the name of the author and the date of the publication. This information is usually included in brackets at the most appropriate point in the text.

For example, Norquest College provides guidelines for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers⁠—an author category that does not appear in the MLA Handbook. In cases like this, however, it's a good idea to ask your instructor or supervisor whether using third-party citation guidelines might present problems. Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations, or common knowledge (For example, it is expected that U.S. citizens know that George Washington was the first President.).


It is then followed by the title of the larger work in italics, and a comma at the end. There should be a comma after every last name and in- between different authors’ names. You should also include a period after every initial, and you are required to close the Author portion of the citation with one period.

Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, you may need to deal with expectations of what constitutes “common knowledge” that differ from common norms. When citing a single chapter in a larger book, it is important to ensure that you add the page range (pp.) that the chapter spans.