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Main Elements

Image: Main Elements for Books in APA Style

Click on the links below to learn more about:

Author(s)  |  Date  |  Book Title  |  Edition  |  Place of Publication  |  Publisher  |  eBook URL/DOI | Edited Book


One author: For in-text citations give only the last name of the author. In the reference list put the last name of the author followed by their initials.

Two authors: Give both names with "and" between them if you use the names in a sentence but put "&" between the names if they are enclosed in parentheses. Always use "&" in the reference list.

Three to five authors: Give all names in the first in-text citation but only the first name followed by "et al." for subsequent citations. Give the names of all the authors in the reference list and put “&” before the last author's name.

Six or seven authors: Give the name of the first named author only followed by "et al." for in-text citations. Give the names of all the authors in the reference list and put “&” before the last author's name.

Eight or more authors: Give the name of the first named author only followed by "et al." for in-text citations. List the first six authors followed by three ellipsis points (...) and add the last author's name in the reference list.

Organisation or corporate author: If an organisation (i.e. company, institution, government body, religious organisation or other type of organisation) is the author, use the organisation’s name as the author. If the organisation’s name is commonly abbreviated, use the full name in the first reference together with the abbreviation.In subsequent references, only the abbreviated form should be used.

No author: If an author's name is actually shown as "Anonymous", give Anonymous as the author's name. When no author is given (i.e. neither a personal nor organisation name and it is not shown as Anonymous), use the first few words of the title in italics for the in-text citation, and begin the reference in the reference list with the title.
Encyclopaedia entries are not italicised and therefore must be enclosed in double quotation marks.

Two authors with the same surname: Use the authors' initials in all citations.

More than one work by the same author in the same year: Identify each source with a letter (a, b, c, etc.) after the year in both the in-text reference and your reference list. The letters follow the order in which the references appear in your reference list.


Date: Give the year of publication in parentheses (2014) in both the in-text citation and your reference list. 

No date: If no date is given but it is possible to estimate it, use “ca.” (abbreviation of circa) followed by the year. If it is not possible to provide a reasonable estimate, use the abbreviation n.d. (no date).

Book Title

The title is given in italics (underline in handwritten referencing). Only the first words of the title and subtitle are capitalised – of course, any proper nouns (e.g. place names) in the title are capitalised as usual.

Book Edition

If the book is a 2nd or later edition, include the edition number in the reference list but not the in-text citation.

Place of Publication

When giving the location, use the standard postal abbreviations for American (e.g. NY) and Australian states or territories (ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA)

For references with locations that are not from the United States or Australia, include the name of the country.


When writing the publisher name, do not include abbreviations such as Ltd., Inc., Co., etc.

eBook URL or DOI

DOI: When giving a reference to a book in an electronic format, do not include the location and publisher. Include a DOI if one is available.

No DOI: If there is no DOI for an ebook, indicate the homepage URL of the online library, along with a retrieval statement.

Chapter in an edited book