13 Creating Reference List Citations: Books/Ebooks

Next, we will use the 4 W’s to look at creating reference citations for the various sources evaluated in the previous chapters. Pay close attention to the punctuation and font emphasis (italic, underline) used.


Step 1: Find the 4 Ws

The 4 Ws for the book (there are four slides) 



Step 2: Arrange the 4 Ws in the correct order and with the correct formatting.

The citation for the book (click image to see it bigger)

The example above is an eBook accessed through a library database with no DOI.

  • Author: is the book’s individual author.
    • As always, use only initials for all given names.
  • Date: the copyright date of the book, found on the copyright page (©2011).
    • This is the guideline for all books and eBooks. The release date of a book is not used.
  • Title: is in sentence-case and italics as it is a stand alone work
    • If a title has a subtitle, it is separated by a colon (:) with the first word of the subtitle in upper-case.
  • Source location: is the book’s publisher (and for ebooks also the DOI or URL if available)
    • If the ebook is in a library database and has no DOI, treat the ebook like a print book and finish the citation with the book publisher; do not include the URL (unless your instructor asks you to do so)


Now try it yourself! 

The Library’s APA Online Guide is a great resource to have on hand for creating reference citations.

Exercise 1: Find the elements needed for a reference list citation for this book


Exercise 2: How do you write each citation element in APA Style for the same book?

Image attribution: “[Colour coded and labelled image for a book/ebook“ by University of Alberta Library’s APA Style Citation Tutorial is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International.


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APA Style Citations Copyright © 2021 by Ulrike Kestler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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