How to Cite a Textbook Reference

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Textbooks are often used as reference materials when writing papers or other documents. When used as contributing material, the writer must document the source, allowing the reader to easily locate the textbook. Documentation may be done using styles widely accepted by scholars and instructors such as MLA, APA and Chicago style. MLA is commonly used in the disciplines of the humanities; APA in psychology and social sciences; and Chicago style is often used for college-level research in history and the humanities.

Citing Textbooks in the APA Style

  • Compile a list of all the relevant details of the textbook you are referencing, including such details as the name(s) of the author(s) and editor(s), the year and city of publication and the publisher's name. Include the page numbers and the edition number of each reference. As an example, this article will cite from page 292 of the textbook "Principles of Cost Accounting" by Edward J. Vanderbeck and published by South-Western Cengage Learning in 2009.

  • Cite the textbook using APA style. Immediately following the text you are citing, include the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses. Using the textbook example from Step 1, cite the parenthetical reference within the body of your text as follows:

    (Vanderbeck, 2009).

  • Include the textbook in the reference list at the end of your document. Format the entry beginning with the author's last name first, followed by his or her first name. Then, place the year of publication in parentheses. Next, italicize the title of the textbook. In parentheses, include by the edition number of the textbook. End the citation with the place of publication, a colon and the publisher's name.

  • Using the textbook example from Step 1 and the APA formatting described above in Step 3, format the entry using the following sequence and punctuation:

    Vanderbeck, Edward J. (2009). Principles of Cost Accounting (italicize the title) (15th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

MLA Style

  • Include the author's last name and the relevant page number(s) in parentheses immediately following the text being cited. Using the textbook example, cite the parenthetical reference within the body of your text as follows:

    (Vanderbeck, 292)

  • Include the textbook reference in the works cited list at the end of your document. Begin the entry with the author's last name first, followed by the first name. Then, include the title of the textbook in italics. Next, include the edition number followed by the place of publication, a colon, the publisher's name and the date of publication. End the citation with the word "Print."

  • Using the textbook example and the MLA citation rules above, format the entry using the following sequence and punctuation:

    Vanderbeck, Edward M. Principles of Cost Accounting (italicize the book title). 15th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

Chicago Style

  • Cite the textbook example using Chicago style. Include the author's last name along with the relevant page number(s) in parentheses immediately following the text being cited. The in-text citation within the body of your text will be as follows:

    (Vanderbeck, 292).

  • Include the textbook reference in the bibliography at the end of your document. Format the entry beginning with the author's last name first, followed by the first name.Then include the title of the textbook in italics. Then include the edition number. Next, include the place of publication followed, by a colon and the publisher's name and the date of publication.

  • Using the textbook example and the above Chicago style rules, format the entry using the following sequence and punctuation:

    Vanderbeck, Edward M. Principles of Cost Accounting (italicize the title). 15th ed. Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009.

References

  • "Concise Rules of APA Style"; American Psychological Association; 2010
  • "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers"; Modern Language Association; 2009
  • "Chicago Manual of Style"; University of Chicago Press; 2010
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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