Citing books properly is essential: small details can make everything go wrong.
Citing a sentence, a text, an entire paragraph … is that task that has always led students and authors of books and articles who are especially dedicated to the area of research and / or teaching. Plagiarism is often reported or scientific papers are suspended for having used the format incorrectly when citing.
There are various styles and standards for citing, but in this article we will focus exclusively on the APA format for citing books.
- Related article: ” How to cite a web page with APA regulations, in 4 steps “
What is citing?
A quote is that phrase or expression that is extracted directly from another work to contextualize an idea or theme within a new book or research task. In other words, citing reinforces, contextualizes and serves as a support to clarify an idea that you want to present.
The functions of citing are various and this will depend on the use that each author wants to make of them. They can serve to introduce a debate, to expose the affinity with a specific author, expand a text, clarify an idea or simply give a more consistent definition.
9 steps to cite with the APA regulation
In this article we will expose the steps to follow to cite a book correctly in APA format since, depending on the type of information that we want to add to a new work, we can use one style or another within the same regulations (textual or non-textual) .
1. Collect information
When preparing a new work, it is very important to extract basic and precise information from the author or book to be included, since this will enrich our thesis when clarifying certain information. It is important to go to primary sources whenever possible.
2. Take into account the work and the author
This step is extremely important since a poor choice of the book or author can lead to a misinterpretation of the theme or idea that you want to convey to the reader. First of all, the author must have a certain recognition, that he is a specialist in the subject and whose ideas are reliable. In the event that what you are trying to convey are the ideas of the author themselves (regardless of their quality), focus on that person’s words, and not on the interpretation that others have made of them.
In this case, we must make an exact copy of the fragment to be extracted, faithfully transcribing said text word for word. In this way, the copied paragraph is enclosed in quotation marks, and according to APA regulations, the name of the author or authors, the year of publication, and the page from which the text is extracted must appear in parentheses. For example:
“The East was almost a European invention, and since ancient times, it had been the scene of romances, exotic beings, unforgettable memories and landscapes and extraordinary experiences” (Edward Said, 1978, p.19).
4. Textual citation emphasizing the author
First the author in question is mentioned, the year is put in parentheses, and finally the page just behind the copied fragment is noted. Example of the citation:
Edward Said (2002) wrote that “The Orient that I describe in my book as created in a way by British and French conquerors, administrators, scholars, travelers, artists, novelists and poets is always something that is < >” (p.10 )
5. Extensive textual citation
In this case, it is a text with more than 40 words and it is written without quotation marks in a separate paragraph with an indentation of 5 spaces on the left side, citing the author first, putting the year in parentheses and indicating the page at the end of the text. Here’s an example:
For Sigmund Freud (1930):
The psychoanalysis founded by him could be considered from a triple perspective: as a therapeutic method, as a psychic theory and as a study method of general application, susceptible then to be devoted to the analysis of the most varied cultural productions, giving rise to what he He called himself “applied psychoanalysis.” (p.9)
6. Specific non-textual citation
Quoting in a non-textual way refers to making a brief summary of a part of the work or source consulted, without verbatim copying the idea to be exposed. Example:
Sigmund Freud (1930) prefers to concentrate on the ways to achieve happiness … (p.29)
7. Generic indirect quote
Only the author and the year must be mentioned, without adding the page. It is written without quotation marks:
Karl Marx (1848) refers to capital as …
8. Cite multiple authors
When there are two authors it is easy. Both surnames and the year are written: Marx and Engels (1855). When there are three or more authors, if they are cited for the first time, the last names of all the authors and the year must be included. When they are cited a second time, only the last name of the first author is entered and an “et al” is added : Varoufakis et. al (1999).
Finally, we are in the final section when it comes to citing authors of a book. In the last section of the new work or work that has been prepared, all the bibliographic references of the citations used during the new text will be added alphabetically:
Karl M. and Friedrich E. (1848). The Communist Manifesto. Madrid: Editorial Alliance.
Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. Barcelona: Random House Mondadori.