How to Reference a Book in an Essay Correctly

Referencing a book that you have used for writing your essay is necessary. Readers can quickly find all the lines that are taken from a particular book. Sometimes, people get confused about the process regarding the same. If you also want to clear your doubts, you are in the right place. We will discuss the process of citing a book in an essay in simple steps.

When writing an essay, you need to consider certain things like the type of text you are using, how you are starting it, and more. It is essential to gain some knowledge before starting your writing. Nowadays, you can also get help from writing experts. They will guide you through everything to enhance your essay writing skills. You will find many websites and platforms that provide such services. It is crucial to research each one of them to select a reliable one. You can visit to receive excellent services related to writing. They never disappoint their users in any way.

Have you ever thought about why it is necessary to mention your references in an essay? Citing not only helps people identify which books you have used but also how much research you did. Plagiarism is another thing that is considered in every piece of writing. You can avoid it if you cite all your sources wherever needed in your essay. Isn’t it amazing? Let’s discuss more things regarding it without wasting any more time.

What is the process of referencing a book in an essay?

If you are a beginner at essay writing, you might not know how to cite a book in your write-up. Here are some simple steps in which you can do it without any problems-

Mention the name of the author:


The first thing you need to do in the works cited section is the name of the author. There is a straightforward thing to remember. You should always mention the writer’s last name first and after placing a comma, write the first name. For instance, suppose the writer’s name is John Mark. Then, you will write Mark, John.

Some authors have a middle name as well. So, you have to mention it with the name. Otherwise, the whole purpose of citing a book would be a total waste.

Sometimes, a book is written by two or more writers. Like, there are three writers of that book- John Mark, Peter, and William. In such a case, you have to put everyone’s name in a similar format. You have to put “and” after the first author’s name.

When there are more than three authors, you have to use an abbreviation (et al.) and a comma after the first writer’s name. For example, there are four or five authors, you will write like this- John Mark, William, et al. This abbreviation is significant as it denotes that there are other writers of the book. People who will read your essay will like to see which book you have used and who wrote it.

Use Italics to write the book’s name:


The next thing you need to do is mention the book’s name you have cited. You have to write the title in Italics. It is essential to make it unique as people will read it precisely. If there is a subtitle, you can use a semicolon. You have to place a full stop after writing the author’s and book’s names. Let’s see an example for the same- “John Mark. Consistency is key.”

There is a reason why people prefer reading the sources carefully. They want to know where you have gained your knowledge regarding the essay. That is why it is crucial to mention the exact sources. Through these references, readers can also determine how much research you have done for preparing your write-up.

Find out the year of publication as well as the publisher:


All the books have different publishers. Sometimes, the content is slightly modified. The publisher’s name should also be there where you are adding all the sources of the book. Apart from that, you have to mention the year when it was published officially. But the main question is, where will you write this information? You have to add it where you have put the author and book’s names. We will take the previous example here as well- “John Mark. Consistency is key. Penguin, 2007.” So, you see, it is not as tough as it seems to be. You just have to take care of the comma and the full stop.

Writers who use e-books get confused about mentioning the valuable information about the book. You don’t need to do anything in such a case. All you need to add is the type of edition you have used. Suppose you have used a Kindle edition. Then, you just have to write it like this- “John Mark. Consistency is key. Kindle ed., Penguin, 2007.”

It means that you should always put the type of edition after the book’s title and before the publisher’s name. Once you remember this, you won’t have to waste a lot of your time thinking.

Use the page number while referencing a book:


Most people believe that one should not write page numbers in the sources section. They think it will be inappropriate. However, that is not true at all. Mentioning the page numbers will benefit the readers, especially at the end of the quotations you have added in the essay from the book.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to write extensive information with the page number. Only the author’s name will be there, along with the page number. For instance, “Consistency comes with discipline (John Mark 14).” In the above example, you can see only two things stated- the author’s name and the page number.

The Bottom Line

We hope now you understand how to reference a book in your essay. The process is simple and easy to learn for beginners as well. Now, what are you waiting for? Go and cite a book in your write-up.