The AMA system is one of the most common referencing styles used in medical writing. But how does it work? In this post, we look at how to cite a book in AMA referencing, including how to format the reference list entry.
How to Cite a Book in AMA Referencing
AMA is a Vancouver-style number–endnote system, as set out in the AMA Manual of Style. As such, to cite a source with this system, you need to give a superscript number in the text. These numbers indicate the position of a source in a reference list at the end of the document, with sources numbered sequentially in the order you cite them. For example:
AMA citations typically appear at the end of a sentence or clause.1
Here, the “1” means that we’re citing the first source in the reference list. The next source we cite would be numbered “2,” the third “3,” and so on. And if we then needed to cite the same book again later in our writing, we’d simply use the same citation number as we did on the first reference.
If you are also quoting a book, include page numbers in brackets:
The author suggests “quoting sources to evidence arguments.” 2(p45)
The citation above, for instance, shows that we’re quoting page 45. Any reader would then be able to find the relevant part of the book we’ve cited.
You’ll then need to give full publication information for every book you cite, as well as all other sources, in a reference list at the end of the document.
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Books in an AMA Reference List
The standard format for a print book in an AMA reference list is as follows:
n. Author Name(s) and Initial(s). Book Title. Edition number (second edition or above only). City, State (or Country) of publisher: Publisher’s name; copyright year.
As mentioned above, the number at the start of the entry here is determined by the order in which you cited sources. So the first source you cited in the text will be the first in the reference list, followed by the second source you cited, then the third, then the fourth, etc.
In practice, then, a book in an AMA reference list would look like this:
1. Rosenstock J. Noise: A Musical Retrospective. New York, NY: Random House; 2016.
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