How to Cite an Edited Book in APA
  • 3-minute read
  • 10th June 2023

How to Cite an Edited Book in APA

APA 7 is one of the most straightforward referencing systems out there. However, citing certain types of source material, such as edited books, can still be confusing.

If you’re looking to use APA referencing to cite an edited book, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our guide below.

What Is an Edited Book?

The idea of an “edited book” sounds a bit confusing because all books are edited, right? In this context, though, an edited book is a volume of chapters or sections written by different authors. Multiple editors can be involved, and the sections are stitched together into one book.

Creating an In-Text Citation for an Edited Book

In-text citations for edited books follow a format similar to that of other citations in APA style, with the name and year of publication included in parentheses. However, for an edited book, you’ll list the name(s) of the editor(s) rather than the author’s name:

Palm trees are not native to Los Angeles (Wang & Louis, 2022).

Wang and Louis (2022) note that palm trees are not native to Los Angeles.

As seen above, if there are only two editors, include both names separated by an ampersand (i.e., “&”). If you list the names outside of the parentheses, though, use “and” instead of an ampersand. If there are three or more editors, include only the first name followed by “et al.”

To cite a direct quote, you also need to include page numbers in the citation:

“LA’s palm trees are not native to the area” (Wang & Louis, 2022, p. 13).

Wang and Louis (2022, p. 13) assert that “palm trees are not native” to LA.

Creating a Reference List Entry for an Edited Book

To create a reference list entry for an edited book in APA 7, you’ll follow a format similar to that of a regular book but will list the editor(s) instead of the author(s). The format looks like this:

Editor, X., & Editor, Y. (Eds.). (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.

Using our fictional example from earlier, in practice, a reference list entry would look like this:

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Wang, S., & Louis, J. (Eds.). (2022). The Secret Lives of Trees. Townsen Publishing.

Edited books can have many editors. List all the names unless there are 21 or more. If there are 21 or more, list the first 19, add an ellipsis, and then include the final name:

Author, A., Author, B., Author, C., Author, D., Author, E., Author, F., Author, G., Author, H., Author, I., Author, J., Author, K., Author, L., Author, M., Author, N., Author, O., Author, P., Author, Q., Author, R., Author, S., … Author, Z.

If you found the book online, simply list the URL at the end of the entry:

Wang, S., & Louis, J. (Eds.). (2022). The Secret Lives of Trees. Townsen Publishing.


Do you now feel confident citing an edited book in APA style? We sure hope so! But if you’re still unsure about something or want an expert to check your references, feel free to send a copy of your work our way. We’ll even edit the first 500 words for free!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cite an edited book in APA 7?

To create an in-text citation for an edited book, in parentheses, include the name(s) of the editor(s) followed by a comma and the year of publication: (Smith & Mill, 2013).

How do you create a reference list entry for an edited book in APA 7?

A reference list entry follows this format (if there are two editors): Editor, X., & Editor, Y. (Eds.). (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.

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