How to Reference a Book

April 23, 2013

When you write essays, theses, dissertations, and any academic paper, you focus on your ideas about a theme. However, the ones expressed by other people before influence your own ideas. Ideas that are completely new are very rare since human knowledge has developed in a cumulative way and the input information needed to create new one comes from people who have studied or reflected on them before us. Such influence can be expressed in an implicit or explicit way. The former is perceived subtly. For example, when you write about the earth roundness, you do not acknowledge the work of Pythagoras, Yajnavalkya, IbnHazm, or Galileo Galilei unless you are discussing their specific contribution to that idea. The latter obliges you to acknowledge the source of the ideas you are discussing.  In other words, you must cite the author of an idea that you use but do not belong to you. You must do it either paraphrasing the original idea or quote it directly.

In this article, we discuss how you reference ideas taken from a book using different referencing styles.

Harvard style
Surname, INITIALS. Year.Title. Place of publication: Publisher.
Hart, C. 2006.Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. London: Sage Publications.

APA style
Surname, INITIALS. (Year). Title. Place of publication: Publisher
Hart, C. (2006). Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. London: Sage Publications.

MLA style
Author’s name. Title. Publication information.
Hart, Chris. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage Publications. 2006. Print.

Chicago style
Surname, First name.Title. Place of publication: Publisher, year.
Hart, Chris. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage Publications, 2006.

Oxford style
SURNAME, FIRST NAME, Title (Place of publication: Publisher, year).
HART, CHRIS, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination(London: Sage Publications, 2006).

Vancouver style
Number of reference.Surname, INITIALS Title. Place of publication: Publisher; year.
1. Hart, C. Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage Publications; 2006.

MHRA style
Surname, First name or INITIALS, Title (Place of publication: Publishers, year)
Hart, Chris, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination (London: Sage Publications, 2006)

OSCOLA style
First name, Surname, Title (Publisher, year)
Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (OUP, 2009)

Referencing can be a difficult task since you have to know the peculiarities of the style you are asked to follow. That is why proofreading expert is necessary. You can find online professional proofreading services at

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