What is the best way to cite a book when you are analyzing it?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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How you cite a book depends on the course or publication you are writing for.  The two most common citation styles are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association.) MLA is used for English courses, APA is used for psychology courses, and in other content areas, it is best to check with the professor or the publication.

In APA style, you need the author's last name and the date of publication, while in MLA, you need only the author's last name. In both styles, the title of the book must be in italics.

In both cases, the information can be provided in parentheses or in the sentence itself.  Here are two examples:

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1921), is a great American novel. (APA)

The Great Gatsby is a great American novel (Fitzgerald,1921).  (APA)

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a great American novel. (MLA)

The Great Gatsby is a great American novel (Fitzgerald).  (MLA)

In APA, you need a references page at the end of the paper, with more complete information on your sources, and in MLA, you need a Works Cited page.  I have provided two links for you, so you can see some examples of how entries should be formatted at the end of a paper.

 

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