How To Cite Excerpt From A Book – APA

by CJ McDaniel // February 23  

All academic works of higher degree that have to do with writing often involve excerpts. An excerpt is a form of writing that writers use in their writing projects to drive home a point or to explain an illustration better.

Somehow, you may have encounter difficulty referring to an idea read in a book. More so, you may want to reference using the American Psychological Association style of citation. It would be best if you had a useful guide on how to do that.

This article explains how you can cite an Excerpt from a book using the APA citation style. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is An Excerpt?

An excerpt is a quote taken from a longer text, like a book or document, poem, article or film, news, or any literary composition. Excerpt could also mean ‘extract.’ People use both words interchangeably.

Since an excerpt is a quote, you should put it in quotation marks when in use.

When Can You Use An Excerpt?

You can use excerpts at any time and in any piece of writing. You can use excerpts when you want to explain a point better. Perhaps you may have read a book where what you are writing on has been discussed there. And you find that such a person passes on the message in better words.

Or perhaps, you want your readers to relate well with a conversation or popular trend. You can quote such excerpts so that they can reckon with that idea well.

You can also use excerpts when you are reviewing a book. You quote sections of the book as it resonates well with specific points you want to explain about the book.

What Is A Citation?

Citation means giving your readers a reference to the source of your information. When you reference work, it gives your readers a clue that such an idea is not yours. Instead, you borrowed from the intellect of another writer.

Why Should You Cite?

It is necessary to reference every quote, idea, thought, or language that you rely on when you engage in any form of writing project. When you paraphrase, you must give credit to the source, which has helped you build and strengthen your work.

Citation keeps you safe from committing the offense of plagiarism, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

A citation will be relevant to your readers, who may want to find out more about the subject you are writing.

Citation also shows that you have done rigorous research and also that you have worked hard on the subject.

Citation draws a line between your idea and that of another on which you rely. It shows your originality and creativity and your ability to analyze your idea and merge it with that of others; in the end, giving credibility to your work.

Styles of Citation

Different styles of citation abound. These citation styles vary from one academic field to another, and these professional academic bodies are responsible for dictating the type of citation you should use.

You can find out from your academic body what style to use in your work to prevent your rejection or have any reason for your scores reduced for not following the stated guideline.

Below includes some of the citation styles:

The Chicago style, the Council of Science Editors (CSE) style, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) style, the American Chemical Society (ACS) style, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) style, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, the American Psychological Association (APA) style amongst others.

However, amongst the above listed, Modern Language Association, Chicago citation style, and American Psychological Association citation styles appear as the most used styles in academic writing.

The MLA focuses more on who authored what, in other words, ‘authorship.’ It is used by those in humanities, including English, Literature, Foreign Language, Communications, Religious Studies, amongst others.

The citation style here is that they use to put the in-text citation in parenthesis, also called ‘parenthetical in-text citation,’ and give a list of the work cited (also called ‘Works cited’) at the end of the paper.

Chicago citation style is employed by those in History, Fine Arts, Anthropology and Philosophy, and the likes.

Let us discuss the APA, which is the main issue for discussion in this article.

American Psychological Association Style Of Citation

This style of citation appears to be detailed. Those in the field of social sciences make use of this method of citation mostly. Social science courses like Psychology, Education, Business, Economics, Nursing, Linguistic Studies, and the likes use the style.

More so, APA has the date wherein work is published as of its primary concern. It is because APA wants to keep a track record of every invention.

APA uses two key features that distinguish it from other sources of reference. These distinguishing features are in-text citation and reference list. The in-text citation is referring to the source of information in the body of a book. At the same time, a reference list refers to a list at the end of a book that lists all the links to sources of information relied on in the text.

Now, let us consider how to cite an excerpt from a book using the APA citation method.

How To Cite Excerpt From A Book Using APA

The book from which you want to cite could be in print or soft copy. You can get from any of these sources of books in two ways. Firstly, it is where you pick your excerpt from a book directly.

Secondly, you may find an excerpt in a book that you are relying on for research, which is an excerpt already cited by that author from another book.

In any of the above cases, the APA has set guidelines on citing excerpts of that nature.

In the first instance above, the following steps cite an excerpt from a book using APA.

  1. Write the author’s name (last name followed by initials) of the book that contains the excerpt that you have used.
  2. Write down the name of the book’s editor.
  3. You also write the name of the title and edition of the book.
  4. You also provide the title of the chapter or section,
  5. The name of the publisher and the publisher’s location and,
  6. The pages where you obtained the excerpts.

Below is the format of the above steps.

Anson, B., In A. Antonio (Ed.), Styles of citation (2nd Ed.), Citing excerpts from books using American Psychological Association style. Book Beat Press: New York. (2015). (pp. 203-204).

In the reference list, below is how you should cite the excerpt.

Anson, B., (2015). Styles of Citation. In A. Antonio (Ed.) Style of citation (2nd Ed.). (pp. 203-204). New York, Queens: Book Beat Press.

Where there are more than one authors and editors, you should add the names of the other authors, their last name particularly, followed by their initials, and for the editor, instead of ‘ed.’ write ‘eds.’.

In the second instance, you want to cite an excerpt that originally was published in another book.

You will require information about the source of the excerpt and the book where the information is reprinted.

  1. The name of the author of the excerpt, that is the original book. The name here refers to the author’s last name and initials—for instance, Anson, B.
  2. State the date when the reprinted book containing the excerpt was published and in parenthesis. For instance, (2018).
  3. State the title of the excerpt.

For instance, when you are citing excerpts from books using the American Psychological Association style.

The APA guideline provides that only the first letter of the title and proper nouns should appear in the upper case, like in the illustration above.

  1. State the name of the editor of the book where the excerpt was reprinted, like in this manner: A. Antonio (Ed.),
  2. The title of the book wherein the excerpt you desire to rely on is stated. It is illustrated thus: How to cite using American Psychological Association style.
  3. State in parentheses the pages of the book reprint where the excerpts appear. For example, (pp. 203 – 205).
  4. State the city where the book was published, followed by the publisher’s state and the name of the publisher. You should separate these details with a colon.

For instance: New York: Queens: Book Beat Press.

  1. Finally, you state the title of the book where the excerpt was reprinted, the author’s name, the date that the book was published, and the name of the publisher of the book reprint. These details should appear in parentheses.

For instance, (Reprinted from Styles of Citation, by A. Anson, 2015, SmartBook Press).

The final format for citing an excerpt from a book using APA would appear thus:

Anson, B. (2018). Citing excerpts from books using the American Psychological Association style. In A. Antonio (Ed.), How to cite using American Psychological Association style (pp. 203-204). New York: Queens: Book Beat Press. (Reprinted from Styles of citation, by B., Anson, 2015, SmartBook Press).

Citing Excerpts From Other Sources Using APA

APA created an avenue for people to be able to cite excerpts from periodicals. The step is similar to that of citing excerpts from a book, with little differences.

Let us consider what the final format would look like with the same details used in the previous instance above.

Anson, B. (2018). Citing excerpts from books using the American Psychological Association style. In A. Antonio (Ed.), How to cite using American Psychological Association style (pp. 203-204). New York: Queens: Book Beat Press. (Excerpted from Styles of citation. Journal of Book Publishing, 2016 May).


Maximize the use of excerpts in your academic writing. It will aid your readers better understand and reckon with your opinion.

The APA has also provided a smooth ride in referencing any kind of quotes obtained from any source. However, you should consult your authorities in your field to find out which style of citation is obtainable there.

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!