How to Properly Quote a Book in an Essay

Even though books offer a lot of information on almost all the diverse topics required, a lot of people find how to properly quote a book in an essay very challenging. They end up failing to cite the book from where the data was acquired or wrongly quote it. That has caused a high rate of plagiarism which unknowingly to them, ends up robbing the icing of the cake in the essays.

First, on how to properly quote a book in an essay, one needs to know the specific styles of writing required in the essay. This is because of the different styles of citing from books.

They include;

  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Chicago Citation formats.

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Using an MLA format, the standard procedure has to be adhered to. It should begin with the authors’ first name. Include their middle name if it or its initial has been stated on the title page of the book and end with a period.

The title of the book follows with capitalized first letters of all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and any more than four lettered words. However, if there is a subtitle, add it after typing a colon at the end of the title. The name of the book’s publisher is typed followed by a  comma, a space, the year of publication and a period respectively.

Any time one paraphrases or quotes from a book, a parenthetical citation should be placed at the end of that sentence just before the full stop. That should include the last name of the author and page number or range where the data was obtained.

American Psychological Association (APA)

When using APA format, reference list begins with the author’s last name followed by a comma and space. The initials of their first and middle names if given, follow. The names of multiple authors are separated with commas, and an ampersand is placed before the name of the last author.

The year of publication is parenthesized, and a period is set outside the closing parenthesis. The title of the book is added in sentence case only capitalizing its first word and proper nouns in it. If an ebook was used, however, provide its type in square brackets after the title.

For Canadian and US publications, name of the city and its postal abbreviation is provided. All the other publications are listed by the name of the city followed by the country’s name. A colon, space and name of publisher then follow before a period is placed. A parenthesized citation including the last name of the author, a comma and the year of publication is used for in-text citations.  This information will help you on how to properly cite a quote from a book in an essay.


Chicago Citation formats

In the Chicago style, the bibliography includes the author’s last name, a comma then space. The first name of the author and middle name or initial are then added, but, when there are multiple authors, only the order of the first author’s name is reversed. In this case, their names are separated by commas, and the word “and” is used before the author’s name.

The title of the book is italicized with only its first word and that of nouns, pronouns, verbs and adverbs being capitalized. In case of a subtitle, a colon is placed just at the end of the title to introduce it, and its first word is in title case followed by a period.

The place the book was published is then followed by a colon and space just before its year of publication is stated. A period is placed at the end.  For in-text footnotes, a superscript footnote number is situated at the end of the sentence. The information included in the reference is the same as that in the bibliography entry, differently formatted; names aren’t reversed, and periods are used to separate citation elements. The publication is, parenthesized and the footnote is closed with the page number where the data was found followed by a full stop.

Consider the styles mentioned above when you are looking for how to properly cite a quote from a book in an essay.