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What information do I need to cite a book?

Where do you look for citation information?

There are two places to get the information you need for a book citation: the title page, and the reverse side of the title page (sometimes called the verso).

It is important to check the guidelines for the citation style your instructor requires for your assignment. Each citation style (such as APA or MLA) will have different formatting and style rules that must to be followed. 
 
Ebooks may have different requirements -- we recommend you check your citation style to be sure.

For the best printing results for this guide, use the printer-friendly PDF format

Cover

The book cover will have some, but not all, of the information you need for a citation.

Cover of Cory Doctorow's book Information Doesn't Want to be Free

Title page

A title page will generally have the title, subtitle, author, and publisher. Some title pages will also include publisher location and edition information. 

Title page of Cory Doctorow's book Information Doesn't Want to be Free

Title Information doesn't want to be free

Subtitle Laws for the internet age

Author Cory Doctorow

Publisher McSweeney's

Publisher location San Francisco

Reverse side of title page (verso)

The reverse side of the title page will contain the rest of the information you need -- plus more! Typically what is needed for a citation is the date, author, publisher, and publisher location.

The reverse side of the title page of Cory Doctorow's book Information Doesn't Want to be Free

Date 2014

Publisher McSweeney's

Publisher location San Francisco

 

Question: How do you cite when there is more than one publisher location or date?
 
Answer: It depends. Check your citation style to be sure. 

More help

See also:

What information do I need to cite a journal article?

What information do I need to cite a webpage?

Questions? Ask us!