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Citing tips: how to write a book name in an essay

There are many many ways to format a piece of academic writing. This can easily frustrate the novice writer who is inexperienced in all of them or may have experience only in one type which just happens to not be needed. There are a good few online resources to help you in your quest for a well formatted essay however most would agree that the easiest place to meet your downfall is in the references. When you want to include a piece of work that you make reference to, remember to include the following:


This one should go without saying but as most academics will tell you, there’s always going to be one student who forgets the title. Make sure you write the title of the work you referenced in full. Check thoroughly that you are using the correct title because some authors have several books with very similar names.

Author’s Name(s)

Depending on the format you are trying to adhere to it may make more sense to write the author’s name in full or to put in a complete surname and a full initial. Authors with particularly common names may warrant a middle initial as well. Where more than one person helped write the book, you should either write in their names or refer to them as ‘et al’.

Year Published

This may not seem like a very important part of the citation but humor the academics and include it anyway. You need not put in the month as well unless you are referencing a scholastic journal that gets released several times per year.


Another seemingly unimportant aspect of your citation. There may, however, be subtle differences in style that result from being printed by one publisher rather than another so this may be useful for the people marking your essay to be aware of.


Several changes may have been made from the first release of a publication down to the most recent version. This means that two books with the same name may contain vastly different concepts. Make sure that you specify the edition so that if the lecturer ever wants to check it he or she knows which one to use.

While some formatting styles may be a bit more lenient in this section, this list contains just about everything you might need to include in your citations. Learn it well or use it as a checklist.


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