One frequently asked question by students is how to property cite a reference book such as a dictionary or encyclopedia in APA style. Reference books are useful to supplement your research but use them as a secondary source to help you find primary sources to back up your thesis.
Creating an APA Citation
Creating a reference book citation follows the APA book format. Typically, there are editors rather than authors, so place the editor (s) name first.
For reference books that have been translated into English, follow the same format but place the translation of its title in brackets, don’t italicize the translated title.
If you’re citing an online reference work, follow the same format and add the url at the end. Remember don’t put a period after the url.
To cite a definition in an online dictionary in APA format, follow this example:
Note: Include the edition number for an online reference book if the print edition is referred.
There are many interesting reference books available for your use. It’s definitely worth your time to find sources using these materials. Follow your teacher’s instructions so you will know how many secondary sources you can use in your school paper.