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EBooks at Bowie State

This guide provides instructions and tips on how to find and use e-Books in Bowie's Thurgood Marshall Library collection.

E-Books - APA Style

References page

An e-book citation in the references page follows the same rules as a print book citation except that the electronic retrieval statement (URL) or a DOI number (if one is available) takes the place of publisher and location. If the URL is very long, cite the home page URL. 

If a specific e-book reader is used, such as a Kindle or Nook, this information is included in brackets following the title of the book.

Examples are given below. Note that APA no longer requires a retrieval date for electronic sources unless the source (such as Wikipedia) is likely to change.


Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year). Title of book. [e-Reader version if

      applicable]. Retrieved from source/ URL


Davis, D. L (2014). The aggressive adolescent: Clinical and forensic issues. Retrieved


Lackey, M. (1996). SCat. [Kindle Paperwhite file]. Retrieved from

Poe, E. A. (1884). The raven. Retrieved from

Rowley, H. (2010). Franklin and Eleanor: An extraordinary marriage. [Kindle file].

      Retrieved from

In-Text Citations 

Use the same format for in-text citations of e-books that you use for print books. If a page number is not available, use a chapter number or section heading with a paragraph number. If paragraph numbers are not provided in the text, count paragraphs down from the beginning of a chapter or section heading. If a heading is too long, abbreviate it or shorten it and place it in quotation marks.

Kindle or other e-reader "location numbers," however, should not be used in citations because they may change over time or change because of the device used to read the book.


Captain William Bligh was a “bitter” man and a “verbal bully” (Kirk, 2014, p. 20).

Unlike the cat belonging to the fabled Dick Whittington, SKitty uses telepathy to communicate with her master, Dick White (Lackey, 1996). 

Franklin showed kindness to a “gangly and awkward” fourteen-year-old Eleanor at a family holiday gathering (Rowley, 2010, ch.1, para. 3).

Lee, C. (03 June 2011). How do you cite an e-book (e.g., kindle book)? [Blog post]. Retrieved from 

E-Books - MLA Style

Works Cited page

The only difference in the entry for a print book and an e-book is the description of the medium which comes at the very end of the entry. The medium for an e-book is the type of electronic file you used, such as:

  • Kindle file
  • Nook file
  • EPUB file
  • PDF file

If you do not know the file type, use Digital file. If the e-book provides both electronic and print publication information, use the electronic information for your citation.


Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. City: Publisher. Year.

      Type of electronic file.


Rowley, Hazel. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. New York: Farrar,

      2010. Kindle file.

Kirk, Robert W. Pitcairn Island, the Bounty Mutineers and Their Descendants: A History.

      Jefferson: McFarland & Co., Inc. 2014. PDF file.

Charlesworth, Jonathan. That’s So Gay!: Challenging Homophobic Bullying. London:

      Jessica Kingsley Pub., 2015. EPUB file.

Lackey, Mercedes. SCat. The Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1996.

      Kindle Paperwhite file.

In-Text Citations

The only potential difference between an in-text citation for print book and an e-book is when identifying a specific page or section of the book. If the book has fixed page numbers or sections (such as chapters) that always remain the same whatever device or format is employed, then these numbers may be used for the in-text citations. However, never use numbering systems that may change depending upon the device used for reading the book. If there is no fixed numbering system in the book, then cite the work as a whole.

 Example – E-Book in PDF format with fixed page numbers

 Captain William Bligh was a “bitter” man and a “verbal bully” (Kirk 20).

 Example – E-Book with numbered chapters

 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt began their honeymoon with a week’s stay at Hyde Park (Rowley, ch. 2).

 Example -  E-Book with no stable numbering system

Unlike the mythical cat belonging to Dick Whittington, Skitty has "telepathic powers" which she uses to communicate with her master, Dick White (Lackey). 

 “How do I cite an e-book?” Modern Language Association - MLA. Modern Language Association, 2015. Web. 12 March 2015.