Answered By: Darcy Gervasio Last Updated: Jul 18, 2019 Views: 228327
The answer differs depending on which citation style you are using (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc). Below are instructions on citing e-books without page numbers in APA and MLA style. For other citation styles, visit the Purdue Owl or see Purchase College's general Citation Guide for more information about citing your sources correctly.
The APA Citation Guide from Purdue University (Purdue Owl) suggests the following for citing electronic books without page numbers:
"When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the ¶ symbol, or the abbreviation "para." followed by the paragraph number (Hall, 2001, ¶ 5) or (Hall, 2001, para. 5). If the paragraphs are not numbered and the document includes headings, provide the appropriate heading and specify the paragraph under that heading. Note that in some electronic sources, like Web pages, people can use the Find function in their browser to locate any passages you cite."
Example 1: According to Smith (1997), psychosomatic symptoms can be alleviated with cognitive behavioral therapy (Mind over Matter section, para. 6).
Example 2: The author claims psychosomatic symptoms can be alleviated with cognitive behavioral therapy (Smith, 1997, Mind over Matter section, para. 6).
Citations in your Bibliography:
When creating a full citation for an e-book for the bibliography at the end of your paper, you may choose to cite the entire e-book, in which case, no page, paragraph, chapter, line, or section numbers are required.
However, if you only consulted one chapter or section of an e-book, you may want to cite just that specific part. This is especially helpful if your e-book is an anthology, collected works, or collection of essays with many different authors and you plan to cite two different authors/chapters from the same e-book within your paper.
References List in APA:
Here's how to cite a chapter/paragraph/section from an e-book without page numbers in your Reference List in APA style:
Format: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article, essay, or chapter. In A.A. Editor (Ed.), Title of book or larger document (chapter or section number). Retrieved from Name of E-book Database or Platform. http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
Example 1: Gates, R. (2013). Keepin' it reality television. In B.E. Smith-Shomade (Ed.), Watching while black : centering the television of black audiences (Ch. 9) Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/purchase-ebooks/reader.action?ppg=8&docID=1562490&tm=1531151485121.
*URL is required if e-book is retrieved from the Internet/web. URL is optional if e-book is retrieved from a library database or online e-book platform, but it is still highly encouraged.
See additional examples under "Chapter/Section of a Web Document or Online Book Chapter" on Purdue OWL: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/
Works Cited in MLA:
Example 1: Gates, Raquel. "Keepin' It Reality Television." Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences, edited by Beretta E. Smith-Shomade, Rutgers UP, 2013, ch. 9. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/purchase-ebooks/reader.action?ppg=8&docID=1562490&tm=1531151485121.
- This is very useful, and nicely presented, detail about citing "print-like" electronic sources without page numbers.
- Comment from gissela (email@example.com) on Jul 03, 2018:
Thank you for the answer. But in the references list should we put the parapraphs that we used in our work?
- Great question, Gissela!
If you consulted only one chapter/section of the entire e-book, you can cite it in your Works Cited (bibliography) as a book chapter/essay/part.
If you consulted several paragraphs/chapters/sections within a single e-book, you may cite the entire e-book instead, in which case, no paragraph or section numbers are required in your bibliography (you would only need these numbers in your in-text citations).
In MLA, you can follow the guidelines for citing one essay/chapter in a "collected works" or anthology. In this case, you can include whatever chapter, section, or paragraph numbers you used in your in-text citation. Remember, you should never invent your own numbers! Because it's an e-book, you should also include the URL and e-book platform in your bibliography.
Smith, Sally. "Chapter, Essay, or Section Title." Title of Entire E-Book in Italics, edited by John Q. Doe, Publisher, Year, chapter/paragraph number. E-book Database or Source Name in Italics, http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/.
And here's how to cite a chapter/paragraph from an e-book without page numbers in your Reference List (bibliography) in APA style:
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. In Title of book or larger document in italics (chapter or section number). Retrieved from http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/
See https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/ for more.
- What do you do if you are paraphrasing the quote on a page with no number? Is it the same thing?
- Paraphrases must always be cited, just like direct quotations. You would follow the same rules described above.