How to reference a committee report

To quote a book: The Rulebook for Students

Definition: monograph

A monograph is written by one author (or several authors) and not by an editor (team) (cf. Stickel-Wolf & Wolf 2013: 255); a monograph is an independent work.

frequently asked Questions

Correctly quoting from a book is one of the essential skills when writing a scientific paper. You can quote with all types of citation such as B. the German citation or the Harvard citation style. For all types of citation, however, there is information that must be in the citation or the bibliography so that the citation is complete.

Mandatory information:

  • Author
  • Book title
  • Place of publication
  • Publishing year

Should information:

In the bibliography you can see e.g. B. looks like this:

Seidel, Brigitte: How do you write good German? A style primer, 6th edition, Waldgut Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 2011.

With anthologies it often happens that you only use information from one chapter. The reference within your text does not change anything but in the bibliography. Here you have to enter the chapter concerned in addition to the title of the anthology.

If you quote a quote from a book, put it in additional quotation marks in your text: "Quote ... 'quote in the quote" ... quote "

This is a secondary quote. You should only use this if you do not have access to the original source and only have this detour available.

Video tutorial - citing books correctly

Take you only 3 minutes and let our doctoral student Bianca explain to you how to correctly cite book sources. This is how you can quote correctly from a book:

Quote components in the book

The most important components of the source information for a book are listed in the table below. It is helpful that the individual elements are categorized again into mandatory information and those that do not necessarily belong in the source information.

The details of the author of a monograph and the title of the book are of course mandatory. It is precisely these elements that are absolutely necessary in order to be able to clearly identify a source. The place and year of publication are also important and are therefore essential when citing a book.

It is different with information about the academic title or other information about the author. The addition famous botanist has no place in the reference! The type of binding, the purchase price or the ISBN are also elements that cannot be included in the Source may include.

Components of the source information for a bookmandatoryExamplesCite comments on the book
authorGot to- Seidel, Brigitte
- Göpferich, Susanne; Schmitt, Peter A.
- Federal Statistical Office Germany
- Frey, Dieter L. St.-K. i.a.
- n.v.
- first first name in full, others abbreviated; Letters or spellings not used in German may be Germanized
- N / A = without author
- the surname is part of the short reference, there with more than three authors: first surname and (= and others)
Title and subtitle of the bookGot to- How do you write good German? A style guide
- The consciousness of the dolphins
- The production of seriousness
- The Methaphysics of Economic Reason
- Recommendation: put in italics (= independent publication)
- Shortening not allowed
- Upper and lower case can be standardized
- Old spelling is retained
Important additionsMay- Translated from English by Barbara Bente
- 3 vols.
- (Biological dissertation at the Free University of Berlin, 2010)
- (= Tübingen Contributions to Linguistics, Vol. 11)
Only if relevant, e.g. B. Translator, special edition, series of publications, multi-volume edition
EditionShould- 6th ed.
- 2nd Edition
- Specification makes sense, as the pagination is often shifted with new editions (falsifies the page numbers!)
- 1st edition is not specified
- Additions such as "greatly expanded", "completely revised" are omitted
publishing companyShould- Waldgut Verlag
- Oxford University Press
- Actually more sensible than the place of publication, but not an obligation for historical reasons
- Omit GmbH, AG etc.
Place of publicationGot to- Frankfurt a. M.
- Stuttgart / Vienna / Basel
- O.O.
- Do not specify more than three locations
- O.O. = no place
Publishing yearGot to- 2011
- [1888] 2010
- 2005a
- 2005b
- O.J.
- Refers to the current edition, not to the year of first publication (this can be added in square brackets for historical sources)
- If the author and year are the same, an appended lower case letter ensures uniqueness
- O.J. = no year
- Is part of the quick reference guide
-adakem. title
Information on
-Binding type
Purchase price
Not allowed- Prof. Dr. Dr. H. c.
- Famous botanist
- Successful top manager
- Geb. with dust jacket
- 265 pages
- 9,90 €
- ISBN 948-3-44455-034-1
Attention: Much of the information in the features section and in the publisher's brochures does not belong in the reference of a book


Sanders, Willy:Good German - better German. Practical style teaching in contemporary German, 2nd edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1990.

The example given is only one representation or arrangement variant for this information. Therefore, further examples should be given, the APA style is recommended, or can be found frequently Bibliographyderived from this style.

Here, too, it is an author-year system like thatHarvard citation(Proof of citation parenthetically in the text), the year of publication is put in brackets and the title is set in italics or underlined ( (cf. Samac, Prenner & Schwetz 2009: 95 ff.). Italic printing sets the title apart from the rest, which increases readability and clarity.

Tip:Create a list of figures in Word with video instructions

Note: The year can vary in position (sometimes it is put in brackets, sometimes not); here it comes directly after the title, in the first example at the very end (but before page numbers if these have to be specified for an article in a collective work). Other systems put them directly after the title - as already emphasized, as long as you decide on a style and stick to it consistently and consistently, every variant is acceptable or a matter of taste.

References rules at a glance

The following picture also shows at a glance the rules for quoting a book. In addition to the author, title, place of publication and year of publication, which should definitely be included in the reference, important additions may also be included. The edition and publisher of the book should also be mentioned.

In addition, the picture contains informative examples and comments on the individual elements of the reference. The specification of the publisher z. B. actually seems to make more sense in the reference to the source than the place of publication. However, for historical reasons, this information is not mandatory. Nevertheless, the publisher should be included in a correct reference to the source of a book.

Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 48-49


Oertner, Monika, Illona St. John & Gabriele Thelen.2014Scientific writing - A practical book for writing coaches and students. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink.

Samac, Klaus, Monika Prenner & Herbert Schwetz. 2009The bachelor thesis at the university and university of applied sciences. Vienna: Facultas.

Stickel-Wolf, Christine & Joachim Wolf. 2013Scientific work and learning techniques - study successfully - know how! 7th edition Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.

about the author

Bianca Mohr

Bianca Mohr (M. A.) is a doctoral candidate and research assistant at the University of Erfurt. During her studies at the University of Würzburg, she worked as a tutor and was able to gain years of experience in giving students an introduction to scientific work and providing personal advice. She is doing her doctorate in the field of "early bilingualism". She also holds seminars for Bachelor students on the topics of early multilingualism and early second language acquisition. Ms. Mohr gives scientific guidelines on the subject of "Writing theses".