I'm referring to APA citation. Say I'm picking up a train of thought of an author and I know which book he states it in. I just don't have a page number. Is it okay to just say (Muller, 2008) without page number? Will I have to include page numbers for the book in the references?

1 Answer 1


It depends on the context, of course.

I am a reviewer on an academic journal and there, we ask authors for the page.

I've also been told by a prof that, for a homework essay, he only spot checks a few cites because he "knows the author's voice," (may be more applicable to certain fields than to others) and if the quote is suspect then he will check more thoroughly. If I were you, I'd include the page cite just to be safe. I'm assuming this is for a class - has your prof said anything about how stringent the cites need to be? That would be more determinative than SE's speculation.

  • 1
    It's my master thesis in social sciences. The prof is what I would call "chill" but I'm asking mostly because there are quite a few instances where I would want to cite without giving a page number because I'm too short on time to look up the exact passage in every instance. I DO know I'm citing the correct author/book though. I'm also not talking about an argument that's central to what I'm trying to say.
    – H3R3T1K
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 16:26
  • The majority of articles that I read in my field don't have the page number in the citations. However, sometimes I see that and it makes me wonder why it highly variable.
    – Mahran
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 23:54

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