How to Cite a Chapter in a Book APA

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Published April 18, 2012. Updated September 9, 2021.

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Creating citations for entire books is one thing, but what happens when you need to cite a specific chapter within that book? This EasyBib citation guide will go over the correct way to create an APA chapter citation for chapters from both printed books and digital books, as well as how you can use this information to cite things like sections, paragraphs, pages, and more.

The information provided here comes directly from the 7th edition of the American Psychological Association’s Publication manual (this guide is not affiliated with the association).

Looking for lessons about something other than citing a book chapter? At EasyBib you will find citation tools and a good collection of reference guides to help you finish that essay, research paper.

Two Parts to Citations for Chapters 

Any source used in your paper should have corresponding citations:

  • In-text citation
  • Full reference/citation

In-text citations

The in-text citation is included within the text of your paper. There are two types:

  • Parenthetical citations
  • Narrative citations

Parenthetical citations are placed at the end of a quote or paraphrase. These citations include a few details on the source (usually the author’s name or source title, and year published) within parentheses. Example:

“When two cultures come together, the words of their languages compete for survival” (Crystal, 2013).

Narrative citations are when part of the source’s information is included within the sentence, so only the year needs to be indicated in parentheses. Example:

Crystal wrote that “When two cultures come together, the words of their languages compete for survival” (2013).

Section 8.13 of the Publication manual, provides more information on how to make a citation for a specific part of a referenced work such as a page, paragraph, section, or chapter. Next, let’s take a look at how to create full citations or references for a specific chapter.

Full References/Citations for Citing a Chapter

The general structure of a full reference for a chapter includes this information:

  • Author’s name or the name of the group author
  • Year published
  • Title of the chapter
  • Editor(s) names
  • Title of the book
  • Publisher name
  • Edition and/or volume number (if applicable)
  • Pages of chapter
  •  (if applicable)
  • DOI or URL (if applicable)

 

Let’s look at how these elements fit into different types of source citations.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Printed or Online Book, All Contents Written by the Same Author(s)

If you’re using information from a chapter of a book where one author or a group of authors equally share credit for all contents of the book, then you just cite the book  — there’s no need to cite the chapter!

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of book in sentence case. Publisher name. DOI or URL

Example:

Ray, R.B. (1985). A certain tendency of the Hollywood cinema, 1930-1980. Princeton University Press.

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Ray, 1985)

Narrative citation: Ray (1985)

How to Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book

If the chapter you are trying to cite has been published within an edited book, then it’s necessary to provide both the author(s) of the chapter and the editor of the book, as well as the appropriate titles.

Structure:

Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year Published). Title of chapter in sentence case. In Editor First Initial, Editor Second Initial, Editor Last Name (Ed.), Title of book in sentence case (Edition, Volume, Page No.). Publisher Name. URL or DOI

Example:

Brooks, V.W. (1962). Preface. In R.S. Milton & L.G. Seymour (Eds.), American literature survey (3rd ed., pp. xvii-xx). Penguin Books.

Notice how the both the chapter title (“Preface”) and the specific page numbers (“pp. xvii-xx”) are provided inside of the reference. For this reason, this information does not need to be included in the in-text citation unless a direct quote is being made.

 

In-text citation:

Parenthetical citation: (Brooks, 1962)

Narrative citation: Brooks (1962)

 

Citing a Chapter in a Book: Reference Overview

Looking to cite something other than a book chapter? EasyBib is your source for comprehensive, easy-to-follow citation and reference guides that can help you finish your essay, paper, or project.

Not looking for information on APA citations? Browse our MLA format and Chicago style guides for the help you need.

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2020a). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

American Psychological Association. (2020b). Style-grammar-guidelines. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/parenthetical-versus-narrative

Brooks, V.W. (1962). Preface. In R.S. Milton & L.G. Seymour (Eds.), American literature survey (3rd ed., pp. xvii-xx). Penguin Books.

Crystal, D. (2013). The story of English in 100 words. St. Martin’s Press.

Ray, R.B. (1985). A certain tendency of the Hollywood cinema, 1930-1980. Princeton University Press.


Published October 31, 2011. Updated April 9, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.


 

 

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How do I cite a chapter in an edited book in APA style?

To cite a book chapter in APA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), publication year, chapter title, editor(s), and publisher. The templates for in-text citations and reference list entries of a book chapter with one author and one editor along with examples are given below.

Citing a chapter in an edited book in APA style

In-text citation templates and examples:

Narrative

Author Surname (Publication Year)

Broadhead (2010)

Parenthetical

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Broadhead, 2010)

Reference list entry template and example:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Chapter title: Subtitle. In F. Editor Surname (Ed.), Book title (pp. #–#). Publisher.

Broadhead, P. (2010). Building friendships through playful learning in the early years. In J. Moyles (Ed.), The excellence of play (pp. 216–228). McGraw-Hill.

Both the chapter title and the book title are set in sentence case; however, the book title is set in italics. The word “In” is used before the editor’s name. Note that the style for setting the editor’s name is the initial of the first name followed by the surname. Use “(Ed.)” after the editor’s name. Enclose page information after the book title in parenthesis.

How do I cite a book chapter in APA when the book includes an editor and/or translator?

To cite a book chapter with an editor and/or a translator in APA style, you need to have basic information including the authors, publication year, chapter title, editors and/or translators, book title, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citation and reference list entry of a book chapter with an editor and/or a translator along with examples are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

Narrative

Author Surname (Original Publication Year/Republished Year)

Badiou (2003/2013)

Parenthetical

(Author Surname, Original Publication Year/Republished Year)

(Badiou, 2003/2013)

Reference list entry template and example:

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Chapter title: Subtitle. (F. TranslatorSurname, Trans.). In F. EditorSurname (Ed.), Book title (pp. #–#). Publisher. (Original work published year).

Badiou, A. (2013). The writing of the generic. (B. Bosteels, Trans.). In N. Power & A. Toscano (Eds.), On Beckett (pp. 1–36). Clinamen. (Original work published 2003).

The chapter title is in sentence case. The translator’s name is set in parenthesis along with the word “Trans.” Follow the first initial with the surname for the translator. The word “In” is used before the editor’s name. Note that the style for setting the editor’s name is the initial of the first name followed by the surname. Use “(Ed.)” after the editor’s name. The book title is set in italics. Include page numbers in parentheses after the book title with “pp.” before the page range. Include the publication year of the original work in parenthesis.