Citing a Chapter

Citing a Chapter in a Book APA


Creating a citation for a whole book is one thing. Would you like to cite certain chapters in the book?

The information you will get from this guide about chapter citation is derived directly from the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (7th Edition). However, we also have guides on other styles, such as MLA-when citing websites, and you can check them out too!

Parts to Citations of Chapters

There are two parts to the citation of a chapter:

1.     In-text Citations

These are included within the text in the paper. There are two types:

  • Narrative citations

These are when a part of the source’s information is within the sentence. It’s only the year that needs to be indicated in parentheses.

  • Parenthetical citations

Parenthetical citations will be placed at the end of a phrase or a quote.  On the other hand, narrative citations have a part of the source’s information added within the sentence.

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2.     Citing a Chapter/Full References

The general structure of what is shown in a full reference of a chapter is shown below:

  • Year published
  • Volume number/Edition where applicable
  • URL or DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
  • The publisher’s name
  • Names of the editor(s)
  • Name of group author or the author’s name
  • Chapter title
  • Chapter pages
  • Book title

When performing citation of books using APA, include the name of the author, as well as the year. Include also the title (book), and the publisher.

Also, note that for encyclopedias and dictionaries, and scriptural works such as the Bible, the format is slightly different.

How to Perform the Citation of a Book

In a book in-text citation using APA, there is the last name of the author, year of publication, and the page number when necessary.

In a reference list of a book citation, begin with the last name of the author followed by the name initials, and year of publication.

Write the title (book) in sentence case i.e., you will only need to capitalize any proper nouns and the first word.

Add any other contributor (translators and editors) and if specified the edition e.g., “2nd ed.”

Online Books and Ebooks

When citing an eBook or the book you can view online, it will include the publisher DOI (Digital Object Identifier) where available.

If the DOI does not exist, link the page where you had seen it or where you can access or purchase the eBook.

Ebooks at times may not have page numbers, thus there is a recommendation by APA to use substitute methods in showing the passages on the in-text citation. It could be a section title or chapter, or paragraph number.

Edited Book Chapter Citation

In the citation of a given chapter from a book that includes texts from different authors, start the citation with the chapter’s author. Later in the reference mention the editors of the book. Use a page range to identify in the book the chapter’s location.

Citing Multivolume Books

Some books have several volumes. You could be interested in citing a single volume or multiple volumes depending on how much content you have used.

Single Volume Citation

When citing a single volume contains in a multivolume book, depending on whether every volume includes a number or a title, the format varies slightly.

When the volume includes a specified title, the citation is in the reference list written as part of the title.

When the volume is not titled and only numbered, you shouldn’t italicize the volume number. It should appear in the title in parentheses.

Dolan, B. (2006). Chronicle (Vol. 1).  Schuster &. Simeon

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Citing an Entire Multivolume Book

Show the volume in parentheses. It comes following the title when citing a whole book. Titles of individual volumes will not be added even when they are existing.

Ellyn, F. S. (2016). The Short Stories of F. S. Ellyn (Vols. 2–3) (D. Ricky & F. McCauley, Eds.). Farber & Farber.

How the Citation Appears in the Citation of a Book in APA

The APA reference list should be as follows:

Butler, C. (2002). Postmodernism: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.

You may check our guide on citing the bible as well!

Citing Journals

The APA 7th Edition manual clarifies that you only use the year in journals. In the cases where journals are written every day, to correctly identify them, the full date or only the year is to be used.

You are advised to add a URL to a journal article.

Below are the different ways to cite a journal:


Sometimes it can be difficult to identify a particular author in an edited book chapter, especially in nursing books.

Chapter author names may appear at the start of every chapter, or on the book’s content page. In other books, the authors of the chapters may appear in a separate contributor list that has no attributed list.

Thus, it may not be necessary to include the contributors in the list of references unless a clear identification of the author of the chapter or book editor is done.


  1. When am I supposed to cite a chapter as opposed to the whole book?

When different authors have written a book chapter, you only need to specifically cite the reference chapter.

If one author has written all those chapters or in some cases a several authors, you need a citation of the entire book.

Using APA, books by a single author need to be cited in full, even if you’ve only paraphrased or quoted using a chapter.

  • When is “et al.” used in in-text citations in APA?

This abbreviation means “and others” and it is for shortening in-text citation in the case where there are more than three authors.

An example of how to use it is shown below:

Only the last name of the first author is included, and then “”, follows, followed by a comma then the publication year.


Tiffany et al., 2019

  • Is it necessary to add the location of the publisher in the APA citation?

As seen in the 7th Edition APA Manual, location information isn’t a requirement in regard to publishers.

There was a requirement previously in the 6th Edition that you add the state and the city. That is no longer the case.

  • In citing a book in APA, when should its edition be added?

When you cite from another edition that is not the first edition, for example, the 3rd edition or an edition that is revised, the edition shows in the reference. Abbreviate it by using parentheses following the title of the book, for example, Rev. ed. and 3rd ed.

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