How to Cite a Book Chapter in APA Format
Students in social science classes such as history and economics typically use American Psychological Association, or APA, style when writing papers. APA style is a set of guidelines designed to help writers communicate ideas as precisely and clearly as possible. APA style guidelines include specific guidelines for citing sources, such as chapters of a book, within the text and in a References List.
Book Chapter Citation Format
Begin your citation with the last name and initials of the author or authors of the chapter. Then write the year of publication in parentheses, followed by a period. Next, write the chapter title in sentence case -- only capitalize the first word of the title and the subtitle. Then write the first initial and last name of the book editor or editors, followed by (Eds.). Put a comma after (Eds.) and write the title of the book in italics and sentence case, followed by the page numbers of the cited chapter in parentheses. Then list the location, a colon and then the publisher.
If you refer to the chapter of a book within the text of your paper, put it in quotation marks and use title case. Book chapters are placed within quotation marks rather than italicized because they are part of a whole, not a work that stands alone, according to the American Psychological Association. For example, newspaper articles and encyclopedia entries also are formatted using quotation marks. Use title case within the text, too -- capitalize the first word and all other words except conjunctions, prepositions and articles that are three letters or shorter. Within the text, for example, a chapter title would be "Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology," while your Reference List citation would say, Global ethnoscapes: Notes and queries for a transnational anthropology.
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- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Reference List: Books
- American Psychological Association: Books and Book Chapters: What to Cite
- American Psychological Association: How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style
- American Psychological Association: Title Case and Sentence Case Capitalization in APA Style
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.