How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in APA Format

Sometimes, a teacher or publisher will ask you to use a particular publication manual to cite sources. At other times, you may have the freedom to choose your own style manual. If you’ve been instructed to use APA Style, you’ve come to the right place! In fact, we’ve already shared another article about how to write a citation for a lecture in APA style. In this post, we’ll discuss the correct way to cite a chapter in APA style. 

The American Psychological Association publishes style and grammar guidelines that assist professionals, academics, and students with formal writing. The most up-to-date version of this style guide, the APA 7th edition, offers advice for how to cite sources. APA citation format can differ from the formatting used by other style guides, including the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Associated Press (AP), and the Chicago Manual of Style. Be sure not to use different style guides within the same paper, since that’s an easy way to confuse your reader.

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In-Text Citations

To begin, immediately following a quotation or a paraphrase, APA citation style requires an in-text citation. Typically, these in-text references include the author’s last name, followed by a comma and the year. You do not need to include the title of the chapter for most in-text citations. 

General Format

(Author’s last name, year) 

2-7 Authors

In the event that the book lists multiple authors (2-7), all with shared authorship, the names should be listed in the in-text citation. On the other hand, if you’re only referring to one chapter with a single author, use the in-text citation formatting mentioned above. 

(Last name #1, Last name #2, & Last name #3, year)

No Author

If the book or anthology does not have a listed author, the title of the book should be used in the in-text citation. For long titles, the first few words of the title will suffice. 

(“Title of book,” year)

Do not use italics when you write an in-text citation. When the in-text citation refers to content within the sentence, it should be placed before the final punctuation. Otherwise, the in-text citation goes after the last sentence’s punctuation. 

Reference List

In addition to the short-form citation, APA format also requires a list of references at the end of the paper, article, or publication. This citation must provide all of the information necessary to locate the original source material. In this section, you’ll usually include the information for the entire book. It’s only necessary to include the chapter information when you reference a book with chapters written by different authors.

A Print Book with One Author

Author last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of book in sentence case. Publisher name.

An Online Book with One Author

Author last name, First initial. (Year). Title of book in sentence case. Publisher name. Website address. 

An Edited Book or Anthology

Chapter author last name, First initial. (Year). Title of chapter in sentence case. In Editor initials. Editor last name (Ed.), Title of book in sentence case (Edition number, Volume number, Page numbers.). Publisher Name.

To show the formatting more clearly, let’s look at an example.

Checkov, A. (2004). A trifle from life. In T. Didato & A. Steele (Eds.), Gotham writers’ workshop fiction gallery: exceptional short stories selected by New York’s acclaimed creative writing school (1st U.S. ed., pp. 11-16). Bloomsbury. 

A Chapter in an Edited Work with No Author

Book chapter title in sentence case. (Year). In Editor initials. Editor last name (Ed.), Book title in sentence case (Edition, Volume, Page No.). Publisher Name.

In the example above, you would use the title or an abbreviated version of the title within quotes for the in-text citation. (“Title,” Year)

A Print Book with Shared Authorship

Author #1 last name, First initial, Author #2 last name, First initial, & Author #3 last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of book in sentence case. Publisher name.

Additional Tips

  • For in-text citations, any information that’s included in the prose does not need to be repeated inside the parentheses.
  • If the editor is also the translator, you can write (Ed. and Trans.) inside the parenthetical within the long-form reference. 
  • If you cite multiple chapters within one anthology, you can list each chapter as a separate entry in the references. 
  • Use p. before one page number and pp. before a page range. 
  • Unlike the 6th edition, the 7th edition APA manual no longer requires that you list the place of publication.
  • Anytime the author uses a middle name, you must include the second initial after the first initial. 
  • Only italicize the title of the book in the long-form reference. Do not italicize the chapter name. 
  • Always include an in-text citation when paraphrasing.
  • When in doubt, refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association