Citing Chapters of Edited Books in Harvard and APA

The Becoming A Proofreader course has an academic referencing module that tells you how books, journal articles and websites should be cited in the Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago and IEEE styles. But it would take a hefty book to cover all possible sources and referencing styles.

So every now and then our blog will focus on other source types and referencing styles, offering a whirlwind guide to how they work. Today we’re looking at citing chapters of edited books, starting with the Harvard and APA referencing styles.

The Basics

In most cases, your client should cite the author of the chapter in the main text and give details of the container volume in the reference list. The only time editors should be cited is when your client is discussing one of the following:

  • A contribution the author has made to the edited volume as an author.
  • The edited volume as a whole

For instance, we could cite the full volume as follows:

Metahorror (Etchison, 1992) features stories by several horror writers.

If you suspect a client has cited an editor when they should be citing a chapter author, leave a comment noting the problem and ask them to check the original source.

Edited Books in Harvard

We’re sure you all know that Harvard referencing is actually an umbrella term for various forms of author–date referencing. Here, as in the course, we’ll be taking our lead from the guidelines set out by the University of Leeds. With in-text citations, the chapter author should be cited just as a book author would be. In the reference list, the correct format is:

Chapter author’s name and initials., year. Title of Chapter. In: Editor(s)’ names and initials. ed(s). Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, page range.

So for a story from the horror anthology mentioned above, it would be:

Straub, P. 1992. The Ghost Village. In: Etchison, D. ed. Metahorror. New York: Dell Publishing, pp. 370-377.

Edited Books in APA

In APA, again, citations are the same as for any other book, except that you cite the chapter author rather than the editor. In the reference list the correct format is:

Chapter author’s name and initials (Year). Title of chapter. In Editor’s name and initials (Ed.), Title of book (page range). Place of Publication: Publisher.

So the same story would look like this in an APA reference list:

Straub, P. (1992). The ghost village. In D. Etchison (Ed.), Metahorror (pp. 370-377). New York, NY: Dell Publishing.

That’s all for citing chapters of edited books in Harvard and APA, for more proofreading tips and tricks, see our advice page.

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