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Referencing and assignment writing: Book chapters

Book chapters



The American Psychological Association has produced a Quick reference guide to the 7th edition that outlines how to reference books, book chapters and journal/periodical articles.

Book chapters, reference book entries, etc

Referencing parts of whole works, such as a chapter in a book, an entry in an encyclopaedia or dictionary, etc, differs from citing whole works. You first need to tell the reader about the chapter itself and then WHERE to find the chapter, i.e. the book. 

Whenever you are citing a work which is part of a greater whole, the title of the larger work in which the part is published appears in the WHERE segment of the reference.


For sources that are a part of a greater whole, follow the standard template below. Omit any element that does not apply to your source.

Who. (When). What. Where. DOI or URL

Who: Author of chapter or reference entry

When: Date of publication

What: Title of chapter or reference entry

Where: Details of main work - In Author or Editor (Ed/s.), Title of book (ed., pp x-xx). Publisher Name. DOI or URL


The WHERE element is preceded by the word "In". Note that the initials of the author or editor of the book come before the surname.

Do not italicise the title of the chapter or use quotation marks. Capitalise using sentence case.

In-text:            (Bjork, 1989)      OR ...Bjork (1989)...

Reference list:       Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory. In H. L. Roediger & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.),                                                       Varieties of memory and consciousness (pp. 309-330). Erlbaum.



Style manual

If you cannot find a specific example of what you are looking for, use the complete APA manual.

APA Style - Quick Reference Guide

Reference list abbreviations

(APA, 2020, pp. 306-307)




Revised edition

Rev. ed.

second edition   

2nd ed.

Editor (editors)

Ed. (Eds.)



no date


page (pages)

p. (pp.)

Volume (Volumes)

Vol. (Vols.)





Technical Report

Tech. Rep.