APA Referencing – How to Cite an Edited Book
  • 3-minute read
  • 12th July 2016

APA Referencing – How to Cite an Edited Book

Even if you know the basics of APA referencing, citing an edited book can be tricky.

Should you cite the book as a whole or just the chapter? Should citations name authors or editors? Or should you just give up and go back to bed?

Tempting though that last option might seem, it won’t be necessary if you read this blog post, in which we explain exactly how to cite an edited book.

In-Text Citations for an Edited Book

In-text citations require you to provide the author’s name alongside the year of publication for the edited volume as a whole.

This applies whether you’re citing an edited collection by a single author (like a poetry anthology) or a volume containing work by multiple authors (in which case it’s the author of the section/essay/chapter you should name):

Coren (2004) makes many bold claims about edited books.

Here, for instance, ‘Coren’ would be the surname of the author of the chapter we’re citing, not the editor of the overall volume.

If you’re citing something from an edited collection that had previously been published elsewhere, you should include the original date of publication as well:

In the essay, Mallard (1990/2018) writes passionately about ducks.

Here, for instance, the first date is the original date of publication, and the second date is the year the essay was republished as part of a collection.

The only times you’ll cite the editor of a volume are if they’ve written an introduction or supplemental material, or if you’re simply referring to the volume as a whole:

Modernism: An Anthology (Rainey, 2005) includes a range of literature.

Edited Books in an APA Reference List

There are four different conventions to cover when it comes to the reference list.

If you’re citing an edited volume as a whole, treat the editor as the author:

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Editor Name (Ed.) (Year). Title. Publisher.

The book mentioned above would therefore appear as:

Rainey, L. (Ed.) (2005). Modernism: an anthology. Blackwell.

This changes for an edited book with a single author, like an essay collection. In this case, the editor is only named as an additional detail:

Author Name (Year). Title. Editor (Ed.). Publisher.

For instance, an edited collection of essays would be presented as:

Ricoeur, P. (1981). Hermeneutics and the human sciences. J. B. Thompson (Ed.). Cambridge University Press.

For a single essay or chapter from an edited book, use the following format:

Author Name (Year). Title of chapter. In Editor Name (Ed.), Title of book (page numbers). Publisher.

Coren, V. (2004). Body language and poker. In A. Smith (Ed.), People watching in casinos: New perspectives on gambling (pp. 101–125). Random house.

Finally, for a chapter from an edited book that was originally published elsewhere, include the details of the original publication at the end of the reference:

Mallard, D. (2018). Ducks in edited literature. In R. Jones & B. Smith (Eds.), Strong opinions from the past: A collection of animal-obsessions (pp. 51–75). Made-Up Publications. (Reprinted from ‘Ducks in edited literature’, 1990, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8[3], 207–217).

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