How to cite a book chapter in MLA

MLA book chapter citation

To cite a book chapter in a reference entry in MLA style 8th edition include the following elements:

  1. Chapter author(s): Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more authors, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
  2. Title of the chapter: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
  3. Title of the book: Container titles are italicized and followed by a comma.
  4. Editor(s) or Author of the book: Give the name of the author or editor of the book. Start with 'edited by' if it is an editor. If not available, omit this part.
  5. Publisher: Always use the abbreviated version, e.g: MIT P for MIT Press or Oxford UP for Oxford University Press.
  6. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.
  7. Page numbers: Give the full page range preceded by pp. If only one page, precede with one p.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a book chapter in MLA style 8th edition:

Chapter author(s). "Title of the chapter." Title of the book, by Editor(s) or Author of the book, Publisher, Year of publication, pp. Page numbers.

Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:


A chapter from a book of short stories with one editor

Edgeworth, Maria. “The Limerick Gloves.” The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, edited by William Trevor, Oxford UP, 2010, pp. 27–51.

A chapter from a book of short stories with one editor

Schwartz, Paula. “Redefining Resistance: Woman’s Activism in Wartime France.” Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars, edited by Margaret R. Higonnet et al., Yale UP, 1987, pp. 141–53.

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