MHRA Referencing – Citing a Chapter from an Edited Book

MHRA Referencing - Citing a Chapter from an Edited Book

When a book has a single author, or even when it’s co-authored, knowing who to cite is simple. But when each chapter in a book has a different author, referencing gets trickier.

And yet edited books are invaluable when researching an essay. So knowing how to cite a single chapter from a book is vital. In this post, we look at how to do this with MHRA referencing.

Footnote Citations

To cite a source with MHRA referencing, you signal a footnote with a superscript number:

Such as in this sentence, for example.1

Source information is then given in a footnote. For a chapter from an edited book, the details required are:

n. Chapter Author(s), ‘Chapter Title’, in Book Title, ed. by Editor(s) (Place: Publisher, year), chapter page numbers (pinpoint reference).

The pinpoint here is the specific page(s) being cited, while the chapter page numbers are the complete range of pages for the essay. For instance:

1. Hugh Wilder, ‘Interpretive Cognitive Ethology’, in Readings in Animal Cognition, ed. by Marc Bekoff and Dale Jamieson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 29-45 (p. 43).

In this case, the chapter runs from page 29 to page 45, while page 43 is cited.

Repeat Citations

If you cite the same chapter again later in your work, you don’t have to repeat the full source information in every footnote. Instead, you can use:

  • ‘Ibid.’ for consecutive citations (a Latin term meaning ‘in the same place’)
  • The author’s surname for non-consecutive citations

In both cases, add the pinpoint citation after a comma.

Furthermore, if you’re citing a second chapter from one edited book, you only need to cite the title, editors and page numbers for the container volume, since the rest is available in a prior footnote. For example:

1. Hugh Wilder, ‘Interpretive Cognitive Ethology’, in Readings in Animal Cognition, ed. by Marc Bekoff and Dale Jamieson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 29-45 (p. 43).
2. Ibid., p. 32.
3. Randy Thornhill, ‘The Study of Adaptation’, in Readings in Animal Cognition, ed. by Bekoff and Jamieson, pp. 107-127 (p. 112).
4. Wilder, pp. 34-35.

Here, citations 1, 2 and 4 are all for one source. But citation 3 is for another chapter in the same book, so we give the author name and chapter title, plus the title, editor names and page numbers for the container volume. If you are citing more than one work by the same author, moreover, give a shortened version of the chapter title in repeat citations to prevent confusion.

Bibliography

In the bibliography, a chapter from an edited book should be listed as follows:

Surname, First name, ‘Chapter Title’, in Book Title, ed. by Editor(s) (Place: Publisher, year), chapter page numbers

The author’s names are reversed here, and there is no pinpoint or end punctuation. You should then provide full publication information for each essay cited from an edited book:

Thornhill, Randy, ‘The Study of Adaptation’, in Readings in Animal Cognition, ed. by Marc Bekoff and Dale Jamieson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 107-127

Wilder, Hugh, ‘Interpretive Cognitive Ethology’, in Readings in Animal Cognition, ed. by Marc Bekoff and Dale Jamieson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 29-45

As shown here, you should list sources alphabetically by author surname. Do this for each cited source, and you’ll have a nice, tidy reference list.

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