Despite the appeal of technology, books still are valued sources of information for essays, dissertations, and scholarly research. However, not every research project need the citation of a whole tome; in many cases, the specific insights sought are contained inside a single chapter. Referencing them correctly, particularly using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, is the basis of good work. So, let’s break down how to cite a chapter in a book MLA in simple steps, so you don’t feel overwhelmed in the process.

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The Checklist of Elements for Proper Citing in MLA

Citing a book chapter in MLA format involves several key elements that should follow academic standards. The attention to detail will help your readers refer to the original book to verify sources and deepen their understanding. Make sure you haven’t missed any of the following:

✔️ the chapter author(s)

✔️ the title of the chapter

✔️ the book title

✔️ the editor(s) or author of the book

✔️ the publisher

✔️ the year of publication

✔️ the page numbers of the cited chapter.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in MLA

The MLA citation style (now in its 9th edition) is a widely popular citation style, used in many disciplines. When citing a book chapter, MLA book citation generator provides a great way to acknowledge the original work, while guiding readers to the cited information if they need it.

The basic format for a book chapter citation in MLA is as follows:

Chapter Author(s). “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book, edited by Editor(s) or Author of the Book, Publisher, Year of Publication, pp. Page Numbers.

To provide an example that aligns with the MLA citation format for a book chapter, let’s choose a classic American literature book with distinct chapters and cite one of its chapters accordingly. A suitable choice is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is divided into numerous chapters, each with its own title.

How To Cite A Chapter In A Book MLA

This example reflects the MLA format for citing a specific chapter within a book, including the chapter author (if different from the book author), the title of the chapter in quotation marks, the title of the book in italics, the publisher, the year of publication, and the page numbers of the chapter.

The ability to correctly cite a book chapter demonstrates a scholar’s attention to detail and honesty. It is a key principle for many references, from APA bible citation to legal citations, and so on. So, we hope that with the help of our guide you will be able to do your MLA citations justice.


Why is it important to cite only the chapter instead of the whole book?

Citing only the necessary chapter allows for more precise referencing and acknowledges the specific work of the author(s) of that chapter, especially in edited volumes where each chapter may have different authors.

Can I use the MLA style for subjects outside the humanities?

While MLA is predominantly used in the humanities, its principles can be applied across disciplines, though it’s important to follow the preferred style of your field of study.

How do I cite a book chapter that I accessed online?

The MLA format remains the same, but include the DOI or URL at the end of the citation. If the reading was accessed through an e-book or a database, specify this in the citation.

What if a book chapter has multiple authors?

In MLA format, list the first author’s last name followed by their first name, then ‘and’ and the second author’s first name and last name in normal order. For three or more authors, list the first author’s name followed by “et al.”

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