MLA Referencing – Citing an Edited Book
  • 3-minute read
  • 19th January 2017

MLA Referencing – Citing an Edited Book

MLA referencing offers a simple way of citing sources in a college paper. However, for an edited book, there are some rules you need to remember, especially on the “Works Cited” page. First, though, let’s take a quick look at citing sources in the text.

In-Text Citations

When citing something from an edited book in MLA, give the surname of the author of the section cited and the relevant page number(s) in parentheses:

Communication can influence an individual’s expectations (Smith 253).

As with other source types, you do not need to repeat the name of the author in citations when they’re already named in the text:

According to Smith, communication is “one of the means by which an individual can influence another individual’s expectations” (253).

The only time you’ll need to cite the editor or editors is when citing an edited volume as a whole, but this would be unusual most of the time.

The Works Cited Page (Chapter from an Edited Book)

MLA requires that all sources cited are listed in a “Works Cited” page at the end of your document. When citing a single chapter from an edited book, the format to use is:

Author Surname, Forename. “Chapter Title.” Edited Book Title, edited by Editor’s Name, Publisher, Year, Page Range.

As such, the essay used in the examples above would appear as:

Smith, John W. “Communication and Expectations: A Social Process and the Cognitive Operations It Depends Upon and Influences.” Readings in Animal Cognition, edited by Mark Bekoff and Dale Jamieson, MIT Press, 1996, pp. 243–55.

The Works Cited Page (Multiple Chapters)

This format differs slightly if you’re citing several chapters from the same edited book, as MLA referencing allows you to cross-reference entries to save repeating information.

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This involves first adding a separate entry in the “Works Cited” list for the volume as a whole:

Editor Surname, Forename, editor(s). Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

If a book has multiple editors, you only need to invert the names of the first author. We would therefore list Readings in Animal Cognition as:

Bekoff, Mark and Dale Jamieson, editors. Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press, 1996.

After this, each essay from the edited volume can be listed separately, mentioning the editor(s) of the edited book and page range to show where they come from:

Bekoff, Mark and Dale Jamieson, editors. Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press, 1996.

Gruen, Lori. “Gendered Knowledge? Examining Influences on Scientific and Ethological Inquiries.” Bekoff and Jamieson, pp. 17–27.

Smith, John W. “Communication and Expectations: A Social Process and the Cognitive Operations It Depends Upon and Influences.” Bekoff and Jamieson, pp. 243–55.

Thornhill, Randy. “The Study of Adaptation.” Bekoff and Jamieson, pp. 107–27.

Finally, remember to maintain alphabetical order by surname throughout your “Works Cited” page. This order must be used even if it means that chapters from an edited book aren’t listed together.

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