Citing Chapter of Single-Author Book?

Hello -

Any recommendations on practices when citing chapters from a single-author book? When is it best to generally just cite the entire work, vs. citing chapters? Chicago Manual of Style does allow citing chapters (see section 14.106 in latest, 17th edition), but not sure how accepted this practice might be.

In Zotero, I would create book sections with the chapter titles of interest (not necessarily all the chapters), and tag those meaningfully and differently for whichever chapters are of interest. Thus I can search for these as 'articles' on the specific topic, whereas I might miss those if I only created a book item with no section items. This is especially true if the book is a collection of chapters on rather disparate topics (whether these happen to be previously published papers or not). So my main motivation in this is as an aid to my research (via finer-grained Zotero organization), rather than as a "better" way to cite for the reader of my finished project (although the reader may also find those chapter titles more informative than simply a reference to the book).

On the down side, it's more work to set up the multiple book section items in Zotero, and of course increases the size of the Zotero database.

Any thoughts welcome.
  • In terms of citation, I wouldn’t worry about what’s “allowed”. APA, for example, technically calls for the book as a whole to be cited, but I’ve also seen and myself cited individual chapters in an authored book when I really did want to direct to a specific chapter.

    In terms of organization, do what makes sense for your workflow. I usually find they saving one item for the whole book and making notes about chapters works for me.
  • @bwiernik Thank you for the response. All makes sense. Just wanted to get an idea of conventions in this regard. I shall continue on with just citing chapters where that particular chapter title and subject are specifically relevant to a subject, and especially if the book title might not necessarily indicate that subject clearly, or if the book is a single-author anthology of disparate themes.
  • Does this mean you add the chapter to the citation once you're in word?
  • Yes, you can click the “Page” dropdown menu and choose chapter instead.
  • @n.fitzgerald13 I create a separate Zotero item for a chapter if I think I might cite it separately. I use Zutilo's command for that: Create Book Section, which creates a Zotero item linked to the book item in Zotero.

    Yes, in Word, then I can either cite the entire book, or the chapter, as desired.
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