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ENGL 01A Johnston Feb. 6: About Scholarly Books

Scholarly Books

Depending on the type of book, books can provide overviews of topics, history and chronologies, in-depth coverage of a topic, and bibliographies

The table below describes the common components of scholarly books, though not every section may be represented.

Title Page provides the publication information you need to properly cite the book, such as the complete title (sometimes, book have subtitles), names of all authors or editors, edition of the book if there is more than one, name of the publisher, city of publication, and date of publication.
Table of Contents provides a list of the chapters with the corresponding page numbers. The table of contents may give a general idea of the topics covered in the book, as well as a sense of how the book is arranged (e.g., chronologically).
List of Illustrations provides a list of photographs, drawings, tables, or other types of illustrations used to support the contents of the book, usually with corresponding page numbers.
Preface, Foreward, or Introduction provides the reader with the author's intention or purpose for writing the book, as well as a sense of the kind of research that was used to produce the book.
Bibliography, References List, or Further Readings a list of sources that were used to create the book or a list of additional sources on the topic. Bibliographies may be located at the ends of chapters throughout the book, or at the end of the book.

located at the back of the book, the index is an alphabetical list of the specific subjects in the book, along with the corresponding page numbers. Indexes may provide names, dates, events, geographic locations, and other terms related to the contents of the book. Browsing an index is an excellent way to identify exactly where in the book relevant information may be located. An index can also provide subject terms and keywords that might be useful for further research on a topic.

From Cayuga Community College Library's "How to Use Books for Research" guide.

Books can come in two types: monographs or anthologies. This is an important distinction because you will cite these differently.


each chapter is written by the same author or authors


The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Book Written by One Author

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Knopf, 2014.


each chapter is written by a different author


Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique

Chapter from an Edited Book

Remember to double-space and use a hanging indent if your citation runs over one line.

Wright, J. Lenore. "Becoming a (Wonder) Woman: Feminism, Nationalism, and the Ambiguity of Female Identity." Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique, edited by Jacob M. Held, Wiley Blackwell, 2017, pp. 5-18.


How Library Stuff Works: Scholarly Books

McMaster Libraries (2:29)

How to Read a Book for Research

RIT Libraries (2:29)