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How to Cite a Book in MLA 8

Books are written works or compositions that have been published. They are no longer restricted to paper and have evolved into the online realm. Below, we give examples of citing a book in print, an e-book, and via an e-book device, all in MLA 8.

How to Cite a Book in Print in MLA 8

To cite a book in print in MLA 8, you will need the following pieces of information. Each information piece can be found on the book itself:

The author’s full name
Titles of any chapters or sections that were used
The title of the book
Volume number of the book (if applicable)
The publisher of the book
The year the book was published
City the book was published in (only necessary if the book was printed prior to 1900, has versions that are different in one country than in another, or if it is a rare book)
The name of any editors or translators, if applicable
Page numbers or ranges that were used

Structure of an MLA 8 citation for a book in print:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of chapter or section.” Title of the work, translated by or edited by First name Last name, vol. number, City of Publication*, Publisher, Year the book was published, page number(s).

Notes:

*Only include the city of publication if the book was printed prior to 1900, has versions that differ in one country than another, or if it is a rare book.

*Exception to the rule: If citing a book that was translated from another language and the focus of your work is on the translation, use the translator’s name in place of the author’s. Scroll down below to see an example

Examples of how to cite a book in print in MLA 8:

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.

Example of how to cite a book in print with two authors in MLA 8:

Olsen, Gregg, and Rebecca Morris. If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children. St. Martin’s True Crime, 2015, pp. 18-22.

Example of how to cite a book in print with three or more authors in MLA 8:

Include the author that is listed first on the source. Omit the other authors’ names and include the term et al., which translates to “and others” in Latin.

Matthews, Graham, et al. Disaster Management in Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Ashgate, 2009.

How to cite a chapter of a book in MLA 8:

Montrose, Louis. “Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies.” The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000, edited by Regina Schulte, Berghahn, 2006, pp. 61-87.

In the above citation example, the book, The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000 is an edited book that features a chapter by Louis Montrose. The title of the chapter that he wrote is found in quotation marks (“Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies”).

How to cite a translated book in MLA 8: (When the focus of your research is on the translation)

Clarke, Alan R, translator. The Alchemist. By Paulo Coelho, HarperCollins, 1993.

How to Cite an E-Book Found on a Web Site or Database in MLA 8:

Many books are now found online. Popular sites or databases that hold e-books include Google Books, Project Gutenberg, and Ebsco.

To cite an e-book found on a web site or database in MLA 8, you’ll need the following pieces of information:

The author’s full name
The title of the book
Titles of any chapters or sections that were used
The name of the database or site where the e-book was found and read
Volume number (if applicable)
The publisher of the book
The year the book was published
City the book was published in (only if the book was printed prior to 1900, has versions that are different in one country than in another, or if it is a rare book)
The name of any editors or translators, if applicable
Page numbers or ranges that were used
*The URL

For the URL, omit http:// or https:// from the citation.

Structure of a citation for an E-Book found on a web site or database in MLA 8:

Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s). Title of the web site or database, URL.

Examples of how to cite an e-book in MLA 8:

Austen, Jane, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Quirk, 2015. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=x5xPaPeZzmUC&lpg=PP1&dq=zombies&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=zombies&f=false.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Gold Bug.” Short Stories for English Courses, Edited by Rosa M.R. Mikels, 2004. Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5403/pg5403-images.html.

How to Cite an E-Book from an E-Reader in MLA 8:

E-Readers are electronic devices that display e-books. Kindles and Nooks are some of the more popular e-readers available today. Individuals can purchase or borrow e-books and read them on their e-readers.

To cite an e-book from an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook, find the following pieces of information:

The author’s full name
Titles of any chapters or sections that were used
The title of the book
The name of the e-reader device
Volume number of the book (if applicable)
The publisher of the book
The year the book was published
City the book was published in (only necessary if the book was printed prior to 1900, has versions that are different in one country than in another, or if it is a rare book)
The name of any editors or translators, if applicable
Page numbers or ranges that were used

Structure of a citation for an e-book found on an e-reader in MLA 8:

Author’s last name, First name. “Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book, translated by or edited by First name Last name, Name of e-reader device, vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number(s).

Example of a citation for an e-book found on an e-reader in MLA 8:

Doer, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. Kindle ed., Scribner, 2014.