How to Cite a Book in MLA

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Books are written works or compositions that have been published. They are no longer restricted to paper and have evolved into the online realm.

Citation Generator

Below are examples of how to cite different types of books in MLA 8.

Citing a book in MLA (print)

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s last name, First name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year published.

Example

James, Henry. The Ambassadors. Serenity, 2009.

View Screenshot | Cite your book

In-text Citation
Structure

(Author Last Name Page #)  OR  Last Name (Page #)

Example

(Henry 33)  OR  Henry (33)

 


Citing a book found on a Website or database in MLA

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

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s last name, First name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year published. Title of Website or database, URL.

Example

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=onepag e&q=zombies&f=false.

Cite your book

*Remove https:// and https:// from the URL.

 

Digital sources with no page numbers means that no page numbers should be included in the in-text citation.

In-text Citation
Structure

(Last Names)  OR  Last Names

Example

(Austen and Grahame-Smith)  OR  Austen and Grahame-Smith

 


Citing an E-book in MLA (found via an e-reader)

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.

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s last name, First name. Title of the e-Book. Name of e-reader device, Publisher, Year published.

Example

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

Cite your ebook

*Remove https:// and https:// from the URL.

 

Since the page numbers of an e-book can vary across e-reader, text preferences, and other factors, you should not include a page number. This is because a consistent page number does not exist. You can include section numbers (sec., secs.) or chapter numbers (ch., chs.) instead, if they exist and you feel it would be helpful.

In-text Citation
Structure

(Last Names, Chapter or Section #)  OR  Last Names (Chapter or Section #)

Example

(Austen and Grahame-Smith, ch. 1)  OR  Austen and Grahame-Smith (ch. 1)

 


Citing a translated or edited book in MLA

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s Last name, First name. Title of the Book. Translated by OR Edited by First name Last name, Publisher, Year published.

Example

Murakami, Haruki. A Wild Sheep Chase. Translated by Alfred Birnbaum, Vintage Books, 2015.

Cite your book

In-text Citation
Structure

(Last Name Page #)  OR  Last Names (Page #)

Example

(Murakami 27)  OR  Murakami (27)

 


Citing a chapter of a book in MLA

Works Cited
Structure

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of chapter or section.” Title of the Book, edited by First name Last name, Publisher, Year published, page number(s).

Example

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.

Cite your book

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”).

 

In-text Citation
Structure

(Last Names Page #)  OR  Last Names (Page #)

Example

(Montrose 62)  OR Montrose (62)

 


Citing a book with multiple authors in MLA

2 Authors

Works Cited
Structure

1st Last Name, First Name, and 2nd First Name Last Name.

Example

Charaipotra, Sona, and Dhonielle Clayton. Tiny pretty things. HarperTeen, 2016.

Cite your book

In-text Citation
Structure

(1st Last Name and 2nd Last Name Page #)  OR  1st Last Name and 2nd Last Name (Page #)

Example

(Charaipotra and Clayton 63)  OR  Charaipotra and Clayton (63)

 


3+ Authors

Works Cited
Structure

1st Last Name, First Name, et al.

Example

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

*et al. is Latin for “and others.”

Cite your book

In-text Citation
Structure

(1st Last Name et al. Page #)  OR  1st Last Name et al. (Page #)

Example

(Matthews et al. 17)  OR  Matthews et al. (17)

 

 


Published October 20, 2011. Updated August 6, 2020.

 

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How should I cite a book by an organization in MLA?

In the works cited: If the organization is the author and publisher, don’t include an author and start the citation with the book’s title. If the author and publisher are different, use the organization name as the author.

When should I cite a chapter in MLA?

When the chapter’s author is different from the book’s editor or author. Chapters are usually cited when you use anthologies, multi-volume sets, or a foreword/afterword written by someone other than the book’s main author.

How do you create an MLA in-text citation for an e-book?

Place the author’s last name and the quote chapter number in parenthesis after the borrowed quote or information. Example: “Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke into life” (Barrie ch. 5).

Who uses the MLA citation style?

MLA is the style most often used in literature, language, history, art and theater subjects.

What should I do if information about my source is missing?

If any important information is missing (e.g., author’s name, title, publishing date, URL, etc.), first see if you can find it in the source yourself. If you cannot, leave the information blank and continue creating your citation.

Can I create a manual citation?

Yes! Whether you’d like to learn how to construct citations on your own, our Autocite tool isn’t able to gather the metadata you need, or anything in between, manual citations are always an option. Click here for directions on using creating manual citations.