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.

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

Information needed

In MLA, a basic book citation includes the following information:

  • Author’s name
  • Title of book
  • Publisher of the book
  • Year published

Additional information is needed when citing:

  • Books on Websites, or books in databases
    • Name of Website or database
    • URL
  • E-books
    • Name of e-book device
  • Translated or edited books
    • Name of the translator or editor
  • Chapters
    • Name of book editor or author
    • Name of chapter author
    • Page numbers or ranges used
  • Volume number of the book
  • A book published prior to 1900, has versions that are different in different countries, or is a rare book.
    • City the book was published in

Basic MLA (print) book citation 

Structure: 

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

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Example:

James, Henry. The Ambassadors. Serenity, 2009.


Book found on a Website or database

Structure:

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

*Remove http:// and https:// from the 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=onepage&q=zombies&f=false.


E-book found via an e-reader

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.


Translated or edited book

Structure:

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

Examples:

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


Chapter of a book

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.

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”).


Book with multiple authors

For books with multiple authors, only the formatting of the author name changes.

2 AUTHORS

Author name structure:

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

Example:

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


3+ AUTHORS

Author name structure:

1st Last name, First name, et al.

*et al. is Latin for “and others.”

Example:

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


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

 

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