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Citation Guide: Books - MLA

A guide to creating citations for bibliographies and works cited pages

Websites for MLA Style Citations

Many of these sites offer information about constructing in-text citations, as well as constructing citations for bibliographies and works cited lists: 

MLA Core Elements

MLA now recommends creating a citation for a source by presenting, in a particular order, at least nine core elements of information about the source. For more on these citation guidelines, review this handout:

For more detailed information, consult the authoritative source: 
MLA Handbook, 8th edition. 
Ask at the Reference Desk.


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically. This guide incorporates the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly.

If you use a citation generator from a database or website, doublecheck, using this guide, to be sure the generator has used the current rules.

Please Note

Citations should be double-spaced in an actual Bibliography, Works Cited, or References list, and works should be ordered alphabetically by author.

Citing Print and Electronic Books - MLA

Books by single authors
Author (last name first). Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Barcott, Bruce. Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. Time Books, 2015.

Books by two authors
First Author (last name first), and Second Author (first name first). Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Snell, Karen, and Johan Söderman. Hip-Hop within and without the Academy. Lexington Books, 2014.

Books by three or more authors
First Author (last name first), et al. Title of Book. Publisher, year.

Hopkins, Amanda, et al. Sexual Culture in the Literature of Medieval Britain. D.S. Brewer, 2014.

Book with editor(s)
Editor (last name first), and additional Editor's Name, if only one (first name first), or, if more than two, et al., editor(s). Title of Book. Series, general, or guest editor (if applicable, first name first), Publisher, year.

Dunn, George A., and Jason T. Irwin, editors. Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy: Brains Before Bullets. Series editor, William Irwin, John Wiley and Sons, 2013.

Pendergast, Sara, et al., editors. Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. UXL, 2003.

Corporate, organizational, or institutional author
Name of Corporation, Organization, or Institution (when alphabetizing, ignore initial articles like A, An, and The).Title of Book. Publisher, year. 

The Family Firm Institute. Family Enterprise: Understanding Families in Business and Families of Wealth. John Wiley and Sons, 2013.

Publisher is the author, or the author is unknown
Title of book (when alphabetizing, ignore initial articles like  A, An, and The). Publisher, year.

APA Handbook of Nonverbal Communication. American Psychological Association, 2016.

New York Public Library Business Desk Reference. 4th ed., Hyperion, 2002.

Edition other than the first
Author (last name, first name). Title of Book. Number or other description of edition—e.g., expanded, abbreviated, revised (abbreviated rev.)—whichever is specified. Publisher, year.

Hoff, Ron. I Can See You Naked. Rev. ed., Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1992.

Pasachoff, Jay, et al. Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. 4th ed., Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

Scholarly edition
Author of the primary work (last name first). Title of Book. Year of original work, if known. Editor of the scholarly edition (first name first), Publisher, year.

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. 1989. Edited by Harold Bloom, Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2009.

Book a in named series
Author or Editor (last name, first name). Title of Book. Publisher, year. Name of Series and series number (if any).

Clifton, Lucille. The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010. BOA Editions, 2012. American Poets Continuum Series 134.

Book in a multivolume series
Author or Editor (last name first). Title of Multivolume Series. Edition (if any), volume, Publisher, year. Total volumes in series, if known.

Mills, Lane, et al. Architecture of the Old South. 2nd ed., vol. 1, Beehive Foundation, 1996. 2 vols.

Schlager, Neil, editor. How Products Are Made: An Illustrated Guide to Product Manufacturing. Vol. 6, Gale, 2001. 7 vols.

Book in translation
Author or Editor (last name first). Title of Book. Translator(s) (first name first), Publisher, year.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Duino Elegies. Translated by David Young, Norton, 2006.

Book with illustrations and/or photographs
Author or Editor (last name first). Title of Book. Other contributors important to the work (photographers, illustrators, colorists, letterers, etc.), Publisher, year. 

Bloomfield, April, and J. J. Goode. A Girl and her Greens: Hearty Meals from the Garden. Photographs by David Loftus, illustrated by Sun Young Park, Ecco, 2015. 

Wilson, Bee. First Bite: How We Learn to Eat. Illustrated by Annabel Lee, Basic Books, 2015. 

Encyclopedia, dictionary, or handbook entry

Author of entry, if listed (last name first). "Entry Heading." (When alphabetizing by entry, ignore initial articles like A, An, and The.) Title of Book, edited by (first name first), edition (if any), volume (if any), Publisher, year, page(s). Total volumes, if known.

Tavris, Carol. “Queen Bee Syndrome.” Women’s Studies Encyclopedia, edited by Helen Tierney, vol. 1, Greenwood Press, 1989, p. 307. 3 vols.

Section of a book (preface, afterword, etc.) 
Author of Section (last name first). “Title.” And/or Name of section or Description. Title of Book, by Author(s) or Editor(s) (first name first), edition (if any), volume (if any), Publisher, year, page(s). Total volumes, if known.

Gore, Albert. Introduction. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, Houghton Mifflin, 1994. pp. xv-xxvi.

Stamburg, Susan. "So Many Books, So Little Time." Foreword. 1001 Books for Every Mood, by Hallie Ephron, Adams Media, 2007, p. v.

Work in an anthology
Author of Selection (last name first). "Title of Selection." Title of Anthology, edited by (first name first), other relevant contributors, edition (if any), volume (if any), Publisher, year, page(s). Total volumes, if known.

Shanté, Roxanne. “Roxanne’s Revenge.” The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., afterwords by Chuck D and Common, Yale UP, 2010, pp. 283-86.

Work reprinted in an anthology
Author of selection (last name first). “Title of Selection.” Title of Anthology, edited by (first name first), other relevant contributors, edition (if any), volume (if any), Publisher, year, page(s). Total volumes, if known. Information about original publication.

Renner, Stanley. “Secular Meaning in ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find.’” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, edited by Janet Witalec, vol. 132, Gale, 2003, pp. 232-37. Originally published in College Literature, vol. 9, no. 2, 1982, pp. 123-32.

Work in a custom anthology
Author Author of Selection (last name first). “Title of Selection.” Title of Anthology, edited by (first name first), other relevant contributors, Name of Custom Edition, number or other description of edition (if any), volume (if any), Publisher, year, page(s). Total volumes, if known.

Plath, Sylvia. “Daddy.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, edited by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, Custom Edition for Anne Arundel Community College, 2nd ed., Part 2: Poetry, Pearson, 2013, pp. 1116-18. 3 parts.

Comic book
Author (last name first). Title of Issue, if unique; otherwise, Title of Series. Other contributors important to the work (illustrators, colorists, etc.), Title of Series (if different from issue), issue number, Publisher, year.

Glass, Adam. Bad Company. Illustrated by Federico Dallocchio, Suicide Squad, no. 4, DC Comics, 2012.

eBook or eBook section from an online database
Cite as you would in print, followed by Name of Database, DOI (if it has a DOI, it completes the citation). If no DOI, use a permalink when available, or its URL, without http://.

Dyson, Michael Eric. Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupak Shakur. Basic Civitas Books, 2006. Ebrary,

Elkin, T. David. “Pain Management.” Encyclopedia of Behavior Modification and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, edited by Michael Hersen, et al., vol. 3, SAGE Publications, 2005, pp. 933-36. SAGE Reference eBook Collection, doi:10.4135/9781412950534.n2085

Freeman, Susan Kathleen. Introduction. Sex Goes to School: Girls and Sex Education Before the 1960s. U of Illinois P, 2006, pp. ix-xviiGoogle Books,

"Prairie Oysters.” Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, Hugh Rawson, 2002. Credo Reference,

Schoenly, Lorry, and Catherine M. Knox, editors. Essentials of Correctional Nursing. Springer, 2012. Ebrary,

eBook download (e.g., for an eReader)
Cite as you would a printed source, followed by the type of file, like Kindle, Nook, EPUB, or PDF. If you can’t ascertain the file type, use Digital file.

Hunter, Luke. Carnivores of the World. Princeton UP, 2011. Kindle file.

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