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MLA Citation Style: Books

The purpose of this guide is to help you cite your sources using the MLA Style (8th edition). You will find some useful examples and tips for organizing your work.


General Guidelines

  • Author/editor name – inverted, no initials.

Note: For two authors use “and” between the second name (not inverted, no initials). For more than two authors – give the first author’s name (inverted, no initials), followed by ‘et al.’

  • Title of the book – italicized, capitalize each important word.
  • Other contributors – editors, translators; not inverted, full; use ‘edited by’ and ‘translated by’
  • Edition – use ‘ed.’
  • Number (volume) – use ‘vol.’
  • Publisher – name of publisher (use abbreviations, e.g. UP (University Press)); note that the place of publication and the medium of publication are omitted in MLA 8th edition.
  • Publication date - year
  • Location – pages used


Reference format:

Author Last name, First name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication. URL/DOI.


Digital file

Silva, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.

Slawenski, Kenneth. J.D. Salinger: A Life. EPUB, Random, 2011.

Note: MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device, so give the type of e-book (e.g. Kinle, EPUB, etc.). If you don’t know the type of the book, use only ‘e-book.’

Book from the Internet or a database

Peraldo, Emmanuelle. Literature and Geography : The Writing of Space Throughout History. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. EBSCOhost,

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Estes and Lauriat, 1881. Google Books,

Note: Include the name of the container in italics.

If the book does not have a DOI, use the URL permalink but omit http:// or https://

Print Book / Format

Book Chapter / Format

E-book / Format

How to cite a book chapter?

How to cite a book chapter in MLA 7? Published by EasyBib, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Print Books


Author Last name, First name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

*Note: According to the 8th edition of MLA style, the City of Publication is omitted and should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.


One author

Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924. Ohio State UP, 2008.

Stuessy, Joe, and Scott Lipscomb. Rock and Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development. 7th ed., Pearson, 2013.

Two authors

Broer, Lawrence R., and Gloria Holland. Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and Female Voice. U of Alabama P, 2002.

Note: Use 'and' between the names.

Three or more authors

Both, Wayne C. et al. The Craft of Research. 2nd ed. U of Chcago P, 2003.

Gebhard, David, et al. A Guide to Architecture in San Francisco & Northern California. Peregrine, 1973.

Note: List the first author's name, then use 'et al.'

No author

American Heritage Dictionary for Learners of English. Houghton, 2002.

Note: Begin with the title information.

Corporate author

Canadian Health Information Management Association. Fundamentals of Health.

Information Management. Canadian Healthcare Association, 2013

Edited book

Froggatt, Katherine, et al., editors. Understanding Care Homes: A Research and Development Perspective. Kingsley, 2009.

Note: add ‘editor’ or ‘editors’ after the author/s name.

Republished book

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. 1990. Routledge, 1999.

Note: Books can be republished without becoming a new edition. In this case, writhe the original date of publishing after the title.

Translated book

Rover, Charles. Orange Shoes. Translated by Greg Spice, Color P., 2003.

Book chapters


Author Last name, First name. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book, edited by Editor first name Editor last name, Publisher, Year of Publication, page range.


Charters, Ann. “Beat Poetry and the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance.” The Columbia History of American Poetry, edited by Jay Parini and Brett C. Millier, Columbia UP, 1993, pp. 581-604.

Note: chapter’s title is in quotations; book’s title is italicized; names of editors/translators are not inverted; page range is included.

An anthology or compilation (e.g. a bibliography, a collection of essays, stories, poems, etc.)

Shell, Marc, editor. American Babel: Literatures of the United States from Abnaki to Zuni. Harvard UP, 2002.

Works in anthologies

Note: Essay, short story, poem, or other work that appears within a collection of literary pieces, usually edited or translated.

Brant, Beth. “Coyote Learns a New Trick.” An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, edited by Daniel David Moses and Terry Goldie, Oxford UP, 1992, pp. 148-150.

Allende, Isabel. “Toad’s Mouth.” Translated by  Margaret S. Peden. A Hammock beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America, edited by Thomas Colchie. Plume, 1992.

Note: Use the same format as for book chapters.

Vaughan, Henry. “I Walked the Other Day (To Spend My Hour).” 1655. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by M.H. Abrams, 6th  ed.,vol. 1, Norton, 1993, pp. 1409-10.

Note: you can include the original date of publication, immediately after the tile.

Reference book entry


Author last name, First name. "Title of Article or Entry." Title of Reference Work. Edition. Year. Page range.

No author

“Feudalism.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th  ed., Merriam-Webster, 2003, p. 463.

“Ginsburg, Ruth Bader.” Who’s who in America. 62nd ed. 2008. p. 134.

Note: Use the same format as for book chapters.

With author

Bowman, Durrell.“Festival of the Sound.” Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, edited by Helmut Kallman et al., 2nd  ed., U of Toronto P, 1992, pp. 448-49.

Note: the same format as for book chapters.

An introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword

Sevick, Gina. Foreward. Surviving the College Experience, by Margaret Wagner, edited by Thomas Smith, College P., 1999, pp. xv-xvi.

An anonymous book

American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style. Houghton, 2005.

Note: don’t use ‘Anonymous’ instead of author’s name. Simply start with the title.

Classical works

The Bible. New Oxford Annotated Version, 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001.

Note. Don’t forget to give the exact chapter and verse in the in-text citation.

e.g. (The Bible Rev. 4.6-8)

Multivolume work

Lawrence, D. H. The Letters of D. H. Laurence, edited by James. T. Boulton, vol. 8. Cambridge UP, 2000.

Note: If you are refereing to all volumes of a work, cite all of them ‘vols.’ If the volume has own title, cite it as an independent work.

Books published before 1900

Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions. Boston, 1863.

Note: Original copies of books published before 1900 are usually defined by their place of publication rather than the publisher.