Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Style Guide

Citing a Book

Helpful Tips:

Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author. If this is the case for you, format your reference information as a chapter/essay from a book rather than citing the entire book.

When using a book that has more than two authors, include only the name of the first author, followed by "et al." For example:

     Smith, John, et al. Book Title etc.

Indicate any edition other than the first edition.  For example:

Fletcher, Neville H., and Thomas D. Rossing. The Physics of Musical Instruments. 2nd ed., Springer, 1998.

How to Cite a Book (entire book)

References to books usually include the following elements:

Author, First, and Second Author. Title of Book Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Edition abbreviated if appropriate, Publisher, Date. NOTE:  The place of publication is not generally included; medium is no longer included.

MLA style book citation

Note: Citations are single-spaced here, but be sure to double-space your Works Cited page.

How to Cite a Book (chapter)

*Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author.

References to individual chapters or essays found in a book usually include the following elements:

Essay/chapter Author, last name first. "Essay or Chapter Title." Book Title,  editor(s) or compiler(s), publisher, date of publication, start page – end page of chapter or essay.  NOTE: Ed. has been replaced with edited by; page numbers in the works-cited list are now preceded by p. or pp.

Note: Citations are single-spaced here, but be sure to double-space your Works Cited page.

Other Types of Print Books

See this page for instructions on how to cite the Bible in MLA format.

Edited Book 

Last Name, First Name, editor. Title of Book: Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Edition abbreviated if appropriate,  Publisher, Date. 

Schutte, Anne Jacobson, et al., editors. Time, Space, and Women's Lives in Early Modern Europe. Truman State UP, 2001. 


Entry for Item Previously Published in Another Source

Author, Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article in Quotes with all Important Words Capitalized". Title of the  Book You used Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized, edited by Name of Editor in First Last Order, Publisher, Date. Pages. Originally published in.....

Benedict, Ruth, "The Past and the Future." Contemporary Literary Criticism vol. 97, edited by Deborah A. Stanley, Gale, 1997, pp. 300-1. Originally published in Nation 7 December 1946, pp. 656-58. 

Note: Citations are single-spaced here, but be sure to double-space your Works Cited page.

How to Cite an Ebook

References to ebooks include the following information:

Author(s). Title of book. Publisher, Publication Year. Database*. Date Accessed (optional)**.

*If you are in Seeker, the Database name is located in the ebook's record, below the abstract and publisher/permissions field. If you are in the Catalog, use LNDL Catalog as the Database name in your citation.

**Always check with your professor about whether or not they require Date Accessed.