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MLA Style Guide - 7th Edition

Citing a Book

Jump directly to Works Cited examples for the following types of print books:

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 three authors, you may choose to include only the name of the first author, followed by "et al." For example:

     Smith, John, et al. Book Title etc.


How do I know if it's a print copy?

You should only cite something as a print source if you consulted the physical "hard copy" of the book or article. If you found something online--even if it's a scanned image of the print version--it should be cited as an electronic source.

How to Cite a Book (entire book)

References to print books usually include the following elements:

Author, First, and Second Author. Title of Book: Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Edition abbreviated if appropriate. City of Publication, State if not well-known city: Publisher, Date. Source and Medium of Publication. 

MLA how to cite a print book

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

How to Cite a Book (chapter)

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

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

Essay/chapter Author. "Essay or Chapter Title." Book Title. Book editor(s) or compiler(s). Place of publication: Shortened name of publisher, date of publication. Start page – end page of chapter or essay. Medium.

book chapter citation elements

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 

Editor, First, ed. Title of Book: Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Edition abbreviated if appropriate. City of Publication, and state if not well-known: Publisher, Date. Source and Medium of Publication. 

Schutte, Anne Jacobson, Thomas Kuehn, and Silvana Seidel Menchi, eds. Time, Space,
     and Women's Lives in Early Modern Europe. Kirksville, MO: Truman State UP, 2001. Print. 


Entry from Literature Criticism Series

Author, First. "Title of Article in Quotes with all Important Words Capitalized". Title of the Periodical the Work Appeared in First Italicized with All Important 
Words Capitalized. Day Month Year: pages. Rpt. in Name of Publication Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Vol. Number. Ed. Name of Editor in First Last Order. City of Publication: Publisher, Date. Pages. Source and Medium of Publication.

Benedict, Ruth, "The Past and the Future". Nation 7 December 1946: 656-658.
     Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 97. Ed. Deborah A. Stanley. 
     Detroit: Gale, 1997. 300-301. Print.

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