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MLA Style 9th Edition: Books

Citing Books and eBooks

General Format

Book citations need the following elements:

  • Last name of author(s), first name.
  • Title of Book
  • Other contributors (translators or editors)
  • Version (Edition), Number(vol./no.)
  • City of Publication
    • City of Publication is no longer used with the following exceptions:  Books published before 1900, not well known in the United States, or if the publisher has offices in more than one country.
  • Publisher
  • Publication year
  • Page numbers or ranges that were used.

Ebook Citations:

Cite eBooks the same way that you would print books and insert eBook after title or other contributors if any.

Example: Author Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle if present. E-book ed., Publisher, year of publication.

Books and eBooks with Authors

Single Author:

Author Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle if present. Publisher, year of publication.

Example:

Paarlberg, Robert. Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 2013.

Note: City of Publication is no longer used with the following exceptions:  Books published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.

 

Two Authors: Only the first author's name appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. The second author's name appears in "First Name Last Name" format.

Author’s Last Name, First Name, and Author’s First Name and Last Name. Book Title: Subtitle if Present. Edition, Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Miller, Casey, and Kate Swift. Words and Women. Updated ed., HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.

 

Three or More Authors: If there are three or more authors, list only the first author (Last Name, First Name,) followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for “and others”) in place of the other authors’ names.

Author’s Last Name, First Name, et al. Title of Book: Subtitle if Present. Edition, Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Clare, Cassandra, et al. Tales from the Shadowhunters Academy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2016.

 

eBook: Citations for eBooks closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an eBook by putting the term "eBook" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).

Author Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle if present. E-book ed., Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

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

Or if formatted for a specific reader device:

Author Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle if present. Type of Device, Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince, translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

 

E-Book from a Library Database:

Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Present. Edition if given and not first edition, Publisher Name, Publication Year, Name of Library Database.

Example:

Waldau, Paul. Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford UP, 2010.

eBook Collection.

Single Author: 

(Author Last Name Page Number(s))

Example:

Citation in Prose: Huskin believes, “Writing activities increase students’ learning and engagement” (15).

Parenthetical Citation: “Writing activities increase students’ learning and engagement” (Huskin 15). 

 

Two Authors:

(Author Last Name & Author Last Name Page number(s))

Example:

Citation in Prose: D'Amico and Barbarito state that "the best is yet to come" (352).

Parenthetical Citation: "The best is yet to come" (D'Amico and Barbarito 352).

 

Three and More Authors:

(Author Last Name et al. Page Number(s))

Example:

Citation in Prose: Landon et al., write... "Perfection is perfection" (47).

Parenthetical Citation: “Perfection is perfection” (Landon et al. 47).

Books and eBooks Without Authors

Books will usually have one to several authors. Authors can also be an organization or a government entity, or an anthology of multiple authors, with an editor or multiple editors. Below are some examples of these types of authors.

 

Unknown Author: 

Book Title: Subtitle. Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Lazarillo de Tormes. Medina del Campo, 1554.

 

Organization as Author:

Name of Organization. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Code Consultants Association. Fire Flow Water Consumption in Sprinklered and Unsprinklered Buildings: An Assessment of Community Impacts. Springer, 2012.

Note: When the author and publisher are the same, skip the author, and list the title first. Then, list the corporate author only as the publisher. Organization names are considered proper nouns, make sure they are capitalized in the title. 

Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Example:

Fair Housing – Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.

 

Edited Book, No Author:

Last Name of Editor, First Name, editor. Title of Book: Subtitle if present.

            Name of Publisher, Publication Date.

Sanchez Prado, Ignacio M., editor. Mexican Literature in Theory. Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

Selection or Chapter from an Anthology

Chapter from Anthology: Applies to essays written by different authors in a book compiled by an editor, or short stories/plays/poems inside a book or anthology such as a textbook.

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Essay.” Title of Collection, edited by Editor Name First Name Last Name, Publisher Name, Year, pp. First Page – Last Page of essay/entry.

Example:

Sabau, Anna. “The Perils of Ownership: Property and Literature in Nineteenth-Century Mexico.” Mexican Literature in Theory, edited by Ignacio M. Sanchez Prado, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, pp. 33-54.