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MLA Citation Guide (8th edition): Citing Books and Ebooks

An introduction to the new (April 2016) edition of the MLA citation guide. The new Guide has introduced many new features to this widely used bibliographic style.

MLA Book Citation Styles

Book and ebook

Book citations in the 2016 MLA format have changed.  The main changes are that the place of publication is omitted, and the format note at the end is omitted. Ebook citations are the same as print books.


2009 7th ed.

   Carré, John le. The Tailor of Panama. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Print.

2016 8th ed.

    Carré, John le. The Tailor of Panama. Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.


Book with one author:

     Bird, Caroline.  Enterprising Woman.  Norton, 1976.

Format note:

  • Author: Last name of the author, first name.
  • Title: Title of book, subtitle (if any) and a period. Title and subtitle are italicized. Also, main words in title and subtitle are capitalized.
  • Publication information: Publisher followed by date of publication. Note that "University Press" is abbreviated UP and "University of Oregon Press" would be "U of Oregon P."

Note that all entries in a bibliography finish with a period.

Book with two authors:

      Berelson, Bernard, and Gary A. Steiner.  Human Behavior: An Inventory of
             Scientific Findings
. Harcourt, 1964.

Format Note: Last name of the author, author's first name, followed by the word "and" then the name of the second author. Note that the second author format is first name followed by last name.

Book with more than two authors:

      Baum, Charlotte, et al. The Jewish Woman in America.
               Dial P., 1976.

Book written by an organization:

      Boston Women's Health Book Collective. Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book by
               and for Women
. Simon & Schuster, 1971.

Book with an editor:

      Silverberg, Robert, editor. Earth is the Strangest Planet: Ten Stories of
             Science Fiction
.  Nelson, 1977. 

Format Note: Last name, first name, then the term "editor." Sometimes the editor will appear after the title, depending on the nature of the book.

Section, chapter, or essay in a book or anthology:

      Allende, Isabel. "Toad's Mouth." A Hammock beneath the Mangoes: Stories
              from Latin America,
edited by Thomas Colchie, Plume, 1992, pp. 83-88.

Format Note: In this example, there is a story by Isabel Allende in an anthology edited by Thomas Colchie. At the end of the citation, include the pages where the article, story or essay appeared. Use commas and pp. as indicated.

Specific pages in a book:

      Leggett, Glenn C., David Mead, and William Charvat. Prentice-Hall Handbook
              for Writers
. 8th ed., Prentice-Hall, 1982, pp. 69-76.

Book with more than one edition:

      Baugh, Albert C. A History of the English Language. 2nd ed.,
              Appleton, 1957. 

Work published in several volumes:

      Woolf, Virginia. The Diary of Virginia Woolf, edited by Anne Olivier Bell.
             Vol. 1., Harcourt, 1977.

Article or entry in a popular general reference book:

      Goris, Jan-Albert. "Belgian Literature." Collier's Encyclopedia. 1983 ed.

Article or entry in a subject reference book:

      "Freedom of Information." Encyclopedia of Human Rights, edited by Edward Lawson,
             Taylor & Francis, 1991, pp. 592-595.

Format Note: In a popular reference book such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you don't need to cite the full publication information; but in a more specific subject encyclopedia, you need to include the full publication information.


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