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MLA Citation Style Guide (8th Edition): Books

Citing Books

The examples provided below aim to illustrate only basic principles of citing books and book chapters using MLA citation style.  Please refer to the MLA Handbook, 8th edition for more details.

Basic format for Book

Author. Title of work: subtitle. Publisher, Date.

  • Give author's name as it appears on the title page
  • Italicize title of work
  • Capitalize first and last word, and all principle words in article title (See MLA Handbook 8th. ed., section 1.2 on Title of Sources)

One author

Tan, Amy. Saving Fish from Drowning. Putnam, 2005.

Two or More Authors

  • Give the names in order they appear on the title page
  • Reverse only the name of the first author
  • Use AND before last author
  • Use commas to separate authors

Prentiss, Sean, and Joe Wilkins. Environmental and Nature Writing: A Writer's Guide and Anthology. Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.

Edited Book One or More Editors

Dimock, Wai Chee, et al., editors. American Literature in the World: An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler. Columbia UP, 2017.

Article or Chapter in an Edited Book

Bigsby, Christopher. "Sam Shepard: Word and Image." Critical Angles: European Views of Contemporary American Literature, edited by Marc Chénetier, Southern Illinois UP, 1986, pp. 208-219


  • An ebook can use the same elements as a print book, however, it is helpful to add the container (hosting service) and the location (url, doi, or permalink).  In the case of an ebook on an electronic reading device add the type of device as the version (edition).

Curnutt, Kirk. Reading Hemingway's To Have and Have Not : Glossary and Commentary. Ashland, US: The Kent State University Press, 2017. ebrary,

Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Kindle ed., Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2008.