Skip to main content

MLA Citation Style 8th Edition: Books

Core Elements

  Books  A Work in Anthology, Collection or Reference 
1. Author. Author(s) and/or editor(s). Author of essay or chapter.
2. Title of source. Book Title: And Subtitle if Included.  "Title of Essay or Chapter."     
Container 1    
3. Title of container, Title of Anthology, Collection or Reference,
4. Other contributors, Other contributors (if applicable), edited by, compiled by, etc. (book editors or compilers), 
5. Version,  # ed. (edition number if applicable), # ed. (edition number if applicable),
6. Number, vol. # (volume number if applicable), vol. # (volume number if applicable),
7. Publisher, Publisher (shortened name), Publisher (shortened name),
8. Publication date, Publication date, Publication date,
9. Location. Page number (p.) or page range (pp.).   Page number (p.) or page range (pp.).
Container 2    
3. Title of second container,   Title of multivolume set (if applicable),
4. Other contributors,    
5. Version,    
6. Number,   vol. # (volume of the multivolume set if applicable)
7. Publisher,   Publisher (shortened name),
8. Publication date,   Publication date,
9. Second location.    

Books with a single author (MLA 21)

Citation description:
Author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any). Title. Publisher, Year of publication.

Citation example:

Gamson, Joshua. R. Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. University of California Press, 1994.

Books with more than one author (MLA 21-23)

Books with two authors:
Citation description:

First author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any), and Second author's First name Middle initial (if any) Last name. Title. Publisher, Year of publication.

Citation example:

Stewart, David W., and David H. Furse. Effective Television Advertising: A Study of 1000 Commercials. Lexington  Books, 1986.

Books with more than two authors: Note: List only the first author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any) followed by a comma and the words et al.

Citation description:

First author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any), et al.Title. Publisher, Year of publication

Citation examples:

Jonson, Albert, et al. Information Access. U of Chicago P, 1992.

Baker, Nellie, et al. Book Publishing. U of Chicago P, 1992.

Books with editor(s) rather than author(s)

Citation description:
Editor's last name, First name Middle initial (if any), editor. Title. Publisher, Year of publication.

Citation example:

Baughman, Cynthia, editor. Women on Ice: Feminist Essays on the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle. Routledg, 1995

Essay, article, story, poem or chapter in a book with an editor (if the book is an anthology of works by multiple writers):

Citation description:

Author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any). "Title of Chapter or Essay." Title of Book, edited by Editor's first and last namePublisher, Year of publicationPage numbers for the chapter


Citation example:

Fox, Aaron A. "Split Subjectivity in Country Music and Honky-Tonk Discourse." All That Glitters: Country Music in America, edited by George H. LewisBowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993pp.131-139

Essay, article, story, or poem in a book that is an anthology of works by a single author (If the specific literary work is part of an author's own collection, i.e., all of the works have the same author, then there will be no editor to reference):

Citation description:

Author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any). "Title of Essay, Article, Story, or Poem." Title of BookPublisher, Year of publicationPage numbers for the essay, article, story, or poem

Citation examples:

Twain, Mark. "To the Person Sitting in Darkness." The complete essays of Mark Twain [pseud.].Doubleday, 1963pp.250-72

Carter, Angela. "The Tiger's Bride." Burning Your Boats: The Collected StoriesPenguin, 1995pp.154-69

A book from a multivolume set published over a span of years:

Citation description:

Author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any).  Title of Book. Edition if anyYear of publication for the Title citedTitle of the multivolume publicaton, volume number,  Publisher, Year of publication for the collection 

Citation example:

Twain, MarkThe adventures of Tom SawyerMississippi ed.1923Mark Twain's worksvol. 1Harper & brothers1923-1924.

You may include the total number of volumes in the multivolume publication if it helps your reader to track down the original source (MLA Handbook 51). Add the information at the end. For the above example:

Twain, MarkThe adventures of Tom SawyerMississippi ed.1923Mark Twain's worksvol. 1Harper & brothers1923-1924. 22 vols.

Comic Series

Citation description:

Author's last name, First name Middle initial (if any)Title of  issue. Title of series, Issue no, PublisherYear of publication of the issue.

Citation example:

Pérez, George. Destiny calling. Wonder Woman, no. 4, DC Comics, 2006.

 

More Examples

For more examples, please see Citation Examples for Books.