Book: how to cite in MLA (8th ed.)?

Create a spot-on reference in MLA 8 and 9

Select a source type:

Basic rules

A book reference on the works cited page compiled according to MLA Style (8th ed.) can include the following data: names of the authors, editors, translators, etc., title of the book, edition number, volume number (for parts of multivolume editions), city of publication, publisher, year, URL (link to website), and date of access (for online sources).

In MLA Style, the total number of the book’s pages is not indicated in the bibliographic reference.

The information on the city is given for a book published before the year 1900 or in case that the publisher either has offices in several cities or is not widely known. Otherwise, it suffices to cite the name of the publisher, without indicating its location.

If the book to be referenced is a part of a multivolume edition, the reference should also include the number of the volume. If the volume has its individual title, it should be referenced as a separate book, and no information should be provided on the other volumes.

The elements of the bibliographic reference are separated by either commas or full stops (see templates below). The title of the book is italicised.

How to cite in a bibliography

The basic template for referencing a book in MLA Style is the following:

Author(s). Title. Edition No., Publisher, year of publication, URL. Accessed date of access.

For citing an edited book, use the following sample reference:

Author(s). Title. Еdited by Editor(s), Edition No., Publisher, year of publication, URL. Accessed date of access.

For a translated book, use the following reference template:

Author(s). Title. Translated by Translator(s), Edition No., Publisher, year of publication, URL. Accessed date of access.

Learn more on how to cite authors, editors, and translators in this article.

Examples of references in works cited

Book with one author:

Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court. 3rd ed., U of California P, 2011.

Joyce, James. Ulysses. Bodley Head, 1937, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Rothfuss, Patrick. The Name of the Wind. Gollancz, 2008.

Book with two authors:

Spainhour, Stephen, and Robert Eckstein. Webmaster in a Nutshell. 2nd ed., O’Reilly, 1999.

Eckerle, Julie A., and Naomi McAreavey. Women’s Life Writing and Early Modern Ireland, UNP - Nebraska, 2019.

Fischlin, Daniel, and Ajay Heble. The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue. Wesleyan UP, 2004.

Book with three or more authors:

Fischlin, Daniel, et al. The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Co-Creation. Duke UP, 2013.

Collier, Simon, et al. The Cambridge encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. Cambridge UP, 1985.

Carlson, Neil R., et al. Psychology. 2nd ed., Pearson Education, 2004.

Book published before the year 1900:

Holder, Ch. F. Charles Darwin. His Life and Work. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1891.

Volume (part of a multivolume work):

Russell, Frederick S. Advances in Marine Biology. Vol. 3, Academic P, 1965.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Vol. 3, Lippinscott, 1906.

Book accessed online:

Dykes, Oswald. English Proverbs, with Moral Reflexions. London, G. Sawbridge, 1713, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Other citation styles: