Skip to Main Content

MLA 9th ed. Style Guide: Books

On This Page

Book by a Single Author or Editor
Single Author
E-book with Single Editor
E-book on a Device (for ex. Kindle, EPUB)

Book by Multiple Authors or Editors
Two Authors
Three or More Authors or Editors

Book by a Corporate Author

Book in a Series

Chapter, Section, or Entry in an Edited Book
Reference Source

Editions; Multiple Publishing Companies

Multivolume Work

Essential Elements

Book citations should include the following elements if available:

1. Name of author, editor, person or group primarily responsible for creating the work or the aspect of the work that is the your focus (such as translator)

2. Title of book (italicized)

3. Edition used (if other than the first) or Version (such as King James Version)

4. Volume number if only one volume of a numbered multivolume set is used

6. Name of Publisher (omitting words like Company, Corporation, Limited; using UP for University Press)

7. Year of Publication

9. Series name if part of a series along with series number if available (optional, include if helpful to your reader)

9. Total number of volumes in a multivolume set (optional, include if helpful to your reader)

10.  If it is an ebook, name of container (Proquest, Ebook Library, Google Books, etc.) and URL. If accessed on a tablet, indicate "e-book" or type of tablet (Kindle ed., EPUB ed., etc.) as a version (see number 3 above).


Sample Citations - Books

Book by a Single Author or Editor

Single Author

Lubin, David M. Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War. Oxford UP, 2016.

E-book with Single Editor - Read Online or on Library Database

If you are citing an entire edited book, place the editor's name in the author position followed by "editor." 

Young, Tom, editor. Readings in the International Relations of Africa. Indiana UP, 2016. Ebook Library,

E-book on a Device (Kindle, EPUB)

If the type of e-book is not known, use the word "e-book" as a version.

Conroy, Pat. The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son. Kindle ed., Doubleday, 2013. 

Book by Multiple Authors or Editors

Two authors

List the authors in the order they appear on the title page. List the first author with the last name first; second authors are listed with the first name followed by the last name. Use the form of the name given on the title page.

Trump, Donald J., and Tony Schwartz. Trump: The Art of the Deal. Random House, 1987.





Three or more authors or editors

When there are three or more authors or editors, use the first name listed on the title page and list using the last name first followed by a comma and et al. (which means "and others").

Krautter, Mary, et al., editors. The Entrepreneurial Librarian: Essays on the Infusion of Private-Business Dynamism into Professional Service. McFarland, 2012.


If the focus is the translation of a work, treat the translator as the author.


Bartlett, Rosamund, translator. Anna Karenina. By Leo Tolstoy, Oxford UP, 2014. 

If the focus is the work itself, include the translator because their contribution is considered significant.


Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Translated by Rosamund Bartlett, Oxford UP, 2014.

Book by a Corporate Author 

If the author is the same organization as the publisher, skip the author's name and include the publisher's name. If the corporate author is different from the publisher, include the name and drop the word "The" at the beginning of corporate names.

Example 1:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed.American Psychological Association,  2010.

Example 2

American Civil Liberties Union. Why President Richard Nixon Should be Impeached. Public Affairs Press, [1973?].

Book in a Series

If your book is part of a series and if it would help your reader to know that it is part of a series, the series name and number (if any) should be given after the date of publication. Do not italicize or put in quotes. 


Newton, David E. DNA Technology: A Reference Handbook. ABC CLIO, 2010. Contemporary World Series. Ebook Library,

Chapter, Section, or Essay in an Edited Book

Begin the citation with the author of the work, not the editor of the book. If no author is listed, begin with the title of the article or section.

Example 1 (Source from an Anthology):

London, Jack. “The Enemy of All the World.” The Complete Short Stories of Jack London, edited by Earle Labor et al., vol. 2, Stanford UP, 1993, pp. 1247-60.

Example 2 (Source from a Reference Resource):

Lucero, José Antonio. “Alterity and Security: Culture and Survival Beyond the ‘Indian Problem.’” Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security, edited by David R. Mares and Arie M. Kacowicz, Routledge, 2016, pp. 149-60. Routledge Handbooks Online,

Edition Other than the First, More than One Publishing Company

Include edition statements for versions other than the first edition. Abbreviate edition (ed.) and revised (rev.), but write out other editions in lower case unless an initial letter is preceded by a period. If two different publishers are listed, separate with a slash (do not list both if one is a division of a larger publishing company). 

Jameson, J. Larry, et al., editors. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed., Elsevier / Saunders, 2016. Clinical Key,!/browse/book/3-s2.0-C20121030524.

Multivolume Work

Include the volume number after the editor's name. (If there is no editor, the volume number will appear after the title.)

Example (one article):

Dupler, Douglas. “Veganism.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, edited by Brigham Narins, 3rd ed., vol. 6, Gale, 2013,  	pp. 3468-71. Gale Virtual Reference Library, GVRL&sw=w&asid=c09ad02a0c4d8e2acabe3143fbc76360.

Example (entire set, but the number of total volumes is optional):

Narins, Brigham, editor. The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health. 3rd ed., Gale, 2013. 6 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library,|9781414498959&v= 2.1&u=nclivewfuy&it=aboutBook&p=GVRL&sw=w.

Return to Top