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MLA 7th ed. Style Guide: Books

Selected guide from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition.

Essential Elements

All book citations should include the following elements:

1. Name of Author, Editor, or Compiler

2. Title of Book (italicized)

3. Edition used (if on title page and other than the first)

4. Number(s) of Volume(s) if using two or more volumes

5. City of Publication

6. Name of Publisher

7. Year of Publication

8. Medium of Publication

9. Series name if part of a series

Note: E-books require additional information. See the example to the right and the Online Databases section for more details.

Sample Citations - Books

Book by a Single Author or Editor

Single Author

Example:

Schaller, Barry R. Understanding Bioethics and the Law: The Promises and Perils of the Brave New World of Biotechnology. Westport: Praeger, 2008. Print.

 

Single Editor

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

Example:

Magill, Frank N., ed. Masterpieces of African-American Literature. New York: Harper, 1992. Print.

 

Author and Editor

If you are citing a specific chapter, entry, or article in an edited book or in a reference book, see instructions below.

 


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; additional authors' names are listed with the first name followed by the last name.

Example:

Reed, Thomas C., and Danny B. Stillman. The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation. Minneapolis: Zenith, 2009. Print.

 

Three authors

List the authors in the order they appear on the title page. List the first author with the last name first; additional authors' names are listed with the first name followed by the last name.

Example:

Hopkins, Nigel J., John W. Mayne, and John R. Hudson. The Numbers You Need. Detroit: Gale, 1992. Print.

 

Four or more authors

You may list each author as in the examples above, or list the first author followed by "et al." (meaning "and others").

Example:

Darling-Hammond, Linda, et al. Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding. San Francisco:

         Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.

 

Multiple editors, translators, or compilers

Place a comma after the final name and add the appropriate abbreviation (eds., trans. or comps.)

Example:

Shephard, John, et al., eds. Continuum Encyclopedias of Popular Music of the World. 2nd ed. 7 vols. London: Continuum, 2003. Print.

 


Book by a Corporate Author or Organization

List the name of the organization in place of the author.

Example:

Modern Language Association of America. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. Print.

 


Book in a Series

If your book is part of a series, the series name and number (if any) should be given after the medium of publication. Do not italicize or put in quotes.

Example:

Vaughn, Jacqueline. Conflicts Over Natural Resources: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Print. Contemporary World Issues.


Work in an Anthology

Begin the citation with the author of the work, not the editor of the book.

Example:

Buntline, Ned. "Magdalena, the Beautiful Mexican Maid." Empire of the Literature of Sensation: An Anthology of Nineteenth Century Popular Fiction. Ed. Jesse Alerman and Shelley Streeby. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2007. 21-106. Print.

 


Chapter, Section, or Essay in an Edited Book

Begin the citation with the author of the work, not the editor of the book.

Example:

Faucheux, Ronald A. "Why Clinton Lost." Campaigning for President 2008: Strategy and Tactics, New Voices and New Techniques. Ed. Dennis W. Johnson. New York: Routledge, 2009. 44-59. Print.


Entry or Article in a Reference Book

Signed Entry

Begin the citation with the author of the article, not the author or editor of the book. Page numbers are not necessary if the entries are arranged alphabetically.

Example:

Butterworth, Susan. "Zora Neale Hurston." The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Ed. Jay Parini. Vol. 2. New York: Oxford UP, 2004. Print.

 

Unsigned Entry

If no author is attached to an entry, begin with the title of the entry. Page numbers are not necessary if the entries are arranged alphabetically.

Example:

"Giuseppe Verdi." The New Penguin Opera Guide. Ed. Amanda Holden. New York: Penguin, 2001. Print.

 


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:

 

Routley, Eric. "The Fairy Tale and the Secret." Short Story Criticism. Ed. Justin Karr. Vol. 26. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 110-15. Print.


Edition Other Than the First

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

  • Only include edition information if it is NOT the first edition.
  • Write edition as it appears in the book. (3rd, Revised, Abridged, Expanded, etc.; written as 3rd ed., Rev. ed., Abr. ed., Expanded ed., etc.)

Example:

Roberts, Christina. "Southwestern Tribal Literature." Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature. Ed. Jennifer McClinton-Temple and Alan Velie. 2nd ed. New York: Facts on File-Infobase, 2007. Print.

 


 eBook

Cite the work as you would a print book, followed by:

  •  the database in which you accessed the e-book
  •  the medium of publication
  •  the date of access

Deegan, Heather. Africa Today: Culture, Economics, Religion, Security. New York: Routledge, 2009. NetLibrary. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.

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