Books General Formatting Tips

The MLA template elements for a book commonly include: 

  1. Author - The writers, editors, translators, artists, organizations, governments, etc. who created/wrote the book.
  2. Title of Source -  Title of the book or book part (e.g. book chapter or short story in an anthology).
  3. Container - Title of the book when only a part of a book is the source.
  4. Contributor - Key contributors separate from the author, if any. Others are optional.
  5. Version - Edition or revision information if applicable. 
  6. Number - When a book is part of a multi-volume set, include the volume number.
  7. Publisher - Entity that made the work available.
  8. Publication Date - The year of publication.
  9. Location - Page range if applicable.

Books offered online (eBooks), whether via a website or library database such as Ebook Central College Complete, are listed using the same information but with the addition of information for the online container:

  1. Container Publisher - Name of database or website.
  2. Container Location - DOI, permalink, or URL for the source, in this order of preference. DOI addresses always begin with https://; otherwise remove http:// or https://. 
  3. Container Supplemental Elements - Date of access in the format: day, month abbreviated to three letters, year, preceded by the word "Accessed." This is used only when an online source has no publication date, or if the source may be changed or removed. If you are not sure whether to add this element, ask a librarian for help.

Books in Print

Book with one author

Ayers, Harry. Classroom Management: A Practical Approach for Primary and Secondary Teachers. Fulton, 1998.  

Book with one editor

Donovan, Mary Deirdre, editor.  The New Professional Chef: The Culinary Institute of America. 6th ed., Routledge, 1996.

Book with two or more authors

  • Two authors: list authors in the order they appear on the title page and reverse only the first author's name.
  • Three or more authors: list only the first author and add et al. (which is Latin for "and others").
  • If the writers are listed as editors, compilers or translators list that information after their name(s). Examples below.

Two authors

McQuiston, Liz, and Barry Kitts. Graphic Design Source Book.  MacDonald Orbis, 1987.

Pevear, Richard, and Larissa Volokhonsky, translators. Crime and Punishment. By Feodor Dostoevsky, Vintage, 1993.

Three or more authors

Charon, Rita, et al. The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. Oxford UP, 2017. 

Book chapter or work in an edited book

Cohen, David K., and Carol A. Barnes. "Pedagogy and Policy." Teaching for Understanding: Challenges for Policy and Practice, edited by  D. K. Cohen et al., Jossey-Bass, 1993, pp. 207-239.  

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.

Chapter/entry in a reference book with no author

  • When citing an encyclopedia, dictionary or other reference book do not include the publisher information. 
  • If the reference book is organized alphabetically, do not list the volume or the page number where the article is located. 

For example

"Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1997.  

Translated book

Bolano, R. The Savage Detectives. Translated by N. Wimmer.  Picador, 2012. 

Report or publication from a corporate author

  • A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page.
  • If the publication is a government agency, begin the citation with the name of the government.

Corporate author

American Allergy Association.  Allergies in Children.  Random House, 1998.

Government agency

Canada, Immigration and Refugee Board. "Access to Information and Privacy and Special Projects Directorate." Annual Report on the Privacy Act. Ottawa, 2009.  

Book with no author

  • If no author is given, start your citation with the title of the book. 
  • In the works cited list the entry appears alphabetically using the title.

For example

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania. 2nd ed., Somerset Publishers, 1994.

Books Online

Library eBook database

Martin, Alfred L. The Generic Closet : Black Gayness and the Black-Cast Sitcom, Indiana University Press, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/dccc/detail.action?docID=6450153.

Rossner, M. J. Basic Mathematics for Economists. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2003. EBSCOHost E-book Collection, search.ebscohost.com.libdb.dccc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=102089&site=ehost-live. 

Website

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death." The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James A. Harrison, vol.4, Crowell, 1902, pp. 250-58.  HathiTrust Digital Library,  babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924079574368;view=1up;seq=266.