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MLA Citation Style & Formatting 8th Edition: Citing Books

A comprehensive guide to creating citations in MLA style

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About Citing Books in MLA 8

Books are probably the most cited type of resource. What type of book you use and what part of the book you use will determine which template you use to cite it.  For the purposes of this class, there are three types of books: physical books, electronic library books, and books from the internet. How do you tell the difference?

  • If you physically have a book in your hands, whether it be a textbook for your class, a library book that you checked out, or a book that you own, these are considered PRINT books and you use the Print Book Templates.
  • If you went to the library website and found a book that you read online (full-text from ebrary, Ebsco eBooks, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and a few others), then this is an electronic library book and you use the Electronic Library Book Templates.
  • If you searched on the open internet (such as Google) and located your book without the use of a library database, then this is a book from the internet and you would use the Electronic Book from the internet Template.

Print Book Templates

General book format, one author:   Author last name, First name. Book Title: With Subtitle if Present. Publisher Name, Year.
Example:   Mushanga, Tibamanya Mwene. Crime and Deviance: An Introduction to Criminology. Law Africa, 2011.

Edited book:   Editor last name, First name, editor. Book Title: With Subtitle if Present.  Publisher Name, Year.
Example:   Calhoun, Craig, editor. Sociology in America: A History. U of Chicago P, 2008.

Chapter from an edited Book/Section in a Reference Book:

  Author last name, First name. “Title of Section/Entry.” Title of Reference Book, edited by Editor’s name, edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Year, pp.#-#.
Example:   Short, Vanessa. “Birds from Outer Space.” Science Fiction Flora and Fauna, edited by Jules Verne, vol. 18, McMillian, 2016, pp.36.

Library ebook Templates (from a library database)

General book format, one author:   Author last name, First name. Book Title: With Subtitle if Present. Publisher Name, Year. Database Name.
Example:   Mushanga, Tibamanya Mwene. Crime and Deviance: An Introduction to Criminology. Law Africa, 2011. Ebook Central.

Edited book:   Editor last name, First name, editor. Book Title: With Subtitle if Present.  Publisher Name, Year. Database Name.
Example:   Calhoun, Craig, editor. Sociology in America: A History. U of Chicago P, 2008. EbscoHost eBooks.

Chapter from an edited Book/Section in a Reference Book:

  Author last name, First name. “Title of Section/Entry.” Title of Reference Book, edited by Editor’s name, edition, vol. #, Publisher Name, Year, pp.#-#. Database Name.
Example:   Short, Vanessa. “Birds from Outer Space.” Science Fiction Flora and Fauna, edited by Jules Verne, vol. 18, McMillian, 2016, pp.36. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Ebook Template (from the internet, not a library database)

General format, one author:   Author last name, First name. Book Title: With Subtitle if Present. Publisher Name, Year, Website Name, URL.
Example:   Burnett, Frances Hodges. Little Lord Fauntleroy. Scribner & Sons, 1866, Google Book Search, books.google.com/books/about/Little_Lord_Fauntleroy.html.