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Citing books in MLA

How do you cite a book? What information do you need to include and where does it go? Citation Machine citing tools can help you easily create formatted citations for your research paper.

First, find your book using the search box above. The book’s author, title, or ISBN will do. If there are books with similar titles, authors, different editions, etc., you will be shown all possibilities, so you can choose the correct book. From there, the citing tools will automatically pull information on the source and help you create a citation.

Books aren’t just in print. They can be electronic, too. You can find them in online databases, websites, audiobooks, and other forms of media. Citation Machine citing tools can handle those, as well.

Standard book citation:

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2008.

Translated works in MLA format:

If the focus was on the text, rather than the actual translation, cite the source similar to this:

Vila-Matas, Enrique. Never Any End to Paris. Translated by Anne McLean, New Directions, 2011.

If the focus was on the translation, include the translator’s name first in the citation.

McLean, Anne, translator. Never Any End to Paris. By Enrique Vila-Matas, New Directions, 2011.

Wish you had an automatic MLA citation generator to do all of the heavy lifting for you? Try out our generator, at the top of this page.

How to cite a textbook in print:

To cite a full textbook in print in MLA format, you’ll need to find the following pieces of information:

  • Name of the author(s) or editor(s)
  • Title of the textbook, including any subtitles
  • Version of the textbook (such as a numbered edition or revised edition)
  • Name of the publisher
  • Year the textbook was published

Place the pieces of information in this format:

Last name, First name of the author or Last name, First name, editor. Title of the Textbook. Version, Publisher, Year published.

If the textbook was compiled by an editor, use this format at the beginning of the citation:

Last name, First name, editor.

Examples of how to cite a textbook in print:

Lilly, Leonard S. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: Review and Assessment. 9th ed., Elsevier Saunders, 2012.

Cherny, Nathan, et al., editors. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 5th ed., Oxford UP, 2015.

E-books in MLA format:

Citing an e-book from an e-reader (Kindle, Nook, or other digital e-book device):

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Nook ed., Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004.

In the “version” section of the citation, include the type of e-reader.

If you’re citing an e-book from a website, here’s an example in MLA format:

Doyle, Arthur Conan. “The Complete Sherlock Holmes.” Internet Archive, archive.org/stream/deysayan844_gmail_Cano?ref=ol#mode/2up.

The website is the container, which is found in the 3rd position of the citation, in italics.

Wish you had a second set of eyes to review your citations? Use our MLA citation generator and compare the output to yours.

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Citation Machine® uses the 8th ed. of MLA, 7th ed. of APA, and 17th ed. of Chicago (9th ed. Turabian).