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MLA Works Cited Page: Books
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
When you are gathering book sources, be sure to make note of the following bibliographic items: the author name(s), other contributors such as translators or editors, the book’s title, editions of the book, the publication date, the publisher, and the pagination.
The 8 th edition of the MLA handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.
Please note these changes in the new edition:
- Commas are used instead of periods between Publisher, Publication Date, and Pagination.
- Medium is no longer necessary.
- Containers are now a part of the MLA process. Commas should be used after container titles.
- DOIs should be used instead of URLS when available.
- Use the term “Accessed” instead of listing the date or the abbreviation, “n.d."
Below is the general format for any citation:
Author. Title. Title of container (do not list container for standalone books, e.g. novels), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2 nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
Basic Book Format
The author’s name or a book with a single author's name appears in last name, first name format. The basic form for a book citation is:
Last Name, First Name. Title of Book . City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.
* Note: the City of Publication should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.
Book with One Author
Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science . Penguin, 1987.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House . MacMurray, 1999.
Book with More Than One Author
When a book has two authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented in the book. Start by listing the first name that appears on the book in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in normal order (first name last name format).
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring . Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”).
Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition . Utah State UP, 2004.
Two or More Books by the Same Author
List works alphabetically by title. (Remember to ignore articles like A, An, and The.) Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only. For each subsequent entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period.
Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism . St. Martin's, 1997.
---. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History . Southern Illinois UP, 1993.
Book by a Corporate Author or Organization
A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, a government agency, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page.
List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry.
American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children . Random House, 1998.
When the author and publisher are the same, skip the author, and list the title first. Then, list the corporate author only as the publisher.
Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.
Book with No Author
List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works that include an author name. For example, the following entry might appear between entries of works written by Dean, Shaun and Forsythe, Jonathan.
Encyclopedia of Indiana . Somerset, 1993.
Remember that for an in-text (parenthetical) citation of a book with no author, you should provide the name of the work in the signal phrase and the page number in parentheses. You may also use a shortened version of the title of the book accompanied by the page number. For more information see the In-text Citations for Print Sources with No Known Author section of In-text Citations: The Basics .
A Translated Book
If you want to emphasize the work rather than the translator, cite as you would any other book. Add “translated by” and follow with the name(s) of the translator(s).
Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason . Translated by Richard Howard, Vintage-Random House, 1988.
If you want to focus on the translation, list the translator as the author. In place of the author’s name, the translator’s name appears. His or her name is followed by the label, “translator.” If the author of the book does not appear in the title of the book, include the name, with a “By” after the title of the book and before the publisher. Note that this type of citation is less common and should only be used for papers or writing in which translation plays a central role.
Howard, Richard, translator. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason . By Michel Foucault, Vintage-Random House, 1988.
Books may be republished due to popularity without becoming a new edition. New editions are typically revisions of the original work. For books that originally appeared at an earlier date and that have been republished at a later one, insert the original publication date before the publication information.
For books that are new editions (i.e. different from the first or other editions of the book), see An Edition of a Book below.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble . 1990. Routledge, 1999.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine . 1984. Perennial-Harper, 1993.
An Edition of a Book
There are two types of editions in book publishing: a book that has been published more than once in different editions and a book that is prepared by someone other than the author (typically an editor).
A Subsequent Edition
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the number of the edition after the title.
Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students . 3rd ed., Pearson, 2004.
A Work Prepared by an Editor
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the editor after the title with the label "edited by."
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, edited by Margaret Smith, Oxford UP, 1998.
Note that the format for citing sources with important contributors with editor-like roles follows the same basic template:
...adapted by John Doe...
Finally, in the event that the source features a contributor that cannot be described with a past-tense verb and the word "by" (e.g., "edited by"), you may instead use a noun followed by a comma, like so:
...guest editor, Jane Smith...
Anthology or Collection (e.g. Collection of Essays)
To cite the entire anthology or collection, list by editor(s) followed by a comma and "editor" or, for multiple editors, "editors." This sort of entry is somewhat rare. If you are citing a particular piece within an anthology or collection (more common), see A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection below.
Hill, Charles A., and Marguerite Helmers, editors. Defining Visual Rhetorics . Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
Peterson, Nancy J., editor. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches . Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection
Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows:
Last name, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection , edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.
Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One , edited by Ben Rafoth, Heinemann, 2000, pp. 24-34.
Swanson, Gunnar. "Graphic Design Education as a Liberal Art: Design and Knowledge in the University and The 'Real World.'" The Education of a Graphic Designer , edited by Steven Heller, Allworth Press, 1998, pp. 13-24.
Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:
Rose, Shirley K, and Irwin Weiser, editors. The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher . Heinemann, 1999.
Then, for each individual essay from the collection, list the author's name in last name, first name format, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page range:
L'Eplattenier, Barbara. "Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument for Historical Work on WPAs." Rose and Weiser, pp. 131-40.
Peeples, Tim. "'Seeing' the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping." Rose and Weiser, pp. 153-67.
Please note: When cross-referencing items in the works cited list, alphabetical order should be maintained for the entire list.
Poem or Short Story Examples :
Burns, Robert. "Red, Red Rose." 100 Best-Loved Poems, edited by Philip Smith, Dover, 1995, p. 26.
Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories , edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.
If the specific literary work is part of the author's own collection (all of the works have the same author), then there will be no editor to reference:
Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric." Selected Poems, Dover, 1991, pp. 12-19.
Carter, Angela. "The Tiger's Bride." Burning Your Boats: The Collected Stories, Penguin, 1995, pp. 154-69.
Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries)
For entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, cite the entry name as you would any other work in a collection but do not include the publisher information. Also, if the reference book is organized alphabetically, as most are, do not list the volume or the page number of the article or item.
"Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997.
A Multivolume Work
When citing only one volume of a multivolume work, include the volume number after the work's title, or after the work's editor or translator.
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria . Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.
When citing more than one volume of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes in the work. Also, be sure in your in-text citation to provide both the volume number and page number(s) ( see "Citing Multivolume Works" on our in-text citations resource .)
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria . Translated by H. E. Butler, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980. 4 vols.
If the volume you are using has its own title, cite the book without referring to the other volumes as if it were an independent publication.
Churchill, Winston S. The Age of Revolution . Dodd, 1957.
An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword
When citing an introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword, write the name of the author(s) of the piece you are citing. Then give the name of the part being cited, which should not be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks; in italics, provide the name of the work and the name of the author of the introduction/preface/foreword/afterword. Finish the citation with the details of publication and page range.
Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture , by Farrell, Yale UP, 1993, pp. 1-13.
If the writer of the piece is different from the author of the complete work , then write the full name of the principal work's author after the word "By." For example, if you were to cite Hugh Dalziel Duncan’s introduction of Kenneth Burke’s book Permanence and Change, you would write the entry as follows:
Duncan, Hugh Dalziel. Introduction. Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose, by Kenneth Burke, 1935, 3rd ed., U of California P, 1984, pp. xiii-xliv.
Book Published Before 1900
Original copies of books published before 1900 are usually defined by their place of publication rather than the publisher. Unless you are using a newer edition, cite the city of publication where you would normally cite the publisher.
Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions . Boston, 1863.
Italicize “The Bible” and follow it with the version you are using. Remember that your in-text (parenthetical citation) should include the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s). (See Citing the Bible at In-Text Citations: The Basics .)
The Bible. Authorized King James Version , Oxford UP, 1998.
The Bible. The New Oxford Annotated Version , 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001.
The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Susan Jones, Doubleday, 1985.
A Government Publication
Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise, start with the name of the national government, followed by the agency (including any subdivisions or agencies) that serves as the organizational author. For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the Congress and the session when the hearing was held or resolution passed as well as the report number. US government documents are typically published by the Government Printing Office.
United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on the Geopolitics of Oil . Government Printing Office, 2007. 110th Congress, 1st session, Senate Report 111-8.
United States, Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: EPA and DOE Should Do More to Encourage Progress Under Two Voluntary Programs . Government Printing Office, 2006.
Cite the title and publication information for the pamphlet just as you would a book without an author. Pamphlets and promotional materials commonly feature corporate authors (commissions, committees, or other groups that does not provide individual group member names). If the pamphlet you are citing has no author, cite as directed below. If your pamphlet has an author or a corporate author, put the name of the author (last name, first name format) or corporate author in the place where the author name typically appears at the beginning of the entry. (See also Books by a Corporate Author or Organization above.)
Women's Health: Problems of the Digestive System . American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2006.
Your Rights Under California Welfare Programs . California Department of Social Services, 2007.
Dissertations and Master's Theses
Dissertations and master's theses may be used as sources whether published or not. Unlike previous editions, MLA 8 specifies no difference in style for published/unpublished works.
The main elements of a dissertation citation are the same as those for a book: author name(s), title (italicized) , and publication date. Conclude with an indication of the document type (e.g., "PhD dissertation"). The degree-granting institution may be included before the document type (though this is not required). If the dissertation was accessed through an online repository, include it as the second container after all the other elements.
Bishop, Karen Lynn. Documenting Institutional Identity: Strategic Writing in the IUPUI Comprehensive Campaign . 2002. Purdue University, PhD dissertation.
Bile, Jeffrey. Ecology, Feminism, and a Revised Critical Rhetoric: Toward a Dialectical Partnership . 2005. Ohio University, PhD dissertation.
Mitchell, Mark. The Impact of Product Quality Reducing Events on the Value of Brand-Name Capital: Evidence from Airline Crashes and the 1982 Tylenol Poisonings. 1987. PhD dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry if the author and publisher are not the same.
Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.
How do I cite a book chapter in MLA?
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Author(s) of Chapter. "Title of Chapter: Subtitle of Chapter." Title of Book , edited by Editor of Book, Publisher, Publication Date, page numbers.
Kang-Brown, Jason, et al. "Zero-Tolerance Policies Do Not Make Schools Safer." School Safety , edited by Noah Berlatsky, Greenhaven Press, 2016, pp. 50-52.
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• These examples are for chapters or parts of edited works in which the chapters or parts have an individual title and author/s, but are included in collections or textbooks edited by others.
• If the editors of a work are also the authors of all of the included chapters, then it should be cited as a whole book using the examples given for Books .
• The title of the chapter or part is enclosed in quotation marks and given maximal capitalisation.
Standard format for citation
Chapter in an edited book
Sweeney, John. "The New Internationalism." Global Backlash: Citizen Initiatives in a Just World Economy , edited by Robin Broad, MacMillan Press, 2002, pp. 55-62.
Single chapter from an anthology or compilation
Calvino, Italo. "Cybernetics and Ghosts." The Uses of Literature: Essays , translated by Patrick Creagh, Harcourt, 1982, pp. 3-27.
Article in an encyclopaedia
Fowler, Alastair. "Genre." International Encyclopedia of Communications , edited by Erik Barnouw, et al., vol. 2, Oxford UP, c1989, p. 215-17.
See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books, and web pages.
Works cited list entries.
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / How to Cite a Book Chapter in MLA
How to Cite a Book Chapter in MLA
This page is a how-to guide for using individual book chapters as sources and citing them correctly in your papers. This guide will help you determine when to cite a chapter separately and teach you how to cite a chapter both in the text of your paper and in the Works Cited page.
The information below follows the guidelines of the MLA Handbook , 9th Edition, but it is not associated with the Modern Language Association.
Table of Contents
Why you need to cite sources.
- When to Cite a Chapter
Works cited citations/references.
- Core elements of MLA citations
- Note on containers
Chapter/Article in an Edited Book
Chapter in an anthology/compilation/reference.
- Chapter in an Encyclopedia or Multi-volume set
To write successful papers, you need to do research on your topic, and you include that research in your papers using citations. Citing a source in your paper means that you are using other people’s expertise to support your ideas. You “borrow” the credibility of these experts to increase your own credibility as a researcher. According to the Modern Language Association’s Handbook , “By giving credit to the precursors whose ideas they work with, scholars allow future researchers interested in the history of a conversation to trace the line of inquiry back to its beginning” (95).
In other words, when you cite sources properly, you are establishing and demonstrating your credibility as a researcher, and you ensure that you are not plagiarizing the material. This improves your writing and makes it more persuasive. The citations also allow readers to distinguish the information found in sources from your original thoughts on the topic.
When to Cite a Chapter
The main reason writers will cite a chapter of a book instead of the whole book is when the chapter is written by an author(s) different from the book’s editor(s). An editor compiles a selection of articles written by other experts in the field.
If the author of the book wrote all of the chapters, you do not need to cite the chapters separately even if the chapters have names, and can instead use the standard format for citing a book in MLA . You should, however, include page numbers.
How to Cite a Chapter in a Paper
You can use information from your research in three ways:
- Paraphrase – Take the information from a specific sentence, paragraph, or section of the chapter and rewrite it in your own words.
- Summarize – Take a larger view of the section or the chapter and rewrite it in your own words.
- Quote – Use the exact words written by the author and enclose the words in quotation marks.
With all the above methods of citing research in your paper, you need to follow that information with an in-text citation and create a corresponding reference for the source on the Works Cited page.
Creating correct in-text citations within your text are important. Each in-text citation
- Alerts your reader that you are using information from an outside source.
- Usually appears in parentheses at the end of a sentence.
- Is short and only has enough information to help the reader find the complete reference listed in the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
An in-text citation in the Modern Language Association (MLA) style has two parts (227-228):
- Name of the author or authors
- While many online sources do not have a page number, academic journals almost always do, even when they are available online.
In most cases, the in-text citation is at the end of the sentence in parentheses. When you cite the author’s name in your text, you don’t have to repeat it in the parentheses at the end. Do not separate the author’s name and the page number with a comma. See below for examples.
In-text citations are helpful, but they do not give a lot of information on the source. That’s where your works cited citations come in handy. The works cited citations are designed to provide enough information so that your reader can find the original source, if needed. Every full citation follows the core elements outlined below.
Core Elements of MLA Citations
The outline for any MLA citation follows this format. Please note the punctuation at the end of each section.
Note on Containers
The 9th edition of the official Handbook uses a term for citing references that was first introduced in the 8th edition: c ontainers .
In books that have individual chapters written by different authors, the book is considered the container because it contains parts of a larger whole. The title of the first container, the book name, is printed in italics and follows the chapter name.
When accessing book chapters through a database, the database is considered the second container. This title is also printed in italics.
Below, let’s look at how to cite different types of chapters.
An edited book contains chapters that are written by authors different from the editor. When citing from a book that has been edited by someone other than the writer of the chapter, the chapter writer’s name is cited first, followed by the title of the chapter. The chapter is the source article, and the book is the first container. The editor’s name follows the name of the book.
Example citations for a chapter in an edited print book
Cite your source
Example citations for the same chapter accessed through an online source/database
Anthologies or compilations are collected works of literature such as poems or stories. An anthology can contain a selection of work from one author or from many authors. The editor of the book chooses the pieces to include and usually writes a foreword or introduction. When citing work from an anthology or compilation, the original creator of the work is listed first, followed by the title of the piece. The anthology is the first container and is listed in italics after the name of the individual piece. The editor’s name follows the name of the book.
Example of citations from a chapter in an anthology
Chapter in an Encyclopedia or Multivolume Set
Encyclopedias are reference works that provide summaries of information from all branches of knowledge or all branches of knowledge in a particular field. Entries in an encyclopedia often have a title, but no author listed. When citing a section of an encyclopedia, the section or chapter name is listed first. The name of the encyclopedia is the first container. The publisher of the encyclopedia follows its name.
Encyclopedia sections often do not have author names. If no author is listed, start the citation with the section name. Online sources will also not have page numbers, so omit them as well.
Examples of citations from an encyclopedia
Multivolume sets can have one title for the entire set and may have individual titles for each volume. When citing these sources, cite the title of the entire multi-volume set followed by the volume number.
Example of citations from a multivolume work
Books that are edited or are part of an anthology or compilation often have additional sections that are written by the book’s editor or another writer. These pieces can be an introduction, a preface, or a foreword, which is at the beginning of the book, or an afterword, which is at the end. When citing information from one of these sections, the writer of that section is listed first, followed by the name of the section (Introduction, Preface, etc.). This section name is not enclosed in quotation marks. The title of the book is the first container, and it is listed in italics after the section name. The editor’s name follows the name of the book.
Examples of Citations from an Introduction/Preface/Foreword/Afterword
MLA Handbook . 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.
Published October 31, 2011. Updated June 19, 2021.
Written by Catherine Sigler . Catherine has a Ph.D. in English Education and has taught college-level writing for 15 years.
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To cite a book chapter in MLA style with an editor and/or a translator, you need to have basic information including the authors, chapter title, editors and/or translators, publication year, book title, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry of a book chapter (edited and translated) and examples are given below:
In-text citation template and example:
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author on the first occurrence. For subsequent citations, use only the surname. In parenthetical citations, always use only the surname of the author(s).
Citation in prose:
First mention: Chris Rojek states that ….
Subsequent occurrences: Rojek confirms ….
Works-cited-list entry template and example:
Enclose the chapter title in double quotation marks and use title case. The title of the book is given in italics and title case.
Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited and translated by Name of the Editor(s)/Translator(s), Publisher, Publication Date, page range.
Rojek, Chris. “Indexing, Dragging and the Social Construction of Tourist Sights.” Touring Cultures: Transformations of Travel and Theory , edited and translated by Chris Rojek and John Urry, Routledge, 1997, pp. 52–74.
To cite a chapter in an edited book in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the authors, chapter title (unique title and/or generic label), editors, publication year, book title, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and works-cited-list entries for a chapter in an edited book written by a single author and some examples are given below:
First mention: Gayatri Gopinath ….
Subsequent occurrences: Gopinath ….
Include the unique chapter title in title case and enclose it in double quotation marks. If the chapter does not have a unique title and instead uses a generic label, do not enclose it in quotation marks.
Include the book title in title case and in italics.
Surname, First Name. Generic Label. Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Date, page range.
Surname, First Name. “Unique Chapter Title.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Date, page range.
Surname, First Name. “Unique Chapter Title.” Generic Label. Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Date, page range.
Notice that the last template uses a chapter with both a unique chapter title and a generic label. In this case, use the unique chapter title first and enclose it in double quotation marks and follow it with the generic label (as shown in the third example below).
Gopinath, Gayatri. Introduction. Political Emotions , edited by Ann Cvetkovich et al., Routledge, 2010, pp. 167–92.
Gopinath, Gayatri. “Archive, Affect, and the Everyday: Queer Diasporic Re-Visions.” Political Emotions , edited by Ann Cvetkovich et al., Routledge, 2010, pp. 167–92.
Gopinath, Gayatri. “Archive, Affect, and the Everyday: Queer Diasporic Re-Visions.” Introduction. Political Emotions , edited by Ann Cvetkovich et al., Routledge, 2010, pp. 167–92.
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- How to cite a book in MLA
How to Cite a Book in MLA | Format & Examples
Published on June 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 16, 2022.
An MLA book citation always includes the author(s) , title (italicized), publisher, and publication year in the Works Cited entry. If relevant, also include the names of any editors or translators, the edition, and the volume. “University Press” should be abbreviated to “UP” in a Works Cited entry.
The in-text citation gives the author’s last name and a page number in parentheses.
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Table of contents, citing a book chapter, editions of books, multi-volume books, translated books, e-books and online books, where to find information for a book citation, frequently asked questions about mla style.
Use this format if the book’s chapters are written by different authors, or if the book is a collection of self-contained works (such as stories , essays, poems or plays ). A similar format can be used to cite images from books or dictionary entries . If you cite several chapters from the same book, include a separate Works Cited entry for each one.
Start the Works Cited entry with the author and title of the chapter, followed by the book’s title, editor, publisher, and date , and end with the page range on which the chapter appears.
If there are two editors, give the full names of both. If there are more than two editors, follow the same rules as for citing multiple authors : name only the first editor followed by et al.
If you are citing a work from a book with no named editor (e.g. a collection of a single author’s poems or plays), use the same format, but leave out the editor element.
- Multiple editors
Citing a whole collection or anthology
If you refer to a whole collection without citing a specific work within it, follow the standard book citation format. Include the editor(s) where the author would usually go, with a label to identify their role.
If the book cover or title page specifies an edition, add the edition number or name, followed by the abbreviation “ed.”, after the title. Note that versions of the Bible are treated slightly differently.
Including the original publication date
Classic books are often published and republished many times. If the original publication date is relevant or necessary to put the source in context, you can also include this directly after the title.
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If you cite only one volume of a multi-volume work, include the volume number in the Works Cited entry.
If you cite more than one volume of the book, cite them as a single work and specify the total number of volumes in your Works Cited entry. In this case, the in-text citations must include the volume number as well as the page number.
- Citing a single volume
- Citing multiple volumes
If the book is translated, include the translator’s name after the title.
The citation format for an e-book depends on how you accessed it.
Books accessed online
If you accessed the book via a website or database, use the standard MLA book citation format, followed by the name of the website or database and a link to the book. Look for a DOI, stable URL or permalink. If the book was accessed as a PDF, you may note this in your reference .
If you downloaded the book onto an e-reader device or app, you only have to add “E-book ed.” after the title.
If the e-book does not have page numbers, use an alternate locator, such as a chapter or section heading, in your in-text citation. Do not use locators that are specific to the device (e.g. Kindle locations).
The title, author, publisher, and publication year are usually found on the book’s title page. You might have to check the copyright page for the publisher and publication year.
Note that the copyright date is not always the same as the publication date. If several different years appear on the copyright page, use the most recent one.
If the book has any editors or translators named on the cover page, include them in the citation after the book’s title.
In MLA style , book titles appear in italics, with all major words capitalized. If there is a subtitle, separate it from the main title with a colon and a space (even if no colon appears in the source). For example:
The format is the same in the Works Cited list and in the text itself. However, when you mention the book title in the text, you don’t have to include the subtitle.
The title of a part of a book—such as a chapter, or a short story or poem in a collection—is not italicized, but instead placed in quotation marks.
If a source has two authors, name both authors in your MLA in-text citation and Works Cited entry. If there are three or more authors, name only the first author, followed by et al.
In MLA Style , you should cite a specific chapter or work within a book in two situations:
- When each of the book’s chapters is written by a different author.
- When the book is a collection of self-contained works (such as poems , plays , or short stories ), even if they are all written by the same author.
If you cite multiple chapters or works from the same book, include a separate Works Cited entry for each chapter.
Some source types, such as books and journal articles , may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation :
- To cite information from a single numbered note, write “n” after the page number, and then write the note number, e.g. (Smith 105n2)
- To cite information from multiple numbered notes, write “nn” and include a range, e.g. (Smith 77nn1–2)
- To cite information from an unnumbered note, write “un” after the page number, with a space in between, e.g. (Jones 250 un)
You must include an MLA in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book , movie , website , or article ).
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McCombes, S. (2022, June 16). How to Cite a Book in MLA | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/book-citation/
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All you need to know about citations
How to cite a book chapter in MLA
To cite a book chapter in a reference entry in MLA style 9th edition include the following elements:
- Chapter author(s): Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For three or more authors, list the first name followed by et al. (e. g. Watson, John, et al.)
- Title of the chapter: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
- Title of the book: Container titles are italicized and followed by a comma.
- Editor(s) or Author of the book: Give the name of the author or editor of the book. Start with 'edited by' if it is an editor. If not available, omit this part.
- Publisher: If the name of an academic press contains the words University and Press, use UP e.g. Oxford UP instead of Oxford University Press. If the word "University" doesn't appear, spell out the Press e.g. MIT Press.
- Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.
- Page numbers: Give the full page range preceded by pp. If only one page, precede with one p.
Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a book chapter in MLA style 9th edition:
Chapter author(s) . " Title of the chapter ." Title of the book , by Editor(s) or Author of the book , Publisher , Year of publication , pp. Page numbers .
Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:
A chapter from a book of short stories with one editor
Edgeworth, Maria . “ The Limerick Gloves .” The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories , edited by William Trevor , Oxford UP , 2010 , pp. 27–51 .
Schwartz, Paula . “ Redefining Resistance: Woman’s Activism in Wartime France .” Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars , edited by Margaret R. Higonnet et al. , Yale UP , 1987 , pp. 141–53 .
This citation style guide is based on the MLA Handbook (9 th edition).
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- MLA Works Cited Page: Chapter
- MLA Referencing Guide: Book Chapters
- How do I cite a book chapter in MLA?
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Cite a chapter of an edited book in MLA style
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- Select style:
- Archive material
- Chapter of an edited book
- Conference proceedings
- Dictionary entry
- DVD, video, or film
- E-book or PDF
- Edited book
- Encyclopedia article
- Government publication
- Music or recording
- Online image or video
- Press release
- Religious text
Use the following template or our MLA Citation Generator to cite a chapter of an edited book. For help with other source types, like books, PDFs, or websites, check out our other guides. To have your reference list or bibliography automatically made for you, try our free citation generator .
Place this part in your bibliography or reference list at the end of your assignment.
Place this part right after the quote or reference to the source in your assignment.
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To cite a chapter of an edited book in MLA style, include the chapter author’s last name (if different than the book’s author) and the page number referred to. The fact that it is an edited book need NOT be mentioned within the text, though such details appear in the works cited list.
Format: Parenthetical Citation
(Author Last Name Page number)
Example: Parenthetical Citation
Format: Citation in Prose
Author Last Name … (Page number).
Example: Citation in Prose
Smithy concluded that persuasion would be of no use in most labor meetings (784).
To format the works-cited entry for a chapter in an edited book in MLA style, include the name of the author(s), title of the chapter, title of the book, name of the editor(s), publisher, date, and page numbers. If the chapter is from a database, include the name of the database and the DOI or URL address if no DOI.
Below is an example of a chapter in an edited book in MLA style.
Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor Name(s), Publisher, Publication Date, page range.
Berman, Ron. “Recurrence in Hemingway and Cezanne.” Eight Decades of Hemingway Criticism , edited by Linda Wagner-Martin, Michigan State UP, 2009, pp. 265-82.
• The chapter title is given inside quotation marks.
• The book title is given in italics.
• Use “pp.” before the page range.
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MLA Style: Citing Sections of Books
- One part of a book by single author
- Article or chapter in edited book
- Article or entry in a reference book (print and online)
- Work in an anthology
- Introduction, preface, foreward, afterword
- Article, story, poem found in coursepack
One Part of a Book with a Single Author
Author's Last Name, Author’s First Name. "Article or Chapter Title." Title of Book, Publisher, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range.
Garrett-Petts, W.F. "Writing the Critical Essay: Form and the Critical Process." Writing about Literature: A Guide for the Student Critic, Broadview, 2000, pp. 57-86.
Article or Chapter in Edited Book in Which There Are Articles/Chapter by a Number of Writers
Author's Last Name, Author’s First Name. "Article or Chapter Title." Title of Book, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range.
Lacombe, Michele. "The Cybor Identities of Oryx and Crake." Margaret Atwood: The Open Eye, edited by John Moss and Tobi Kozakewich, U of Ottawa P, 2006, pp. 117-36.
Cross Referencing Articles Found in One Book
Sometimes, you may cite several articles by different authors from one edited book. MLA now indicates that you may “cross reference” within your Works Cited list, so you don’t have to write out the full publication information for every article you cite.
To cross reference, you would include in the Works Cited, an entry for the entire collection under the editor’s name, plus an entry for each article you are citing, under each author’s name, with abbreviated publication information. So, if you are citing two articles from one edited book, you would end up with three entries, one under the editor, plus two more, under each author:
Murphy, Christina, and Byron L. Stay, editors. The Writing Center Director’s Resource Book . Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2006.
Lerner, Neal. "Time Warp: Historical Representations of Writing Center Directors." Murphy and Stay, pp. 3-12.
Simpson, Jeanne. "Managing Encounters with Central Administration." Murphy and Stay, pp. 199-214.
- Each item appears in the Works Cited list in alphabetical order.
Entry in a Reference Book (including Encyclopedia) or Dictionary
Reference book/encyclopedia article - no author given.
"Reference/Article Title." Title of Reference Book. Year of edition, p. Page or pp. Page Range.
“Reference Book Article." Title Reference Book , Number of edition if given, Any Editor or Publisher Information provided, and Date Created if given, URL, permalink or doi.
"Chile." The Encyclopedia Americana. 2004, p. 146.
“Halloween." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 30 Oct. 2015, www.britannica.com/topic/Halloween .
Reference Book/Encyclopedia Article - Authored Entries
Author's Last Name, First Name. "Article title." Title of Reference Book, e dited by Editor's Name, Number of edition, Year of Publication, p. Page or pp. Page Range.
Author's Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Reference Book Article." Title Reference Book , Number of edition if given, URL, permalink or doi.
Popham, Elizabeth. "Arcadian Fiction." The Spenser Encyclopedia, edited by A.C. Hamilton, 2nd ed, 2006, pp. 51-2.
Pigliucci, Massimo. "Stoicism." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, e dited by James Fiesser and Bradley Dawden, www.iep.utm.edu/stoicism/.
- When no author is given and you are using the article title in the in-text citation, you may shorten a longer title. When no author is given for the encyclopedia entry, the title of the entry begins the Works Cited list entry. Do not use Anonymous or Anon. Alphabetize the entry using the title.
"Dictionary Entry." Title of Dictionary, e dited by Editor's Name, Year of Publication, p. Page or pp. Page Range.
"Dictionary Entry." Title of Dictionary, Any Editor, Publication, and Date Created Information Given, URL, permalink or DOI.
"Sickle, N." The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, e dited by Katherine Barber, 2nd ed., 2004, p. 1448.
"Sepulchre." OED Online, Oxford University Press, December 2016, www.oed.com/view/Entry/176261?rskey=zxKqzl&result=1#eid.
- If your source offers a stable URL or permalink, use that over a URL.
- When citing encyclopedias, dictionaries or other reference books, you do not need to give full publication information, as shown in the first example.
- Because the second example (from The Spenser Encyclopedia ) is not widely-used, but more specialized in topic, full publication information is given in the works cited list.
Work in an Anthology
Short work (eg. poem, short story, essay) in an anthology, in-text citation .
(Dickinson line 6)
Author's Name: Last Name First. "Short Work (Poem) Title." Title of Anthology, edited by Editor's Name, Publisher, Year of Publication, p. Page or pp. Page Range.
Dickinson, Emily. "You Cannot Make Remembrance Grow." The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, edited by R.W. Franklin, Belknapp P of Harvard U, 1999, p. 1536.
- Because the in-text citation is for a poem, 6 refers to a line instead of a page number; a page number is used for a short story or an article.
- As the works cited example shows, titles of short poems, short stories, essays or other works that have probably not been previously published on their own are enclosed in quotation marks.
Longer Work (eg. Play, Novel) in an Anthology
Author's Name: Last Name First. Title of Short Work Previously Published on Its Own (Play). Title of Anthology, edited by Editor's Name, Publisher, Year of Publication, p. Page or pp. Page Range.
Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, edited by Alfred Harbage, Penguin, 1969, pp. 930-76.
- Because the in-text citation is for a play, 1.2.26-30 refers to act, scene and line numbers.
- In the works cited example, the work in the anthology is a play, which, like a novel or a long poem, has probably been previously published on its own. Therefore, the title of this work, as well as the title of the anthology, is put in italics. When in doubt, use quotation marks.
Introduction, Preface, Foreword, Afterword
Last Name of the Author (of the section/element), First Name. Description of section or "Title" (if unique title provided). Title of Book, by Author's Name, Publisher, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range.
McGlinn, Margeurite. Introduction. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, by Sister Miriam Joseph, Paul Dry Books, 2002, pp. vii-xi.
- If the part has a unique title, use it instead of a description such as Introduction, and place the title in quotation marks.
- Sometimes, the writer of the Introduction, Preface, Foreword, Afterword, etc is the same as the author of the complete work. In that case, write the author’s last name only after the word “by” in the entry.
- Sometimes, an Introduction is paginated in Roman Numerals. If so, use the Roman Numerals to indicate the page range of the Introduction, as is done here.
Article, Story, Poem etc. Found in a Course Pack
Author's Name: Last Name First. "Short Work (Poem) Title." Title of Course pack , compiled by Compiler's Name and/or Department, Publisher (if available), Year of Publication, p. Page or pp. Page Range. Location (institution name).
Rossetti, Christina. "Goblin Market." English 1000: Introduction to English Literature , compiled by Department of English Literature, Canadian Scholar's Press, 2009, pp. 52-57, Trent University.
- The author's name is followed by the title of the work in the course pack, in this example, a poem, followed by the title of the course pack.
- If the title is for a longer work, use italics not quotation marks.
- The editor and the department of the course pack follows the title. If no person is given, simply put the department, in this case, the English literature department at Trent University.
- Course pack publisher and date are followed by the page range. Some course packs are paginated continuously, some are not but include page numbers found on the work. Use what you have. If you have both, we suggest you use the continuous pagination of the whole course pack.
- Citing a source found on Blackboard.
- Common Citation Questions
- Documentation Style by Discipline
- MLA: In-text Citations
- MLA: Citing Books
- MLA: Citing Sections of Books
- MLA: Citing Periodicals
- MLA: Citing Digital Content
- MLA: Citing Other Sources
- Formatting Guidelines and Sample Paper
- Chicago Style
How do I cite a book chapter or handout that my professor uploaded to a website?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook . For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
To cite a book chapter that your professor uploaded to a website, begin with the MLA format template . List the author of the chapter and the chapter title. List the title of the website as the title of the container, not the title of the book, since you found the chapter on the website rather than in the book. Since your professor uploaded the material, list the professor’s name in the “Other contributors” slot. Then list the publisher of the website (if different from the website’s title), the upload date (if known), and the URL:
Levine, Caroline. “Hierarchy.” Blackboard , uploaded by Mary Smith, 10 Oct. 2017, blackboard.stonybrook.edu/.
To cite a handout, provide the title of the handout or, as shown below, a description of it:
French verb conjugations. Blackboard , uploaded by Valerie Marneffe, 6 Sept. 2017, blackboard.nyu.edu/.
Remember that a course management system such as Blackboard is a container only when it is the platform of publication for the work, as it is here. If your professor provides a link on Blackboard to an external site, then Blackboard is not the container—the external site is.
For more on when a website is a container, see our post , and stay tuned for our webinar on citing complicated web sources.
Cite a book automatically in MLA ... Please note these changes in the new edition: ... Below is the general format for any citation: Author. Title. Title of
Author(s) of Chapter. "Title of Chapter: Subtitle of Chapter." Title of Book, edited by Editor of Book, Publisher, Publication Date, page numbers.
Author's Surname, Given Names. "Title of Chapter or Part." Title: Subtitle of Book, edited by Editor Name, edition (if not the first), Publisher
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Book Title, edited by Editor Name, publisher, year, page number(s). Name of Database, URL
Start the Works Cited entry with the author and title of the chapter, followed by the book's title, editor, publisher, and date, and end with
How to cite a book chapter in MLA · Chapter author(s): Give the last name and name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). · Title of the chapter: Titles
To format the works-cited entry for a chapter in an edited book in MLA style, include the name of the author(s), title of the chapter, title of the book, name
Works Cited. Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. "Article or Chapter Title." Title of Book, Publisher, Year of Publication, pp. Page
This Library video will demonstrate how to reference a book chapter using the MLA 8 style.Access the Western Sydney Library Referencing and
To cite a book chapter that your professor uploaded to a website, begin with the MLA format template. List the author of the chapter and the