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Shapiro Library

MLA Style: Basics

This guide is intended to help you cite sources in MLA style, avoid plagiarism, learn what MLA style is and includes, find examples of MLA style, lead you to campus resources that can help you cite sources in MLA, and more.

Books


Book by a Single Author

General Format:

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName MiddleInitial. Title of Book. Publisher, Date.

For example:

Goulimari, Pelagia. Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to Postcolonialism. Routledge, 2014.

 

Books by Two Authors

General Format:

AuthorLastNameA, AuthorFirstNameA MiddleInitialA, and AuthorFirstNameB AuthorLastNameB. Title of Book. Publisher, Date.

For example:

Russell, D. A., and Michael Winterbottom. Classical Literary Criticism. Oxford UP, 2008.

 

Books by Three or More Authors

General Format:

AuthorLastNameA, AuthorFirstNameA MiddleInitialA., et al. Title of Book. Publisher, Date.

For example:

Marscot, Michel et al. Applied Social Sciences. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

See note ¹

 

Electronic Book

General Format:

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName MiddleInitial. Title of Book. Publisher, Year Published. Title of database or website, URL or DOI.

For example:

Price, H. P. Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard UP, 1991. ACLS Humanities E-book, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.08428.0001.001.

OR

Beckford, James A. Social Theory and Religion. Cambridge UP, 2003. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/snhu-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1357382.

 

Multivolume Work

General Format:

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. Title of Work. Publisher, Date,# vols.

OR

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. Title of Work. Edition# ed., Publisher, Date,# vols.

For example:

Tucker, Spencer C. et al., editors. The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2011, 2 vols.

 

One Volume from a Multivolume Work

General Format:

AuthorLastNameA, AuthorFirstNameA. Title of Work. vol. #, Publisher, Date.

OR

AuthorLastNameA, AuthorFirstNameA. Title of Work. Edition# ed., vol. #, Publisher, Date.

For example:

Tucker, Spencer C. et al., editors. The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia. vol. 1, ABC-CLIO, 2011.

OR

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 4th ed., vol. 1, W. W. Norton & Co., 2014.

See note ²

 

Book Chapter in a Volume

General Format:

AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book, edited by Editor’s Name(s), vol .#, Publisher, Date, pp. #. 

For example:

Freeman, Kassie. "Divide And Conquer: Long-Term Consequences for Education, Economic Participation, and Higher Education Engagement." Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy Reforms and Practice,  edited by W. James Jacon et al., vol. 3, Sense Publishers, 2015, pp. 31-39.

 

Article in a Reference Book (Encyclopedias or Dictionaries)

General Format:

“Title of Article.” Title of Reference Book. Edition# ed., Date.

For example:

"Archetype." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed., 2016.

 

¹ You can include optional information such as series title and place of publication. See pages 50-53 of the MLA Handbook 8th edition. You can also abbreviate publishing names like "UP" for "University Press" or "U of Chicago P" for "University of Chicago Press".

² Only use this citation format if you are only using one volume.