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MLA Style: Books & eBooks

A guide to writing papers and citing sources in Modern Language Association style.


For a Works Cited page, your citations need to be double spaced and have a hanging indent. A hanging indent just means that every line after the first in your citation is indented 0.5". 

In Microsoft Word (PC or Mac), highlight your citation and right click on it. Select "Paragraph" in the menu that appears, then under "Indentation" click on the Special drop down and select "Hanging". Make sure the "By" field is set to 0.5".

Book with No Author

If you have a book with no listed author, cite the title and list alphabetically by the first letter of the title. For in-text citations, incorporate the title of the book in a signal phrase and list the page number in parentheses.

Translators and Editors

If a book has a translator or editor associated, list them after the title in your citation.

Author Last Name, First Name. Title,

translated/edited by Translator/Editor,

Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Print Book with One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title. Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin, 1987.

Print Book with Two Authors

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title. Edition, Publisher, Year of publication. 

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

Print Book with More Than Two Authors

When citing a book with three or more authors, list the first author as you would for a book with a single author, then write "et al" instead of writing out the rest of the authors.

Author's Last Name, First Name, et al. Title. Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004.


E-books follow the same format as print books, but you must indicate that it is an e-book. Do this by including "e-book" in the version slot of your citation, where the edition is listed above. Alternatively, if the e-book is formatted for a specific service, you can use this information instead of an edition number, written as [App/Service] ed. For example, a Kindle version of Machiavelli's The Prince would be cited as:

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

If the e-book is taken from a database, indicate this by including the database title in italics after the publication date.

For e-books taken from a webpage with a URL, please see the section on citing a page from a website in Electronic Sources.

Chapter, Short Story, Essay, or Article in a Book

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Selection." Title of Book, edited by Editor, Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication, Page numbers of


Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One, edited by Ben Rafoth, Heinemann, 2000, pp.


All examples on this page taken from Purdue Online Writing Lab (