Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th edition): Books & e-Books

Citations examples on this page:

  • Book in Print with One Author
  • Book in Print with Two Authors
  • Book in Print with Three or More Authors
  • Book With a Group or Corporate Author
  • Course Package - Journal Article
  • Course Package - Short Story
  • eBook From a Library Database with One Author
  • eBook From a Library Database with Two Authors
  • eBook from a Library Database with Three or More Authors
  • eBook / Open Textbook (web format)
  • eBook / Open Textbook (PDF format)
  • Pamphlet
  • Short Story, Essay, or Article from a Book (Anthology or Collection)

How Can I Tell if it's a Book in Print or an eBook?

A print book means it's printed on paper. If you checked the book out of a library or bought it from a bookstore, it's print.

An eBook is a book you can read entirely online.

Note that most of the time, references are exactly the same for a print copy of a book and an eBook copy of the same book from a library database.

Tips

Authors/Editors

An author won't necessarily be a person's name. It may be an organization or company, for example Health Canada. These are called group or corporate authors.

If a book has no author or editor, begin the citation with the book title, followed by the year of publication in round brackets.

If an author is also the publisher, put the word "Author" where you'd normally put the publisher name. This happens most often with corporate or group authors.

When a book has one to twenty authors or editors, all authors' names are cited in the Reference List entry. When a book has twenty-one or more authors or editors, list the first nineteen authors followed by three spaced ellipse points (. . .) , and then the last author's name. Rules are different for in-text citations; please see the examples provided.

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title. If there is a colon (:) in the title, also capitalize the first letter of the first word after the colon.

Capitalize the first letter of proper names in titles, such as names of places or people. Example: Canada

Book in Print with One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

Works Cited List Example  

 Kirsh, Steven J. Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research. 2nd ed., SAGE, 2006. 

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Kirsh 70)

eBook From a Library Database with One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Name of Library Database.

Works Cited List Example

  Block, Bruce A. The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media. Focal P/Elsevier, 2008. ebrary.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Block 132)

Book in Print with Two Authors

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

  Note:Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

Works Cited List Example  

  Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media and Body Image: If Looks Could Kill. Sage, 2005. 

In-Text Citation Example

  (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Wykes and Gunter 53)

Book in Print with Three or More Authors

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

  Note:Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

Works Cited List Example  

  Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media and Body Image: If Looks Could Kill. Sage, 2005. 

In-Text Citation Example

  (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Wykes and Gunter 53)

Book in Print with Three or More Authors

Last Name, First Name of First Author, et al. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

  Note: If you have three or more authors list only the first author's name followed by et al. instead of listing all authors names. For example Smith, John, et al. The first author is the first name listed on the work you are citing, not the first name alphabetically.

Works Cited List Example  

  Nickels, William, et al. Understanding Canadian Business. 9th ed., McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2016. 

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

Example: (Nickels et al. 5)

eBook From a Library Database with Two Authors

Last Name of First Author, First Name, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Name of Library Database. 

  Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

Works Cited List Example  

  Jamsa, Kris, and Andy Anderson. HTML and Web Design: Tips and Techniques, McGraw- Hill/Osborne, 2002. EBSCO eBook and Audiobook Collection.

In-Text Citation Example

  (Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Jamsa and Anderson 22)

eBook From a Library Database with Three or More Authors

Last Name of First Author, First Name, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Name of Library Database. 

  Note: If you have three or more authors you may choose to list only the first author's name followed by et al. instead of listing all authors names. For example Smith, John, et al. The first author is the first name listed on the work you are citing, not the first name alphabetically.

Works Cited List Example  

  Ziarek, Ewa Plonowska, et al. A Time for the Humanities: Futurity and the Limits of Autonomy, Fordham UP, 2008. EBSCO eBook and Audiobook Collection.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

Example: (Ziarek et al. 75)

 

eBook / Open Textbook (web format)

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Website Name, URL. Accessed Access Date.

Works Cited List Example

  Henty, George Alfred. The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt. Blackie and Son, 1889. HathiTrust Digital Library, babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015073478847. Accessed 6 July 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Henty 132)

eBook / Open Textbook (PDF format)

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name if given, Year of publication, URL. Accessed Access Date.

Works Cited List Example

  Wade, Michael. Introduction to Business, Adapted for UWM Washington County, BAM101. UWM Washington County, infoliteracy.uwm.edu/OER/BAM101/BAM101final.pdf. Accessed 4 Sept. 2019.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Wade 17)

Short Story, Essay, or Article From a Book (Anthology or Collection)

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Short Story, Essay, or Article." Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, edited by Editor's First Name and Last Name, Edition if given and is not first, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication, Page numbers of the essay, article, or short story. 

Works Cited List Example  

  Ross, Colin. "The Story of Grey Owl." Fiction/Non-Fiction: A Reader and Rhetoric, edited by Garry Engkent and Lucia Engkent, 2nd ed., Thomson Nelson, 2006, pp. 327-333. 

  Note: The first author's name listed is the author of the chapter/essay/short story.

  Note: If there is no editor given you may leave out that part of the citation.

In-Text Citation Example  

  (Author's Last Name Page Number)

  Example: (Ross 332)

Book With a Group or Corporate Author

Name of Corporate Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of Publication.

 Note: When a work is published by an organization that is also its author, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organization only as publisher.

Works Cited List Example  

  Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation. Employability Skills: Creating My Future, Nelson, 1996. 

In-Text Citation Example  

  (Name of Corporate Author Page Number)

  Example: (Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation 14)

Pamphlet with a Group or Corporate Author

Name of Corporate Author. Title of Pamphlet: Subtitle if Any. Publisher Name, Year of Publication. Pamphlet.

 Note: When a work is published by an organization that is also its author, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organization only as publisher.

Works Cited List Example 

 Bait and Switch Selling. Competition Bureau of Canada, 2014. Pamphlet.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Title)

 Example: (Bait and Switch Selling)

Course Package - Journal Article

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Year, pp. Page Number. Title of Course Package, compiled by Instructor's First Name Last Name, UWM Washington County, pp. page numbers in course package. Course Package.

Works Cited List Example

 Marlow, Susan. "Gender and Entrepreneurship." International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, vol.19, no.1, 2013, pp. 114-124. BUS101: Cultural Entrepreneurship: A Reader, compiled by Estelle Williams, UWM Washington County, 2015, pp. 32-42. Course Package.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Marlow 34)

Course Package - Short Story

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Short Story." Title of Course Package, compiled by Instructor's First Name Last Name, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Year of Publication, pp. page numbers in course package. Course Package.

Works Cited List Example

 Enberg, Susan. "Wednesday Rain." 2014. EAC150: College English, compiled by Walter Dey, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2015, pp. 5-32. Course Package.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Enberg 7)