How to cite a book in the MLA format guide

How to cite a book in the MLA format

A book is a written or published work. Writing of books has undergone some evolutions, and there are not only found in paper form but also online in soft copies.

Citing a book for the first time can be a little bit challenging, but when one does enough practice, it becomes easy to cite a book in MLA format.

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protutorservices professional writers have gathered some examples that will help you to have a better understanding on how one can properly to cite a book in MLA.

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How to cite a book in the MLA format

You have to include the following information:

  • Book writer’s name
  • Title of book
  • book’s publisher
  • date it was published (the year)

The above are the things that you should add when you cite a book in the MLA format.


  • The e-book’s device

Database & website books

  • The database or the website’s name
  • URL


  • The author’s or the editor’s name
  • The author’s chapter name
  • The range used, E.G., page number

Edited or translated books

  • The editor’s name or the name of the translator

How to print book MLA citation

Below is an example of how to print the works cited or the citation work in the MLA format as you cite a book in the MLA format

Cite a book in the MLA format

Works Cited

Works cited information is supposed to be written in the following format.

  • The writer’s last name
  • The writer’s 1st name
  • The book’s title.
  • Book publisher’s name
  • year book was published

Below is a sample of How to cite a book in the MLA format


James, henry. The ambassador. Serenity, 2009.

View more examples on how to cite a book.

In-text citation

The arrangement:

  1. Writer’s last name.
  2. (page)

Example of how to use in-text citation in MLA format

Henry (34) or can as be printed as (34) Henry

How to cite database or website book in the MLA

Due to the increase in social media and technology, many books are found online. Most of the online sites are known for their book in the internet. Some of these famous sites are project Gutenberg, Google books, and EBSCO.

Example of works cited in MLA

Below is a clear template:

  • Writer’s last name
  • Book Writer’s first name
  • book’s title
  • publisher’s name
  • book publishing date (year)
  • Website’s title
  • URL

Always as you are citing, the “http” is supposed to be at the beginning of a URL.

When you have a digital source that does not portray the page number, you should also include the page numbers.

Below is an example of an in-text citation

Template of an in-text citation in MLA

  1. The last name(s)

Example of in-text citation

James & John-Steve

E-book citing in MLA

Most of e-books are also found in the E-reader. Some of the most popular books that are found in the e-reader

The works cited


  • Writer’s last name
  •  Writer’s 1st name
  • e-book’s title
  • The E-book edition
  • The publisher’s name
  • The date of publish (year)
  • E-reader of the device

In most e-books, there are no numbers to be used. But there must be a chapter and section. Thus use the sections and the chapters. They, too, can be short-formed as (sec… or secs…) and (ch… or CHS…) for sections and chapters, respectively.

E-books in-text citation


  1. The chapter, section’s section last name

The above example can also be written as

Austen and Grahame-Smith, (Ch. 1) 

How to cite a book’s chapter in the MLA

Works Cited


  • Last name of the book’s writer
  • first name of the writer of the book
  • Title’s section and chapter
  • book’s title
  • publisher’s name.
  • Book’s  publishing date (year)
  • Chapter’s page

How to cite an edited or translated book

Works Cited


  • The last name of the authors
  • The book’s writer 1st name
  • The book’s title
  • The persons who have edited or translated the book ( 1st & last name)
  • Publisher’s name.
  • Book’s publishing date (year)

In-text citation


Last name (page)


Murakami (27)

How to cite a book in the MLA format that has multiple authors

Books can have a number of authors, and below we have shown how to cite their names


  1. The author’s name ( last and 1st )
  2. The 2nd name of the author ( last name & 1st name)
  3. Then the title of the book’s
  4. Year, book was published  

In-text citation for a book having two authors


  • The 1st  & last name of the writer of the book
  • 2nd name of the book’s writer
  • Then the page

For example:

(Charaipotra and Clayton 63)

This is also done for a book that has two authors. However, when it comes to a book with three authors and above, we only use the first book writer’s last name, then rest of the author’s first name.

For example

1st writers last name, 1st name, the title of the book, the publisher’s name, date published (YY)

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