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.

Research Guide: Citations: BOOKS - MLA Works Cited

Automatic Citation Generator

NoodleTolls icon


automatically generates citations
in the correct format!

Quick Guide - MLA

Basic Formula For MLA Works Cited Citations
Include as much of the following as possible:
Author. Title of Source. Title of Container, Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location. Date Accessed.


•    one author: Last Name, rest of name as presented in the source. (example: Williams, Fred Laurence.)
•    two authors: reverse name of first author followed by a comma, then second author’s first name and then last name. (example: Cordell, Barbara, and Jane Buckle.)
•    more than two authors: reverse the name of the first author, follow with a comma and et al.  (example: Browne, Charlene, et al.) 

Title of Source. Put name of source in italics. **However, if citing an article or part of the source, put that title in quotation marks with no italics: "Article Name."
Title of Container, •    When the source is part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container (example: a whole book is a container for a book chapter)
•    Put the title of the container in italics (if you have cited an article or part of the whole source container)
Contributors, Example: Edited by,
Version, Example: 7th ed.
Number, Any numbered sequence. Example: vol. 3, no. 7,
Publisher, (none required for articles)
Publication Date, Date as given on source with the following style: day, month (abbreviated). year,. Example: 8 Sep. 2019,
**If season is given, use lower-case. Example: spring 2020,

•    Example of website:
do not include http:// in the URL
•    Example of chapter pages in a hardcopy book: pp. 250-259.
•    Example of article from database: pp. 195-212. ProQuest Research Library,
**if no “DOI,” include stable URL or “permalink” without the http://

Citing print books in MLA

Your citation may include any of the following sections: Author. Title of Source. Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location. Access date. 

The citations in this box are for print books; however, if you are citing an electronic book, you would simply add another "container" by listing the database or website where you accessed the book online (as shown in the example in the box below).

Books by single author:

Chitty, Dennis. Do Lemmings Commit Suicide?: Beautiful Hypotheses and Ugly Facts. New York, Oxford UP, 1996.

Books by two authors:

Rosellini, Gayle, and Mark Worden. Of Course You're Angry: A Guide to Dealing with the Emotions of Substance Abuse. 2nd ed.,Center City, Hazelden, 1997.

Books by three or more authors:

Elias, Stephen, et al. Personal Bankruptcy. 3rd ed., Berkeley, Nolo, 2001. 

Books with editors:

Moen, Phyllis, and Glen H. Elder, editors. Examining Lives in Context: Perspectives on the Ecology of Human Development. Washington, American Psychological Association, 1995.

*When there are more three or more editors, list the first author (last, first) followed by et al. As shown in the previous example.

Books by corporate authors:

Children's Express. Voices from the Future: Our Children Tell Us about Violence in America. New York, Crown Publishers, 1993.

Works in anthologies:

Updike, John. "A & P." 1961. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading,Thinking, Writing, edited by Michael Meyer, 6th ed., Boston, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002, pp. 487-91.

Note that the original publication date of the work is optional, so the citation above could omit the "1961" date and also be cited as:

Updike, John. "A & P." The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading,Thinking, Writing, edited by Michael Meyer, 6th ed., Boston, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002, pp. 487-91.

Works reprinted in anthologies:

Harris, Michael. "Sometimes, Even Good People Must Coexist with Evil."  Contemporary Literary Criticism, by Christopher Giroux, vol. 91, Farmington Hills, Cengage Gale, 1997, pp. 103-11. Originally published in Los Angeles Times, 19 Sept. 1994, p. E4.

Renner, Stanley. "Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism." in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, edited by Janet Witalec, vol. 132, Gale, 2003, pp.232-37. Originally published as "Secular Meaning in ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find" in College Literature, vol. 9, no. 2, 1982, pp. 123-32.

Encyclopedia or dictionary entries:

Tavris, Carol. "Queen Bee Syndrome." Women's Studies Encyclopedia, by Helen Tierney, Greenwood Press,1989, pp. 116-23. 

"Eschatology." Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, edited by David B. Guralnik, 10th ed., Simon and Schuster, 2009, p. 455.

For more examples of citations from various kinds of books, see the link below:


Electronic (Digital) Books

eBooks from Library Databases:

Dzau, Victor J. and Mark A. Creager. "Chapter 231: Diseases of the Aorta." Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, McGraw-Hill, 1999.  Access Medicine. Accessed 7 Sept. 2006.

Kaplan, Temma. "Human Rights for Women Are Receiving Greater Attention." Human Rights, editerd by Laura K. Egendorf. Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Accessed 6 Nov. 2006.

"Narcissistic Personality Disorder." Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, APA, 2000. STAT!Ref. Teton Data Systems, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016. 

"Prairie Oysters." Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, Hugh Rawson, 2002. Credo Reference,
sters/0. Accessed 24 Sep 2016.

Price, Joanna. "Bret Easton Ellis: Overview." Contemporary Novelists, 6th edition, edited by Susan Windisch Brown, St. James Press, 1996. Literature Resource Center.
​Window?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Magazines&currPage=&scanId=&query. Accessed 7 Jan. 2008.

Electronic Book - Example

The following citation is for a chapter within an electronic book.

Clark, Beverly Lyon. "Waxing Nostalgic, 1900-1930." The Afterlife of ‘Little Women’, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013, pp. 43-101 Ebrary, Accessed 13 Sept. 2016. 

This table shows how the elements of this citation look within the MLA formula template.

MLA Works Cited Citations Formula Example
Author. Clark, Beverly Lyon.
Title of Source. "Waxing Nostalgic, 1900-1930."
Title of Container, The Afterlife of ‘Little Women’,
Publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press,
Publication date, 2013,
Location. pp. 43-101.
Additional Container
Title of Container, Ebrary,
Publication date,  
Access date. Accessed 13 Sept. 2016.

**Note the use of two containers. The source is the book chapter. The first container is the larger source (the book title), and the second container is the database in which this book was accessed digitally (database name).