In the academic realm, citing sources accurately is crucial, and the Modern Language Association (MLA) style remains a predominant format for citing various works, including books. Whether you’re a student, researcher, or writer, understanding how to cite a book in MLA format is an essential skill. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the intricacies of citing books in MLA style.

how to cite a book mla? :

When citing a book in MLA format, several key elements must be included:

  1. Author’s Name: Start the citation with the author’s last name, followed by a comma and then the first name.

  2. Title of the Book: Italicize the title and capitalize the first letter of all major words.

  3. Publisher: Include the name of the publisher after the title, followed by a comma.

  4. Publication Year: After the publisher’s name, add the publication year.

  5. Medium of Publication: Specify the medium, usually “Print” for a physical book.

  6. Location: For some older books or specific editions, it might be necessary to include the city of publication.

how to cite a book in mla format example :

  1. Book with One Author:

    Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.

    Example: Smith, John. The Art of Writing. Penguin Random House, 2020.

  2. Book with Two Authors:

    Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.

    Example: Johnson, Emily, and David White. Exploring Literature. HarperCollins, 2018.

  3. Book with More Than Two Authors:

    Last Name, First Name et al. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.

    Example: Anderson, Sarah et al. Dynamics of Economics. Oxford University Press, 2017.

  4. Edited Book:

    Editor’s Last Name, First Name, editor. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.

    Example: Adams, Robert, editor. Essays on Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

In-Text Citations in MLA Format:

In your paper or essay, when referencing information from a book, you must also include in-text citations. These citations typically include the author’s last name and the page number where the information was found. For example: (Smith 45).

how to cite book in mla :

When citing an online book, include the URL or DOI (Digital Object Identifier) after the publication year and specify the date of access.


Mastering MLA citation for books involves attention to detail and adherence to specific formatting rules. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can accurately and effectively cite books in MLA format, ensuring that your academic or research work meets the required standards of citation.

Remember, proper citation not only acknowledges the sources you’ve used but also adds credibility to your work. Consistency and accuracy in citing books not only demonstrate your respect for intellectual property but also contribute to the clarity and professionalism of your writing.

As the academic landscape continues to evolve, staying updated with the latest MLA guidelines and practicing the art of citation will significantly benefit your scholarly pursuits. With these skills in hand, you’re well-equipped to navigate the intricate world of academic citations, particularly in citing books using the MLA format.