- Citing a Book
Basic Chapter Citation
Example chapter of a book, example chapter of an ebook, example foreword/preface of a book.
- Citing an Article
- Citing a Webpage
- Additional Resources
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Author First M. Last Name, "Chapter or Essay Title," in Book Title , ed. First M. Last Name (Place of Publication: Publisher, date), page cited.
Short version: Author Last Name, "Chapter or Essay Title (shortened if necessary)," page cited.
Author Last Name, First M. "Chapter or Essay Title." In Book Title , edited by First M. Last Name, page range. Place of Publication: Publisher, date.
Eric Charry, "Music and Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa," in The History of Islam in Africa , eds. Nehwmia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2000), 550.
Short version: Charry, "Music and Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa," 550.
Charry, Eric. "Music and Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa." In The History of Islam in Africa , edited by Nehwmia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels, 545-573. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2000.
Alan Liu, "Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?," in Debates in the Digital Humanities , ed. Matthew K. Gold (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), accessed January 23, 2014, http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/20.
Short version: Liu, "Where is Cultural Criticism."
Liu, Alan. "Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?." In Debates in the Digital Humanities , edited by Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. A ccessed January 23, 2014. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/20.
Strobe Talbott, foreword to Beyond Tianamen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations 1989-2000 , by Robert L. Suettinger (Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institute Press, 2003), x.
Short version: Talbott, foreword, x.
Talbott, Strobe. Foreword to Beyond Tianamen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations 1989-2000 , by Robert L. Suettinger, ix-x. Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institute Press, 2003.
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How to Quote a Book
Last Updated: November 13, 2023 References
This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 495,262 times.
When you’re writing an essay, using a quote can help validate your argument and make your writing stronger. Whether your paper is required to be in MLA or APA format, it’s easy to quote and cite a book the right way.
Incorporating Quotations into Your Text
- Quotations are often used to support ideas that might be disputed or are not common knowledge. An idea like, “Most people never live to see 100,” doesn’t need to be backed up by a quotation, but something like, “Many writers have described the power of fiction,” should probably be supported with quotations.
- One can sometimes emphasize a particular point by backing it up with a quotation from a particularly impressive author.
- Quotations can also add stylistic flare to your prose. For example, a sentence like, “When Shakespeare “shuffled off this mortal coil,” he likely had no idea the impact his work would make on Western culture” is a bit more interesting than if the same sentence started simply, “When Shakespeare died…”
- If you are having trouble deciding if you’ve incorporated a quotation correctly, try reading it aloud to yourself. It can be easier to tell if a sentence works when you speak it.
- Some examples of verbs used in signal phrases are claims, adds, writes, argues, asserts, confirms, points out, admits, concludes, observes, and implies.  X Research source
- Insert new words into quotations by putting them inside brackets.
- Remove existing words by replacing them with an ellipsis.
- Note that this is only appropriate if you maintain the basic meaning of the quotation. It should not be used to twist an author’s words into something other than what she intended.
- As an example, one could change the Nabokov quotation, “…art--not an "escape" (which is only a cleaner cell on a quieter floor), but relief from the itch of being,” into the sentence, “…art [is] not an “escape”…but relief from the itch of being.”
Quoting Books in MLA Format
- Indent the whole quotation one inch from the left.
- Double-space it (in an MLA style research paper, everything should be double spaced).
- Do not use quotation marks.
- For example: "Maybe the best definition of art is simply “beauty plus pity” (Nabokov 251)."
- If you reference the author’s name before the quotation, you don’t need to repeat it in the parenthesis following the quote. For example: "Nabokov defined art as “beauty plus pity” (251)."
- Double-space the page, but do not skip spaces between citations.
- Do not indent the first line of each citation, but indent all subsequent lines by 0.5 inches from the left.
- There are many variations on this basic format based on factors like how many authors the book has, and whether it is something like anthology, an ebook, or a self-published book. If the book you are quoting does not fit neatly into this formula, consult a resource like The Purdue Online Writing Lab.  X Research source
Quoting Books in APA Format
- Indent the whole quotation 1/2 inch from the left.
- Double-space it (in an APA style paper, everything should be double spaced).
- If the author’s name is not included in the signal phrase, include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number (all separated by commas) in the parenthetical citation following the quotation. For example: “He insists that “Quoting books is not difficult, but it can take time to get the hang of” (Smith, 2011, p. 15).”
- Double-space the page, like the rest of the paper, but do not skip spaces between citations.
- There are many variations on this basic format based on factors like how many authors the book has, and whether it is something like anthology, an ebook, or a self-published book. If the book you are quoting does not fit neatly into this formula, consult a resource like The Purdue Online Writing Lab.  X Research source
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You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/quotations
- ↑ http://department.monm.edu/english/mew/signal_phrases.htm
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/03
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/06
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/05
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/08
About This Article
If you want to use a quotation from a book when you’re writing an essay, try to work the quotation into the text as naturally as possible so it reads like a normal sentence. Connect the quote to the point you’re making by saying something like “Thoreau summed this up by saying…” or “Mark Twain once argued…” To make the quote as concise and relevant as possible, replace unnecessary passages with ellipses or use brackets to add or change words if necessary. For tips on citing your sources, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition) UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- In-Text Citations
- Title of source
- Title of container
- Publication date
- Supplemental Elements
- Books, eBooks & Pamphlets
- Class Notes & Presentations
- Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
- Government Documents
- Images, Charts, Graphs, Maps & Tables
- Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications)
- Journal Articles
- Magazine Articles
- Newspaper Articles
- Religious Texts
- Social Media
- Theses and Dissertations
- Videos & DVDs
- When Information Is Missing
Works Quoted in Another Source
About in-text citations, basic format.
- Sample Works Cited List
- Sample Annotations This link opens in a new window
In-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. They should cause minimal disruption to the reading flow. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the works cited list at the end of the paper.
- In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).
- If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks. This is a paraphrase instead of a direct quote ("Trouble" 22).
- If the author is mentioned in context, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation. Include the page number (if available) enclosed in parentheses. According to Smith, "here's a direct quote" (8). "Trouble" uses a signal phrase (22).
In addition to giving credit, the purpose of the in-text citation is to give the reader enough information to find the full citation for the source on your Works Cited page.
Since the Works Cited page is in alphabetical order, you only need to identiry the last name of the author(s). If there is no author, use a shortened version of the title.
Basic format for parenthetical citations
- (Last Name Page #)
I am citing a source with
One (1) author.
You only need the author's last name and the page number.
Two (2) Authors
Connect both authors' last names with and , followed by the page number.
(Case and Brand 57)
(Strunk and White 36)
(Sturken and Cartwright 134)
Three (3) or more Authors
Use the first author's last name and et al., followed by the page number.
(Case et al. 57)
(Franck et al. 327)
No or Unknown Author
Use a shortened title of the work. Don't include initial articles like "A", "An" or "The".
- If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation: ( Title Page Number)
- If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation: ("Title" Page Number)
( Cell Biology 12).
No Page Numbers
When available, use stable page, chapter, or section numbers. If none is available, omit it.
- For e-books, do not use device-specific locations, e.g. "240 of 503" or "Loc. 1690 of 3014".
- For audio-visual sources (such as films and oral interviews), use the timecode for the quote instead of the page number.
- When you quote from electronic sources, such as a webpage, that do not provide page numbers, cite the author's name only.
- If a journal article is posted on a webpage that includes a PDF of the print version, use the PDF to get the page numbers.
(Scalzi Chap. 7)
("New Student Orientation")
- Include the page number without specifying page or p. or pp.
- Do not add a comma, semi-color, or other punctuation mark between Last Name and Page #
- Do not add a colon or other punctuation mark before the first parenthesis.
- The ending period of a sentence goes after the in-text citation
Citing Multiple Works by an Author
It can get more complicated if you are citing mulitple sources by the same author. If possible, use signal phrases to identify which source you are citing. Please refer to the MLA and the Purdue OWL (links below) for more guidance.
Other online guides to help you with in-text citations:
When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number:
Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).
What Is a Long Quotation?
If your quotation extends to more than four lines as you're typing your essay, it is a long quotation.
Rules for Long Quotations
There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:
- The line before your long quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
- The long quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
- There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
- The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after , as it does with regular quotations.
Example of a Long Quotation
At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:
The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)
Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. (This may be called a secondary source.) For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay.
The basic rule is that in both your References list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Kirkey will appear in your Works Cited list – NOT Smith.
You will add the words “qtd. in” to your in-text citation.
Examples of in-text citations:
According to a study by Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.
Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (A.10).
Example of Works Cited list citation :
Kirkey, Susan. "Euthanasia." The Montreal Gazette , 9 Feb. 2013, p. A.10. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies.
When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion.
Paraphrasing from One Page
Include a full in-text citation with the author name and page number (if there is one). For example:
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).
Paraphrasing from Multiple Pages
If the paraphrased information/idea is from several pages, include them. For example:
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section. For example:
Hunt explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (358).
Repeated Use of Sources
If you're using information from a single source more than once in succession (i.e., no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation.
Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith 15). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (17). Many important scientists have contributed to the evolution of cell biology. Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, for example, were scientists who formulated cell theory in 1838 (20).
Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.
In-Text Citation For More Than One Source
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon.
(Smith 42; Bennett 71).
( It Takes Two ; Brock 43).
Note: The sources within the in-text citation do not need to be in alphabetical order for MLA style.
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How do I cite an authored work contained in another authored work, like an essay in a textbook?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook . For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
To cite an essay with an author in a textbook with authors rather than editors, follow the MLA format template and list the authors of the textbook in the “Other contributors” slot:
Graff, Gerald. “Disliking Books.” From Inquiry to Academic Writing: A Practical Guide , by Stuart Greene and April Lidinsky, 2nd ed., Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2012, pp. 22-26.
How to cite a quote from a book
In this post, we take a look at some general guidelines when it comes to citing quoted text from a book. The guide will cover APA style (American Psychological Association ) as well as MLA style, and we’ll go through how to format the author names (author’s first name, the author’s last name), year of publication, title of the work, closing punctuation mark and how to use brackets.
Note that there are some differences when it comes to citing web pages compared to a book where you have a specific page number. The following guidelines are applicable for the sixth edition of the APA style.
APA [6 th edition]
APA notes that a direct quotation is a verbatim representation of words from another work or words from your earlier published work. It goes on to advise that paraphrasing should be preferred to quoting directly because it grants you more flexibility to organize words in a way that matches the context of the paper you are writing and also gives you more room to display your writing style to the reading public. However, direct quotations should be used when:
- writing an exact definition
- you want to precisely capture a memorable or succinct saying by another writer, and
- it is pertinent to comment on an exact expression [for, instance, a comment by another individual]
Note that external influences such as teachers, editors, software programmes, and publishers can limit the extent to which quotations should be used. It is therefore advised that the writer consults to find out if such restrictions exist before proceeding to include quotes in his or her paper.
Short quotations [Less than 40 words]
If the quoted passage does not have up to 40 words, it should be enclosed in quotation marks and then integrated into the text. There is no need to add an ellipsis at the start or conclusion of the quotation if such is not the case with the original source of the quotation. For example , in underdeveloped countries, “the masses are poverty-ridden, they are mostly illiterate and unskilled, use outmoded capital equipment and methods of production.” (Jhingan, 2011, p. 52).
When dealing with a direct quotation, be sure to attach a full citation in the quoted sentence[s]. The citation should include location information such as a page number or paragraph number.
The following tips will help.
- A parenthetical citation should be attached either immediately after the quotation or at the conclusion of the sentence
- In the case of a narrative citation, the author and year should form part of the sentence while the location information [e.g., page number] should be enclosed in parenthesis at the end of the quotation.
- In a situation where the quotation precedes the narrative citation, then the location information should come after the year, and a comma
- If the citation is situated at a sentence’s end, the end punctuation [that is, the sentence-ending period] should come after the citation’s closing parenthesis
- For a quotation that comes with its own citation, more clarifications can be found in section 8.32 of the APA Publication Manual
- For a quotation that has a part of it also in quotes, section 8.33 of the Publication Manual provides more insight
- Commas and periods should be positioned inside quotation marks and other punctuation marks kept outside unless they are part of the quoted material
Block quotations [from 40 words and above]
Below are the steps for formatting block quotations.
- It is not necessary to enclose a block quotation with quotation marks
- Block quotations should begin on a new line and the whole block indented 0.5 inches from the left margin
- The whole block quotation should be double spaced
- No extra space should be added before or after the block quotation
- Where additional paragraphs occur within the block quotation, the first line of each new paragraph should be indented by an additional 0.5 inches. An example can be found in section 8.27 of the Manual
- The author/source can either be cited parenthetically after the quotation’s last punctuation or in a narrative format by placing the source/author before the quotation and the location information in parenthesis after the last punctuation in the quotation
- For a parenthetical citation, cite your source in parenthesis after the quotation’s last punctuation and for a narrative citation, the author and year should be cited in the narrative before the quotation while the parenthesized page number should come after the quotation’s last punctuation [as shown in the examples below]
- In either of the cases above, there is no need for a period after the parentheses [as shown in the examples below]
Block quotation with parenthetical citation
Here is a perspective on the importance of econometrics:
Economic theory makes statements or hypotheses that are mostly qualitative in nature. For example, microeconomic theory states that other things remaining the same, a reduction in the price of a commodity is expected to increase the quantity demanded of that commodity. But theory itself does not provide any numerical measure of the relationship between the two; that is, it does not tell by how much the quantity will go up or down as a result of a certain change in the price of a commodity. It is the job of the econometrician to provide such numerical estimates. (Gujarati, 2009, p. 6)
Block quotation with a narrative citation
Todaro and Smith (2011) have developed a rather broad conceptual framework for defining the term development. According to them, development must be conceived as:
A multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality, and the eradication of poverty. Development in its essence must represent the whole gamut of change by which an entire social system, turned to diverse basic needs and evolving aspirations of individual and social groups within that system, moves away from a condition of life widely perceived as unsatisfactory toward a situation or condition of life regarded as materially and spiritually better. (p. 16)
MLA [8 th edition]
In MLA, a short quotation consists of four typed lines of prose or less or three lines of verse [poetry]. Short quotations are separated from the rest of the text by enclosing them with double quotation marks. In-text citation requires providing the author and specific page number. Be sure to add the line number[s] to these if you are dealing with verse. Your works cited entry should be a complete reference of the in-text citations.
Place punctuation marks like commas, semi-colons, and periods after the parenthetical citation. If question marks and exclamation points are part of the quote, then they should be inside the quotation marks. If not, then they should be placed after the parenthetical citation.
Here are some examples of how to quote short passages both parenthetically and in narrative form:
It is the view of some that “democracy is not always suitable in every context” (Caleb 190), though many disagree
Caleb’s study suggests that “democracy is not always suitable in every context” (190)
What is the possibility that “democracy is not always suitable in every context” (Caleb 190)?
For short poetry quotations, a slash [/] should be used to indicate breaks in verse. For instance, at the conclusion of every line of verse, there should be a space then a slash before another space. A double slash [//]should be used to show the occurrence of a stanza break during the quotation.
Yunisobserves: “The country is so disunited / It may not survive for long” (6-7).
These are quotations that exceed four lines of prose and three lines of verse. In such cases, separate the quotations by placing them in a free-standing block of text, without enclosing them in quotation marks. In other words, the quotation should start on a new line and the whole quote indented 1/2 an inch from the left margin in double spacing. Parenthetical citations should be attached after the last punctuation mark. If you are quoting poetry, be sure to indicate original line breaks [and double-space your essay as a whole]. The following example would suffice when writing prose with over four lines:
In recent years, the people of Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and China have been trying to convert their command economies to market economies. After many decades, they became disillusioned with the way in which their command economies were working. By comparison, the market economies in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan worked much better: these economies were more productive and offered greater quality and more variety of goods and services to consumers. (Taylor 58)
Note that the above citation can easily take a narrative format if the author is made part of the story.
For citations that involve long passages of poetry [four lines of verse and above], formatting should be as original as possible. Note that “qtd. in” in a citation indicates that it is from an indirect source. If your discussion makes clear that the quotation is from an indirect source, then the term “qtd. in” isn’t needed.
If your citation involves a couple of paragraphs or more, use a block quotation format whether the paragraph is up to four lines or not. Also, for citations involving more than a paragraph, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph by an extra ¼ inch to indicate a new paragraph.
Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / How to Cite an Essay in MLA
How to Cite an Essay in MLA
The guidelines for citing an essay in MLA format are similar to those for citing a chapter in a book. Include the author of the essay, the title of the essay, the name of the collection if the essay belongs to one, the editor of the collection or other contributors, the publication information, and the page number(s).
Citing an Essay
Mla essay citation structure.
Last, First M. “Essay Title.” Collection Title, edited by First M. Last, Publisher, year published, page numbers. Website Title , URL (if applicable).
MLA Essay Citation Example
Gupta, Sanjay. “Balancing and Checking.” Essays on Modern Democracy, edited by Bob Towsky, Brook Stone Publishers, 1996, pp. 36-48. Essay Database, www . databaseforessays.org/modern/modern-democracy.
MLA Essay In-text Citation Structure
(Last Name Page #)
MLA Essay In-text Citation Example
Click here to cite an essay via an EasyBib citation form.
MLA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
- Block Quotes
- et al Usage
- In-text Citations
- Page Numbers
- Sample Paper
- Works Cited
- MLA 8 Updates
- MLA 9 Updates
- View MLA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all MLA Examples
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To cite your sources in an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author’s name(s), chapter title, book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry for essay sources and some examples are given below:
In-text citation template and example:
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author on the first occurrence. For subsequent citations, use only the surname(s). In parenthetical citations, always use only the surname of the author(s).
Citation in prose:
First mention: Annette Wheeler Cafarelli
Subsequent occurrences: Wheeler Cafarelli
Works-cited-list entry template and example:
The title of the chapter is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.
Surname, First Name. “Title of the Chapter.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.
Cafarelli, Annette Wheeler. “Rousseau and British Romanticism: Women and British Romanticism.” Cultural Interactions in the Romantic Age: Critical Essays in Comparative Literature , edited by Gregory Maertz. State U of New York P, 1998, pp. 125–56.
To cite an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author(s), the essay title, the book title, editor(s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for citations in prose, parenthetical citations, and works-cited-list entries for an essay by multiple authors, and some examples, are given below:
For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the author (e.g., Mary Strine).
For sources with two authors, use both full author names in prose (e.g., Mary Strine and Beth Radick).
For sources with three or more authors, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Mary Strine and others). In subsequent citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues” (e.g., Strine and others).
In parenthetical citations, use only the author’s surname. For sources with two authors, use two surnames (e.g., Strine and Radick). For sources with three or more author names, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.”
First mention: Mary Strine…
Subsequent mention: Strine…
First mention: Mary Strine and Beth Radick…
Subsequent mention: Strine and Radick…
First mention: Mary Strine and colleagues …. or Mary Strine and others
Subsequent occurrences: Strine and colleagues …. or Strine and others
….(Strine and Radick).
….(Strine et al.).
The title of the essay is enclosed in double quotation marks and uses title case. The book or collection title is given in italics and uses title case.
Surname, First Name, et al. “Title of the Essay.” Title of the Book , edited by Editor(s) Name, Publisher, Publication Year, page range.
Strine, Mary M., et al. “Research in Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities.” Speech Communication: Essays to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Speech Communication Association , edited by Gerald M. Phillips and Julia T. Wood, Southern Illinois UP, 1990, pp. 181–204.
MLA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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MLA Style Guide
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- In-Text Citations
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Citing a Book
Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author. If this is the case for you, format your reference information as a chapter/essay from a book rather than citing the entire book.
When using a book that has more than two authors , include only the name of the first author, followed by "et al." For example:
Smith, John, et al. Book Title etc.
Indicate any edition other than the first edition. For example:
Fletcher, Neville H., and Thomas D. Rossing. The Physics of Musical Instruments . 2nd ed., Springer, 1998.
How to Cite a Book (entire book)
References to books usually include the following elements:
Author, First, and Second Author. Title of Book Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized . Edition abbreviated if appropriate, Publisher, Date. NOTE: The place of publication is not generally included; medium is no longer included.
* Note: Citations are single-spaced here, but be sure to double-space your Works Cited page.
How to Cite a Book (chapter)
*Be aware that many books are collections of essays written by several different people and edited by one author.
References to individual chapters or essays found in a book usually include the following elements:
E ssay/chapter Author, last name first. "Essay or Chapter Title." Book Title, editor(s) or compiler(s), publisher, date of publication, start page – end page of chapter or essay. NOTE: Ed. has been replaced with edited by; p age numbers in the works-cited list are now preceded by p. or pp.
Other Types of Print Books
See this page for instructions on how to cite the Bible in MLA format.
Last Name, First Name, editor. Title of Book: Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized. Edition abbreviated if appropriate, Publisher, Date.
Schutte, Anne Jacobson, et al., editors. Time, Space, a nd Women's Lives in Early Modern Europe . Truman State UP, 2001.
Entry for Item Previously Published in Another Source
Author, Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article in Quotes with all Important Words Capitalized". Title of the Book You used Italicized with All Important Words Capitalized, e dited by Name of Editor in First Last Order, Publisher, Date. Pages. Originally published in..... Benedict, Ruth, "The Past and the Future." Contemporary Literary Criticism vol. 97, edited by Deborah A. Stanley, Gale, 1997, pp. 300-1. Originally published in Nation 7 December 1946, pp. 656-58.
How to Cite an Ebook
References to ebooks include the following information:
Author(s). Title of book . Publisher, Publication Year. Database*. Date Accessed (optional)**.
*If you are in Seeker, the Database name is located in the ebook's record, below the abstract and publisher/permissions field. If you are in the Catalog, use LNDL Catalog as the Database name in your citation.
**Always check with your professor about whether or not they require Date Accessed.
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MLA Works Cited Page: Books
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
When you are gathering book sources, be sure to make note of the following bibliographic items: the author name(s), other contributors such as translators or editors, the book’s title, editions of the book, the publication date, the publisher, and the pagination.
The 8 th edition of the MLA handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.
Please note these changes in the new edition:
- Commas are used instead of periods between Publisher, Publication Date, and Pagination.
- Medium is no longer necessary.
- Containers are now a part of the MLA process. Commas should be used after container titles.
- DOIs should be used instead of URLS when available.
- Use the term “Accessed” instead of listing the date or the abbreviation, “n.d."
Below is the general format for any citation:
Author. Title. Title of container (do not list container for standalone books, e.g. novels), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2 nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
Basic Book Format
The author’s name or a book with a single author's name appears in last name, first name format. The basic form for a book citation is:
Last Name, First Name. Title of Book . City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.
* Note: the City of Publication should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.
Book with One Author
Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science . Penguin, 1987.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House . MacMurray, 1999.
Book with More Than One Author
When a book has two authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented in the book. Start by listing the first name that appears on the book in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in normal order (first name last name format).
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring . Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”).
Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition . Utah State UP, 2004.
Two or More Books by the Same Author
List works alphabetically by title. (Remember to ignore articles like A, An, and The.) Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only. For each subsequent entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period.
Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism . St. Martin's, 1997.
---. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History . Southern Illinois UP, 1993.
Book by a Corporate Author or Organization
A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, a government agency, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page.
List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry.
American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children . Random House, 1998.
When the author and publisher are the same, skip the author, and list the title first. Then, list the corporate author only as the publisher.
Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.
Book with No Author
List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works that include an author name. For example, the following entry might appear between entries of works written by Dean, Shaun and Forsythe, Jonathan.
Encyclopedia of Indiana . Somerset, 1993.
Remember that for an in-text (parenthetical) citation of a book with no author, you should provide the name of the work in the signal phrase and the page number in parentheses. You may also use a shortened version of the title of the book accompanied by the page number. For more information see the In-text Citations for Print Sources with No Known Author section of In-text Citations: The Basics .
A Translated Book
If you want to emphasize the work rather than the translator, cite as you would any other book. Add “translated by” and follow with the name(s) of the translator(s).
Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason . Translated by Richard Howard, Vintage-Random House, 1988.
If you want to focus on the translation, list the translator as the author. In place of the author’s name, the translator’s name appears. His or her name is followed by the label, “translator.” If the author of the book does not appear in the title of the book, include the name, with a “By” after the title of the book and before the publisher. Note that this type of citation is less common and should only be used for papers or writing in which translation plays a central role.
Howard, Richard, translator. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason . By Michel Foucault, Vintage-Random House, 1988.
Books may be republished due to popularity without becoming a new edition. New editions are typically revisions of the original work. For books that originally appeared at an earlier date and that have been republished at a later one, insert the original publication date before the publication information.
For books that are new editions (i.e. different from the first or other editions of the book), see An Edition of a Book below.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble . 1990. Routledge, 1999.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine . 1984. Perennial-Harper, 1993.
An Edition of a Book
There are two types of editions in book publishing: a book that has been published more than once in different editions and a book that is prepared by someone other than the author (typically an editor).
A Subsequent Edition
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the number of the edition after the title.
Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students . 3rd ed., Pearson, 2004.
A Work Prepared by an Editor
Cite the book as you normally would, but add the editor after the title with the label "edited by."
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, edited by Margaret Smith, Oxford UP, 1998.
Note that the format for citing sources with important contributors with editor-like roles follows the same basic template:
...adapted by John Doe...
Finally, in the event that the source features a contributor that cannot be described with a past-tense verb and the word "by" (e.g., "edited by"), you may instead use a noun followed by a comma, like so:
...guest editor, Jane Smith...
Anthology or Collection (e.g. Collection of Essays)
To cite the entire anthology or collection, list by editor(s) followed by a comma and "editor" or, for multiple editors, "editors." This sort of entry is somewhat rare. If you are citing a particular piece within an anthology or collection (more common), see A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection below.
Hill, Charles A., and Marguerite Helmers, editors. Defining Visual Rhetorics . Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
Peterson, Nancy J., editor. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches . Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection
Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows:
Last name, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection , edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.
Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One , edited by Ben Rafoth, Heinemann, 2000, pp. 24-34.
Swanson, Gunnar. "Graphic Design Education as a Liberal Art: Design and Knowledge in the University and The 'Real World.'" The Education of a Graphic Designer , edited by Steven Heller, Allworth Press, 1998, pp. 13-24.
Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below:
Rose, Shirley K, and Irwin Weiser, editors. The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher . Heinemann, 1999.
Then, for each individual essay from the collection, list the author's name in last name, first name format, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page range:
L'Eplattenier, Barbara. "Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument for Historical Work on WPAs." Rose and Weiser, pp. 131-40.
Peeples, Tim. "'Seeing' the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping." Rose and Weiser, pp. 153-67.
Please note: When cross-referencing items in the works cited list, alphabetical order should be maintained for the entire list.
Poem or Short Story Examples :
Burns, Robert. "Red, Red Rose." 100 Best-Loved Poems, edited by Philip Smith, Dover, 1995, p. 26.
Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories , edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.
If the specific literary work is part of the author's own collection (all of the works have the same author), then there will be no editor to reference:
Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric." Selected Poems, Dover, 1991, pp. 12-19.
Carter, Angela. "The Tiger's Bride." Burning Your Boats: The Collected Stories, Penguin, 1995, pp. 154-69.
Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries)
For entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, cite the entry name as you would any other work in a collection but do not include the publisher information. Also, if the reference book is organized alphabetically, as most are, do not list the volume or the page number of the article or item.
"Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997.
A Multivolume Work
When citing only one volume of a multivolume work, include the volume number after the work's title, or after the work's editor or translator.
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria . Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.
When citing more than one volume of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes in the work. Also, be sure in your in-text citation to provide both the volume number and page number(s) ( see "Citing Multivolume Works" on our in-text citations resource .)
Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria . Translated by H. E. Butler, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980. 4 vols.
If the volume you are using has its own title, cite the book without referring to the other volumes as if it were an independent publication.
Churchill, Winston S. The Age of Revolution . Dodd, 1957.
An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword
When citing an introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword, write the name of the author(s) of the piece you are citing. Then give the name of the part being cited, which should not be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks; in italics, provide the name of the work and the name of the author of the introduction/preface/foreword/afterword. Finish the citation with the details of publication and page range.
Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture , by Farrell, Yale UP, 1993, pp. 1-13.
If the writer of the piece is different from the author of the complete work , then write the full name of the principal work's author after the word "By." For example, if you were to cite Hugh Dalziel Duncan’s introduction of Kenneth Burke’s book Permanence and Change, you would write the entry as follows:
Duncan, Hugh Dalziel. Introduction. Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose, by Kenneth Burke, 1935, 3rd ed., U of California P, 1984, pp. xiii-xliv.
Book Published Before 1900
Original copies of books published before 1900 are usually defined by their place of publication rather than the publisher. Unless you are using a newer edition, cite the city of publication where you would normally cite the publisher.
Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions . Boston, 1863.
Italicize “The Bible” and follow it with the version you are using. Remember that your in-text (parenthetical citation) should include the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s). (See Citing the Bible at In-Text Citations: The Basics .)
The Bible. Authorized King James Version , Oxford UP, 1998.
The Bible. The New Oxford Annotated Version , 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001.
The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Susan Jones, Doubleday, 1985.
A Government Publication
Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise, start with the name of the national government, followed by the agency (including any subdivisions or agencies) that serves as the organizational author. For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the Congress and the session when the hearing was held or resolution passed as well as the report number. US government documents are typically published by the Government Printing Office.
United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on the Geopolitics of Oil . Government Printing Office, 2007. 110th Congress, 1st session, Senate Report 111-8.
United States, Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: EPA and DOE Should Do More to Encourage Progress Under Two Voluntary Programs . Government Printing Office, 2006.
Cite the title and publication information for the pamphlet just as you would a book without an author. Pamphlets and promotional materials commonly feature corporate authors (commissions, committees, or other groups that does not provide individual group member names). If the pamphlet you are citing has no author, cite as directed below. If your pamphlet has an author or a corporate author, put the name of the author (last name, first name format) or corporate author in the place where the author name typically appears at the beginning of the entry. (See also Books by a Corporate Author or Organization above.)
Women's Health: Problems of the Digestive System . American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2006.
Your Rights Under California Welfare Programs . California Department of Social Services, 2007.
Dissertations and Master's Theses
Dissertations and master's theses may be used as sources whether published or not. Unlike previous editions, MLA 8 specifies no difference in style for published/unpublished works.
The main elements of a dissertation citation are the same as those for a book: author name(s), title (italicized) , and publication date. Conclude with an indication of the document type (e.g., "PhD dissertation"). The degree-granting institution may be included before the document type (though this is not required). If the dissertation was accessed through an online repository, include it as the second container after all the other elements.
Bishop, Karen Lynn. Documenting Institutional Identity: Strategic Writing in the IUPUI Comprehensive Campaign . 2002. Purdue University, PhD dissertation.
Bile, Jeffrey. Ecology, Feminism, and a Revised Critical Rhetoric: Toward a Dialectical Partnership . 2005. Ohio University, PhD dissertation.
Mitchell, Mark. The Impact of Product Quality Reducing Events on the Value of Brand-Name Capital: Evidence from Airline Crashes and the 1982 Tylenol Poisonings. 1987. PhD dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry if the author and publisher are not the same.
Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.
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Suggested ways to introduce quotations
When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote.
How to quote in an essay?
To introduce a quote in an essay, don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation. Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format.
1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.
- The setting emphasizes deception: "Nothing is as it appears" (Smith 1).
- Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: "To every woman a happy ending" (25).
2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.
Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.
- Hamlet's task is to avenge a "foul and most unnatural murder" (Shakespeare 925).
- The speaker is mystified by her sleeping baby, whose "moth-breath / flickers among the flat pink roses" (Plath 17).
3. Use an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote a critic or researcher
Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. APA format doesn't require brackets.
- According to Smith, "[W]riting is fun" (215).
- In Smith's words, " . . .
- In Smith's view, " . . .
4. Use a descriptive verb, followed by a comma to introduce a critic's words
Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview.
- Smith states, "This book is terrific" (102).
- Smith remarks, " . . .
- Smith writes, " . . .
- Smith notes, " . . .
- Smith comments, " . . .
- Smith observes, " . . .
- Smith concludes, " . . .
- Smith reports, " . . .
- Smith maintains, " . . .
- Smith adds, " . . .
5. Don't follow it with a comma if your lead-in to the quotation ends in that or as
The first letter of the quotation should be lower case.
- Smith points out that "millions of students would like to burn this book" (53).
- Smith emphasizes that " . . .
- Smith interprets the hand washing in MacBeth as "an attempt at absolution" (106).
- Smith describes the novel as "a celebration of human experience" (233).
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Q. How do I refer to a book by title in-text in APA format?
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Answered By: Gabe Gossett Last Updated: Jun 22, 2023 Views: 568305
The basic format for an in-text citation is: Title of the Book (Author Last Name, year).
One author: Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak, 1963) is a depiction of a child coping with his anger towards his mom.
Two authors (cite both names every time): Brabant and Mooney (1986) have used the comic strip to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping. OR The comic strip has been used to examine evidence of sex role stereotyping (Brabant & Mooney, 1986).
Three or more authors (cite the first author plus et al.): Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Clare et al., 2016) depicts a young man's experience at the Shadowhunter Academy, a place where being a former vampire is looked down upon.OR Clare et al. (2016) have crafted a unique story about a young man's journey to find himself.
No author: Cite the first few words of the reference entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicize the title of a periodical, book, brochure, or report. Examples: From the book Study Guide (2000) ... or ("Reading," 1999).
Note: Titles of periodicals, books, brochures, or reports should be in italics and use normal title capitalization rules.
If you are citing multiple sources by multiple authors in-text, you can list all of them by the author's last name and year of publication within the same set of parentheses, separated by semicolons.
Example: (Adams, 1999; Jones & James, 2000; Miller, 1999)
For more information on how to cite books in-text and as a reference entry, see the APA Publication Manual (7th edition) Section 10.2 on pages 321-325 .
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Was this helpful? Yes 100 No 82
- This was very useful for me! I was having a really hard time finding information on how to mention an article title AND the author in text in APA so this was very helpful!!! by Ryan Waddell on Jun 27, 2019
- If I just mention that I used a book to teach a topic do I have to include it in the reference list? by Franw on Oct 17, 2019
- @Franw, if it is a source that informs your paper in any way, or if your reader would have reason to look it up, then you should include a full reference list entry for the book. by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Oct 18, 2019
- Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but I think the OP is asking how to refer to a book title, not how to cite one. I believe APA uses quotation marks around book titles and MLA uses italics. by AB on Dec 12, 2019
- @AB: The first sentence has been tweaked to clarify title of book usage, reflecting the examples given. For APA style you should use italics for book titles. It would be quotation marks. by Gabe [Research & Writing Studio] on Dec 12, 2019
- Hi, can any one help me with in-text-citation of this, how can i cite it in the text Panel, I. L. (2002). Digital transformation: A framework for ICT literacy. Educational Testing Service, 1-53. by Milad on Aug 20, 2021
- @Milad: In that case it would be (Panel, 2002). If you are quoting, or otherwise choosing to include page numbers, put a comma after the year, then p. and the page number(s). by Gabe Gossett on Aug 20, 2021
- Hey, I'm a little bit curious, what if I'm mentioning a book and paraphrasing it but still want to give credit. Would I put the information into parenthesis instead? Like: Paraphrased info. ("Title in Italics" Author, year) by Kai on Sep 14, 2023
- @Kai: Apologies for not seeing your question sooner! (Our academic year has not started yet). If I am understanding your question correctly, what I suggest is referring to the book title in the narrative of your writing, rather than in the in-text citation. I do not see an examples of using a book title in an in-text citation except for rare circumstances including citing a classic religious text or using the title when there is no author information because it is the start of your reference list entry. Basically, APA's in-text convention is supposed to make it easy for your reader to locate the source being cited in the reference list. So the first part of the in-text citation, usually authors, comes first to locate it alphabetically. Putting the book title first when you have an author name can throw that off. by Gabe Gossett on Sep 21, 2023
- Perhaps this is along the lines of the response to Kai - Can you reference a book title as a common point of social understanding to demonstrate a common concept? Is official citing required if you use widely known titles such as "Where's Waldo" and "Who Moved My Cheese?" to make a point of illustration? by Chez Renee on Sep 30, 2023
- @Chez: Aside from some classical religious texts, if it is a published book, I'd try to make sure that it is appropriately cited for APA style. That said, I think I understand where it gets tricky with things like Where's Waldo, since that is a series of books and stating "Where's Waldo" is a cultural reference many people would understand, though you can't reasonably cite the entire series. I don't believe that APA gives guidance for this particular issue. If it is being referred to in order to back up a claim, it would help to cite a particular book. If not, then it might work to use a statement such as, "Hanford's Where's Waldo series . . ." by Gabe Gossett on Oct 02, 2023
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