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MLA Citation Guide

This guide will help you understand how to use the MLA citation format for both in-text citations and works cited lists. It includes some more commonly used source formats. For complete information, please consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research

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Ann Grafstein
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Citing Books and Parts of Books


Books with One Author/Editor

Books with More Than One Author

Books with a Corporate Author

Book with No Known Author

Anthology or Collection

Work within an Anthology or Collection

Multivolume Work

Book in a Series

One Author or Editor

Basic Format

Author (last name, first name). Title (italicized). Publisher's Name, Date.

What does a citation look like?

Edwards, Justin D. Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic. U. of Iowa P, 2003.

Multiple Authors or Editors

Note that the first author is listed last name first, but that subsequent authors are listed by first name followed by last name.

Basic Format

When a work has more than one author, list them in the same order they are listed in the work.

First Author (last name, first name), and Second Author (not inverted). Title (italicized).Publisher's  Name, Date.

What do citations with more than one author look like?

1. Two authors/editors

Boyers, Robert, and Peggy Boyers, editors. The Salgamundi Reader. Indiana UP, 1983.

2. Three ot more authors/editors

If there are three or more authors/editors, enter only the name of the first author/editor followed by a comma, followed by et al.

Snyder, Sharon L., et al., editors. Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities.  Modern Language Association of

America, 2002.

Corporate Author 

A corporate author--as distinguished from a personal author--is a commission, an association, an institute, etc., which bears the primary responsibility for the content of the book, and whose individual members are not identified on the title page of the book.

What does a citation look like?

Middle Sates Commission of Higher Education. Developing Research and Communication Skills: Guidelines for

Information Literacy in the Curriculum.Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2003.

Book with No Known Author

If no author is listed for a book, begin the entry with the title of the book. Alphabetize it along with your other entries.

Basic Format

Title (italicized).Publisher's  Name, Date.

What does a citation look like?

Encyclopedia, New York Law: Based on New York Statutes, Case Law, Sate and Federal Law; Law Reviews; Attorney

General's Opinion and Comptroller's Opinions. E. Thompson, 1957.

Anthology or Collection 

If the name of the editor, compiler or translator is on the title page, list the entry with the name of the editor(s), compiler(s) or translator(s).

Basic Format

Editor or Compiler (last name, first name). Title (italicized). Publisher's Name, Date.

What do citations of anthologies look like?

1. Edited anthology

Donalson, Melvin, editor. Cornerstones: An Anthology of African American Literature. St. Martin's Press, 1996.

2.. Anthology with the same compiler and editor

Marcus, Leonard A., compiler and editor. The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy.

Candlewick Press, 2006

Work within an Anthology or Collection

When citing a work--essay, short story, poem, etc.--from within an anthology, list the entry by the author of the piece referred to. The title of the piece should be in quotation marks. Add the citation to the larger work, beginning with its title, followed by the name(s) of the editor(s), translator(s) or compiler(s) (first name last name), as shown below.The page numbers of the work referred to are also included.

Basic Format

Author of work being cited (ast name, first name). "Title of work being cited" (in quotation marks).

Title of the larger work (italicized), edited by (Name of the editor, compiler or translator--not

inverted).  Publisher's Name, Date Page Numbers of work being cited (abbreviated as pp.)

What does a citation look like?

Paley, Grace. "The Used-Boy Raisers." The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction,  compiled by R.V. Cassill. W.W.

Norton, 1986, pp. 1216-1221.

Multivolume Work

1. If you are using two or more volumes of a multivolume work, it is helpful to your reader to give the total number of volumes of the work at the end of your citation. Reference to a specific volume and page numbers is done in the in-text parenthetical references.

Basic Format

Name of Author or Editor (last name, first name). Title of the set (italicized). Publishers's Name, Date, Number of

volumes (in the set).

What does a citation look like?

Alkin, Marvin C.,editor. Encyclopedia of Educational Research.  Macmillan, 1992, 4 vols.

2. If you you use one volume  of a multivolume work, give the volume number in the citation only--not in the text--and provide the publication information only for that one volume. It may also be helpful to give the total number of volumes in the set at the end of the citation.

Basic Format

Name or Author or Editor (last name, first name). Title of the set (italicized), volume number (of the work used).

Publisher's Name, Date, Total number of volumes (of the set).

What does a citation look like?

Lucas, Robert E., Jr. and Thomas J. Sargent, editors. Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, vol. 1. U of

Minnesota P, 1981, 2 vols.

Book in a Series

If it is indicated on either the title page or the page preceding the title page that the book is part of a series, it may be helpful to your reader to add the name of the series (no italics or quotation marks), followed by the series number, after the publication information.

Basic Format

Author (last name, first name). Title of the work being cited (italicized). Publishers's Name, Date. Name of Series

Number of Series.

What does a citation look like?

Harris, Alice C. Diachronic Syntax: The Kartevelian Case.  Academic Press, 1985. Syntax and Semantics 18.

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