Citing Books in MLA Style

When citing a book in MLA style, follow one of the basic formats below.

Print book with one author


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

Horowitz, Joseph. Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise and Fall. W.W. Norton, 2005. 

Print book with two authors


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

Staines, Joe, and Jonathan Buckley. Classical Music: The Rough Guide. Penguin Books, 1998. 

eReader book with three or more authors


Author Last Name, First Name, et al. Title of Book. E-reader type [if any], Publisher, Year.

Kramer, Lawrence, et al. Why Classical Music Still Matters. Kindle ed., University of California Press, 2007. 

eBook with one author


Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, date. Name of Database, Permalink URL. 

Samama, Leo. The Meaning of Music. Amsterdam UP, 2015. eBook Comprehensive Academic Collection (EBSCOhost), unr.idm.oclc.org/login url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=e025xna&AN=1212829&s Updateite=ehost-live&scope=site. 

Online book with one author


Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. Title of Website, Date [if any], DOI or Permalink or URL.

Wagner, Richard. On Conducting: A Treatise on Style in the Execution of Classical Music. Translated by Edward Dannreuther, W. Reeves, 1897.

Hathi Trust Digital Library, hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015009463210.

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook (2016) describes the following changes for book citations from the previous edition:

  • Do not give the medium (i.e., print or web).
  • Do not use the place of publication.
  • Do not use Company or Inc. when citing the publisher; do continue to use UP for University Press.

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