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How to use MLA style- Resources: Books

MLA how-to

General Information

For more than 3 authors: Provide only the first author, followed by et al. For example: Wingert, Peter, et al.

Abbreviating Months: When you include the month in the publication date or date of access, abbreviate to the first three letters (e.g., Dec.). May, June, & July do not need abbreviations.

Capitalize the main words in the document title. If there is a colon in the title (a subtitle), capitalize the main words after the colon.

Alphabetize your Works Cited list by the first word of the citation, usually the author's last name. If there is no author, alphabetize by the first main word in the title (ignore A, An, or The).

Double space all of the citations on your Works Cited page.

Indent the second & following lines of the citation 5-7 spaces. 

Citation Shortcuts

Be sure to double check the citations once they have been renerated!



Citation Machine

Book with an Editor

You may cite an essay from a book with an editor and multiple authors, or the whole book. This will depend on what you have quoted within your paper.


Entire Edited Book
Last Name, First Name, ed. Title of Book. City, State: Publisher, Year. Print.

Essay from an Edited Book
Last Name, First Name. "Essay Title." Title of Book. Ed. (Editor) First Name Last Name.

   City, State: Publisher, Year. Page(s). Print.


Grover, Jan, ed. Healthcare. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.

Williams, Walter. "Bogus Rights." Healthcare. Ed. Jan Grover. Detroit: Greenhaven Press,

   2007. 127-136. Print.

Electronic Book (E-Book)

An e-book citation follows the same rules as a print book citation, with additional information about the database or web site where it was accessed.


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City, State: Publisher, Year. Title of database or web

   site. Web. Date Retrieved (Day Month Year).


Martin, Wendy. The Cambridge Introduction to Emily Dickinson. Leiden: Cambridge UP,

   2007. NetLibrary. Web. 23 June 2009.

Book by One, Two, or Three Authors


One Author:
Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City, State: Publisher, Year. Print.

Two or Three Authors:
Last Name, First Name and First Name Last Name. Title of Book. City, State:

   Publisher, Year. Print.


Choy, Armando, Gustavo Chui, and Moises Sio Wong. Our History Is Still Being Written:

   The Story of Three Chinese-Cuban Generals in the Cuban Revolution. Atlanta, GA:

   Pathfinder Press, 2006. Print.

Valenti, Francine. More Than a Movie. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. Print.

Book by More than Three Authors

If there are more than three authors, list the first author and the phrase "et al.," which means "and others."


Last Name, First Name et al. Title of Book. City, State: Publisher, Year. Print.


Vaughn, Samantha et al. Half Empty Half Full. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2000. Print.

Book with No Author


Title of Book. City, State: Publisher, Year. Print.


World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: Funk, 2007. Print

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