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University of Newcastle Library guides

MLA Style:  Books & ebooks

UON Library guide to MLA referencing style 8th edition for UON students

General Rules and Examples

Books & eBooks

 

  • Brochures, pamphlets, exhibition catalogs, corporate reportsand other freestanding publications are often published as books and cited as such.

 

General rules:

Author Names

  • Appear first in the reference. Use the full names of authors and invert only the first author in the works-cited list.
  • Include all author names when a book has up to 2 authors; list only the first author followed by et al. for 3 or more authors in both the in-text citation and works-cited list.
  • For an edited book, place the editor's names in the author position followed by the label of editor/s. Note that the in-text citation does not include the label. 
  • If the book does not have an author, editor, or translator, move the title to the author position; use a short title (first few words) in the text citation.

Book Titles

  • Capitalise all words in the title and sub-title (except for common words - of, and, etc).
  • Book titles appear in italics. 

Edition

  • The edition other than the first is cited and placed after the title. The standard first edition is not cited. 
  • Terms of the edition are abbreviated, e.g. 2nd ed. (second edition), rev. ed. (revised edition), or 1st Aust. ed. (first Australian edition).
  • Remove any superscript from editions when typing - all letters should be on the same line (e.g. 2nd ed.).

Place of Publication: is not needed in MLA 8th.

Publisher

  • The publisher’s name may be given either in full or in an abbreviated form.
  • Use a forward slash (/) to connect co-publishers if needed. 
  • Use UP for University Press, e.g. Oxford UP; U of Chicago P, MIT P, etc.
  • Omit an initial "The" from a publisher’s name and the business words such as "Inc.", "Ltd.", "Corp.", "Co.", or "& Co."

Year of Publication

  • For books, only the year, not the month or day, is included in the publication date.
  • When an entire multi-volume, multiyear work is cited, the range of dates is given, e.g. 1952-63.
  • When the publication date of a work is unknown, omit this element; the abbreviation n.d. is not used in MLA 8th.
  • Use forthcoming for books under contract with a publisher and already titled but for which the date of publication is not yet known. Books not under contract are treated as unpublished manuscripts.

eBooks

  • For books consulted on the web, include the DOI if available, or the URL of an Open Access book at the end of the citation.
  • For an eBook located from a library database, include the name of the database before the DOI or URL.

Secondary Sources

For citations taken from secondary sources, see Secondary Sources.

 

Books with 1 author

 

The following is the general format of a reference to a print book and an eBook with one author. 

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Author's Last Name page/s cited) ...

... (Weller 34) ...

... (Wolf 21) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Author's Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year of Publication. Database Name, DOI or URL. 

Weller, Martin. The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Academic Practice. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Wolf, Shelby A. Interpreting Literature with Children, Routledge, 2003. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com.

Books with 2 authors

 

The following is the general format of a reference to a print book with two authors.

See general rules for books for more details.

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Last Name of Author One and Author Two page/s cited) ...

... (Grazer and Fishman 25) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

1st Author's Last Name, First Name, and 2nd Author's First name Last name. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.

Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. Simon & Schuster, 2015.

 

Books with 3+ authors

 

When a book has 3 or more authors, list only the first author followed by et al. in both the in-text citations and the works-cited list.

The following is the general format of a reference to a print book with 3 or more authors. 

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Last Name of Author One et al. page/s cited) ...

... (Haralambos et al. 23) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

1st Author's Last Name, First Name, et al. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.

Haralambos, Michael, et al. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. 8th ed., Collins Educational, 2013.

 

Books with corporate authors

 

'Corporate authors' are groups, societies or organisations who have written publications. This includes universities, research groups, museums, government departments, professional associations, and so on.

When a book is published by an organisation that is also its author, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organisation only a publisher.

The following is the general format of a reference to a book by a corporate author.

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Corporate Author page/s cited) ...

... (MLA Handbook 25) ...

... (United Nations 14) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Corporate Author. Year. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

United Nations. Consequences of Rapid Population Growth in Developing Countries. Taylor and Francis, 1991. 

 

Edited books

 

Edited books usually contain chapters written by different authors. In most cases you would actually want to reference the individual chapters you use from the edited book, not the edited book itself. See Book chapters for more information.

An edited work of one author is normally cited under the name of the author. See more details under edited work of one author at the bottom of this page.

The following is the general format of a reference to an edited book. The editors are listed in place of the author, followed by the descriptive label editor or editors when there are more editors. Note that the in-text citation does not include editor/s.

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Editor's Last Name page/s cited) ...

... (Germov and Poole 24) ...

... (Healey 19) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Editor's Last Names, First Name, editor. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.

Germov, John and Marilyn Poole, editors. Public Sociology: An Introduction to Australian Society. 4th ed., Allen & Unwin, 2019.

Healey, Justin, editor. Stolen Generations: The Way Forward. Spinney P, 2009.

 

Edited work of one author

The edited work of one author is normally listed with the author’s name appearing first and the name(s) of the editor(s) appearing after the title, preceded by edited by in the works-cited list. For example: 

 ... (Bonnefoy 15) ...

Bonnefoy, Yves. New and Selected Poems. Edited by John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf, U of Chicago P, 1995. 

Books with no author listed

 

Some books may not have an author or editor listed. If the author or editor is unknown, the in-text citation and the works-cited list entry should normally begin with the title. An initial article is ignored in alphabetizing. The in-text citations may refer to a short form of the title but must include the first word (other than an initial article).

The following is the general format of a reference to a print book with no author or editor. 

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Shortened Book Title page/s cited) ...

... (Anzac Memorial 15) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.

Anzac Memorial: Published for the Benefit of the Returned Soldiers Association of New South Wales. Returned Soldiers Association, 1916.

 

Please note that if a work is explicitly attributed to “Anonymous” (e.g., on the title page or at the head of the work), it should be cited accordingly.

Books with no listed publication date

 

When the publication date of a work cannot be ascertained, omit that element. The abbreviation n.d. is not used anymore.

The following is the general format of a reference to a print book without a publication date.  

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Author's Last Name page/s cited) ...

... (Kirby-Smith 12.) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Author's Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition. Publisher.

Kirby-Smith, Virginia. The Development of Australian Theatre and Drama, 1788-1964. University Microfilms.

 

eBooks with a DOI

 

eBooks with a DOI follow the same formatting patterns as those of print books, but add the DOI to the end of the citation. If no fixed page numbers are available, cite a section title or a chapter or other number in the text citation, if any (or simply omit).

The following is the general format of a reference to an ebook by one author with a DOI. 

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Author's Last Name page/s cited) ...

... (Bonds ch. 3) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Author's Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. edition, Publisher, Year. DatabaseDOI or URL.

Bonds, Mark Evan. Absolute Music: The History of an Idea. Oxford UP, 2014. Oxford Scholarship Online,  doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199343638.001.0001.

 

Notes:

  • Remove the University proxy (ezproxy.newcastle.edu.au) from any link used.
  • Do not insert a hyphen if you need to break a URL across lines. Break the URL before a slash or dash or at another logical division point.
  • Include a full-stop after the URL at the end of the reference.

 

eBooks without DOI

 

eBooks without DOI follow the same formatting patterns as those of print books, but add the URL to the end of the citation. If no fixed page numbers are available, cite a section title or a chapter or other number in the text citation, if any (or simply omit).

The following is the general format of a reference to an ebook without a DOI

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Author's Last Name Page/s cited) ...

... (Lystra 24) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Author's Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. Edition, Publisher, Year.  Database, URL.

Lystra, Karen. Dangerous Intimacy: The Untold Story of Mark Twain’s Final Years. U of California P, 2004. ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt8779q6kr/.

 

Notes:

  • Remove the University proxy (ezproxy.newcastle.edu.au) from any link used.
  • Do not insert a hyphen if you need to break a URL across lines. Break the URL before a slash or dash or at another logical division point.
  • Include a full-stop after the URL at the end of the reference.

 

Translated texts

 

Translated texts are republished works that have been translated from another original language. They can include ancient texts and modern works. 

A translated work of one author is normally cited under the name of the author. See more details under translated work of one author at the bottom of this page.

When you discuss a source that was translated from another language and your focus is on the translation, cite the source under the translator.  

The following is the general format of a reference to a translated book with the translator as the focus or a translated book without an author. 

See general rules for books for more details. 

 

In-text citation: format and example

... (Translator's Last Name page/s cited) ...

... (Silverstein 14) ...

 

Works-cited list entry: format and example

Translator's Last Name, First Name, translator. Book Title: Subtitle. By Author, Edition, Publisher, Year.

Silverstein, Theodore, translator. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. U of Chicago P, 1974.

 

Translated work of one author

The translated work of one author is normally listed with the author’s name appearing first and the name(s) of the translator(s) appearing after the title, preceded by translated by.  For example: 

Menchú, Rigoberta. Crossing Borders. Translated and edited by Ann Wright, Verso, 1999. 

Reference works

 

Be sure to check with your lecturer if these kinds of resources are suitable for use in your assignments.

For information on how to reference entries or chapters from reference works such as:

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopaedias
  • Thesauri
  • Indexes, etc.

see Book chapters.

Course Readers and Compiled Texts ('Custom Book Editions')

 

Course readers and compiled texts are usually collections of chapters and articles specifically chosen as readings for a particular subject.

To reference from these publications see Course material.

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