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How to Cite an Autobiography


An autobiography is a book written by the story's protagonist about certain true events that have happened in their life. Most of the time, the book has just the one author. Once you establish whether your paper must follow APA or MLA guidelines, both styles have one set of guidelines for citing books, regardless of whether it is an autobiography or any other type of book.

MLA Style

When following MLA format in your paper, you must list the autobiography in alphabetical order by the author's last name. If there is one author, the reference will follow this format:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

The title of the book is italicized. Here is an example:

Smith, John. My Life in a Book. New York: Penguin, 2012. Print.

APA Style

Papers written in APA style use a reference page to list citations. The style varies a bit, although the page itself should still list items in alphabetical order by author's last name. Here is the format:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work. Location: Publisher.

Once again, the title is italicized. Here is an example:

Smith, J. (2012). My life in a book. New York: Penguin.

Note that APA style requires titles to only capitalize the first work of the title, and the publishing year is located in a different spot.

About the Author

Jen has been a professional writer since 2002 in the education nonprofit industry. Her work has been featured in the New Jersey SEEDS Annual Report, as well as several Centenary College publications, including "Centenary in the News" and the "Trustee Times." In 2009, Jen earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College.

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