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How to Cite Multiple Parts of a Book in MLA


Citing multiple parts of a book in MLA is fairly simple. The format rules for MLA do not change substantially when you cite chapter, selection or article in the body of your essay or in the works cited page. Remember that each citation is written with the first line flush against the left margin, and that every subsequent line is written as a hanging indent, five spaces in.

Citing Book Chapters

Cite a chapter from a book with this format: Author's last name, first name. "Chapter name in quotations." Book Title (italics). City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Page range of entry. Medium of Publication.
For example: King, Thomas. "Let Me Entertain You." The Truth About Stories (italics). Minneapolis: UMN Press, 2003. 61-89. Print. You cite the chapter in the text of your essay by adding the author's name in parentheses with the page number next to the quoted material: (King 65).

Citing Selections

Cite a selection -- poem, short story or essay -- the same way you cite a chapter. The selection name is quoted; page numbers occur after publication year. If part of an anthology, you include the editor's name preceded by the abbreviation "Ed." after book's title. For example: Burns, Robert. "A Red, Red Rose." 100 Best Loved Poems (italics). Ed. Philip Smith. New York: Dover, 1995. 26. Print. If you cite an author's own collection, no editor's name is needed: Whitman, Walt. "I Sing the Body Electric." Selected Poems (italics). New York: Dover, 1991. 12-19. Print.

Citing Reference Book Articles

When you cite an article from an encyclopedia or dictionary, your task is simplified, since no publisher information will be needed. Also, since encyclopedic works and dictionaries are alphabetically arranged, the volume or page number is not necessary; however, you should list the edition number after the book's title.
For example: "Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary (italics). 3rd ed. 1997. Print.
This is cited in your text with the main word of the entry in parentheses and quotes: ("Ideology").

Citing Introductions, Forewords and Afterwords

You cite an introduction, preface, foreword or afterword by first giving the author's name, last name first, then identifying the piece you are citing, with no italics. The author's last name is repeated with "by" after the title. The rest of the citation proceeds as all other book citations. For example: Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture (italics). By Farrell. New Haven: Yale UP, 1993. 1-13. Print.

About the Author

Michael Stratford is a National Board-certified and Single Subject Credentialed teacher with a Master of Science in educational rehabilitation (University of Montana, 1995). He has taught English at the 6-12 level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms.

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