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How to Do MLA Citation for a Book


Standardized citation methods ensure that you give adequate credit to individuals from whom you borrow information. One of the most popular citation methods is Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Although you can use this style in any discipline, it is most commonly used for English and social studies documentation purposes. To compose your MLA citation for the book that you used in your research, follow the standardized citation creation steps.

Begin with the author's name, last name first, with a comma separating the last and first name, aligned to the left on your works cited page. Include a period after this name. If the book has two authors, list the next author's name in standard first name, then last name form, separating them with a comma, and concluding your series with a period. For two or more authors, either list all of the authors, separating each name with a comma and writing all but the first in standard first name, last name format, or list only the first author's name, add a comma, and write "et al." in place of the remaining authors' names.

Add the title of the book in italics. Capitalize all words except prepositions, conjunctions and articles, unless the article is the first word in the title. If the title contains a hyphenated phrase, do not capitalize the word following the hyphen. Place a period after the title.

Find and write the city of publication (which should be located on the interior title page of the book). If the book was not published in a major city, follow the city name with a comma and add the two-letter state abbreviation. Place a colon after the city or after the state abbreviation, if there is one.

Type the name of the publisher. Capitalize each word in the name, except for conjunctions or articles, if any exist. Place a comma after this name.

Add the year of first publication. Follow this year with a period.

Conclude with the medium of publication by writing either "Print," if you consulted a physical copy of the text, or "Digital," if you used an e-book or other digital copy. Follow this indication with a citation-concluding period.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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