The Modern Language Association of America, a 30,000-member organization that aims "to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature," is behind MLA style, a guide for scholarly writings. MLA style is used in more than 1,100 publications around the world, and the two reference books the organization publishes are thick, complex and more than a little intimidating. Most citations, however, are very simple, even for books with numerous authors, according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Seventh Edition).
Identify Important Information
When citing a book, regardless of the number of authors, it is important to first locate the pertinent information for the citation. This list includes the names of the author or authors, the title of the book, the publisher and the place of publication. Most of the information will be found on the cover or on an information page early in the book.
A typical MLA book citation will identify, in order, the author's name, the book title, the city published, the publisher, the year of publication and the medium of the work. For all books, "print" would be the correct medium to cite. When listing authors, use the last name, followed by the first name and separated the two with a comma. If a book has two authors, simply list one author and include the word "and" followed by the other author's name. When it comes to books with three or more authors, you can list all the names, or you can simply cite the first author and then include "et al." Be sure to list the names of the authors in the same order in which they appear on the title page.