How to Cite a Literature Book MLA-Style

Updated July 18, 2017

Citing a Novel

A novel should be cited as followed in MLA format:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book (in italics). City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium.

For example: Smith, Joseph. Returning Home. New York: Chatam Press, 1999. Print.


Most novels should be cited as above, but some exceptions are made for particular editions or versions of a book. In each of these cases, cite as above but with the additions indicated here. If the novel was written in translation, add the abbreviation "Trans." and then the full name of the translator directly after the book title. Similarly, if the book was put together by an editor add "Ed." and the full name of the editor after the book title. If the book was reprinted, but not in a new edition, then indicate the year of original publication directly after the title (also include the publication date of your reprint, as indicated above). If you are citing a particular edition of a book, note the edition in abbreviate form after the title, for example write "4th Ed."

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About the Author

Paige Johansen has been writing professionally since 2003. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from The University of Virginia. Between degrees, she worked in the fashion industry for two years.