How to Cite a Literature Book MLA-Style

The Modern Language Association format for citing literature, such as a novel, is the same as the association's format for citing any single-author book. The MLA-style citation system is used mainly in the humanities. Writers of essays should cite any source from which they use an idea, paraphrase or quote directly.

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."