How to Cite Two Different Books by the Same Author in MLA Format

The Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition) provides specific guidelines for citation when formatting research papers. Following these guidelines allows your citations to be consistent with other citations created according to MLA format and ensures that you properly cite your sources. Not only is this your ethical responsibility as a writer, but it also helps your readers locate your sources. Finally, following the rules found in the MLA Handbook allows you to confidently handle citation situations that might otherwise be confusing for you or your readers, such as when you need to cite two different books by the same author.

In-text Citations

When citing two different books by the same author in the body of the text, include the author’s last name, then a comma and then the first word or several words of the title of the book in quotation marks followed by the page number.

For example, if you were citing two books by John Smith, you might do the following:

It’s important to recognize your strengths and talents. Knowing what you are good at is what moves you from “mediocre to masterful” (Smith, “Passions” 45).

Ultimately, your success is based on how you feel about what you’re doing. Studies show that those who are passionately invested in their work make three times more money than those who dread their work (Smith, “Work Week” 75).

Works Cited Citations

Because a Works Cited list is organized alphabetically, the books by the same author will appear next to one another. When this occurs, the author’s name should be omitted in the second citation. Instead of the author’s name, include three hyphens and a period and then the remainder of the citation information. For example:

Crystal, David. Language Play (italicized). Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998. Print. ---. Learning with Words (italicized). New York: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2001. Print.

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