Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

MLA Book Citation Examples

MLA citations make it easy to format book citations with multiple authors as you simply use the Latin term “et al.” for three or more authors. Et al. means “and others,” which helps the reader understand there are more authors than are listed in the entry. Use these MLA book citation examples to help you follow a straightforward pattern.

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Format for One Author

MLA 8 is a flexible system that uses the container system for formatting works cited entries for your humanities paper. When creating an entry for a book with one author in MLA 8 style, follow these guidelines.

Works Cited Format – One Author

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

In-Text Citation Format – One Author

(Last name page #)

Example 1 – Works Cited One Author

Stanley, Jean B. The Message: Living Happy-Joyous-and Free: Legacy of the Twelve Steps. Heartfelt Books, 1995.

Example 1 – In-Text Citation

(Stanley 44)

Example 2- Works Cited One Author

Sabroe, Knud-Erik. Alcohol in Society: Patterns and Attitudes. Aarhus, Denmark, Aarhus University, 1994.

Example 2 – In-Text Citation

(Sabroe 188)

Format for Two Authors

When citing a book with more than one author, remember to include the authors in the order they appear in the work.

Works Cited Format – Two Authors

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

In-Text Citation Format – Two Authors

(Last name and Last name page #)

Example 1 – Works Cited Two Authors

Kinney, Jean and Gwen Leaton. Loosening the Grip: A Handbook of Alcohol Addiction. St. Louis, Mosby, 1995.

Example 1 – In-Text Citation Two Authors

(Kinney and Leaton 143)

Example 2 – Works Cited Two Authors

Holder, Harold D. and Griffith Edwards, editors. Alcohol Use and Misuse by Young Adults. University of Notre Dame Press, 1994.

Example 2 – In-Text Citation Two Authors

(Holder and Edwards 234)

Format for Three or More Authors

Student jotting down MLA book citation examples

When a book has at least three listed authors, you only need to name the first one, following it with “et al.” to indicate that there are more authors. The formatting is otherwise the same as with books that have one or two authors.

Works Cited Format – Three or More Authors

Last Name, First Name, et al. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

In-Text Citation Format – Three or More Authors

(Last Name et al. page #)

Example 1 – Works Cited Three or More Authors

Peele, Stanton, et al. The Truth About Addiction and Recovery: The Life Process Program for Outgrowing Destructive Habits. Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Example 1 – In-Text Citation Three or More Authors

(Peele, et al. 26)

Example 2 – Works Cited Three or More Authors

Boyd, Gayle M. et al. editors. Alcohol Problems Among Adolescents: Current Directions in Prevention Research. Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995.

Example 2 – In-Text Citation Three or More Authors

(Boyd, et al. 210)

Format for Translated Books

If you are citing a book that has been translated from a source in another language, you should add the translator’s name after the title of the book.

Works Cited Format – Translated Books

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Translated by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Publication Date.

Example 1 – Works Cited Translated Book

Nettel, Guadalupe. The Body Where I Was Born. Translated by J.T. Lichenstein, New York City, Seven Stories Press, 2015.

Example 1 – In-Text Citation Translated Book

(Nettel 27)

Example 2 – Works Cited Translated Book

Herrera, Yuri. Signs Preceding the End of the World. Translated by Lisa Dillman, Sheffleld, United Kingdom, And Other Stories, 2015.

Example 2 – In-Text Citation Translated Book

(Herrera 25)


Include the city of publication only if:

  • The book was published before 1900.
  • The publisher is not well-known in North America.
  • The publisher has offices in several countries.


How to Cite a Textbook in MLA

In addition to translated books, you might need to cite a textbook in MLA format. For a textbook citation in MLA, follow the core elements system for a chapter book.

Works Cited Format – Textbook Format

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Essay.” Title of Textbook, edited by Editor Name, Edition, Publisher, Year, page range.

Example 1 – Works Cited Textbook

Roberts, Edgar V. “Beginning Writing.” Writing About Literature, edited by John Connolly, 13th ed., Longman Publishing, 2012, pp. 120-35.

Example 1 – In-Text Citation Textbook

(Roberts 120)

Example 2 – Works Cited Textbook

Roberts, Edgar V., and Henry E. Jacobs. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. 6th ed., Prentice Hall, 2003, pp. 122–35.

Example 2 – In-Text Citation Textbook

(Roberts and Jacobs 135)

Formatting MLA Book Citations

Creating an MLA book citation isn’t difficult once you have the container system down to a science. However, remember to always follow your teacher’s requirements if they differ from the style guide.

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