Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA 9th Edition Citation Style Guide

Quick tips

All books

  • Book titles should appear in italics in your works cited list, and in the text of your writing.
  • Information such as edition should follow the title of the book, and not be in italics.

E-books

  • Include a DOI if provided. DOI's should be formatted as https://doi.org/ and should not be hyperlinked.
    • DOI: Digital Object Identifier. A string of letters and numbers that specifies a unique object. DOI's begin with 10 (e.g. 10.1093/rheumatology/key279)
  • If a DOI is not available, include a permanent URL, if provided.
  • If a URL runs more than three full lines, or is longer than the rest of the entry in your works cited list it can be truncated, but must include the information about the host site.
  • Do not use URL's produced by shortening services such bit.ly.

Book: 1 author with or without DOI

EXAMPLE: EBOOK

Mukherjee, Pulok K.Quality control and evaluation of herbal drugs: Evaluating natural products and traditional medicine. Elsevier, 2019. Science Direct, https://doi.org/10.1016/C2016-0-04232-8.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Mukherjee 690)

Narrative in-text citation: Mukherjee outlines different analytical methods for pharmaceutical products (690).

EXAMPLE: PRINT BOOK

Mukherjee, Pulok K.Quality control and evaluation of herbal drugs: Evaluating natural products and traditional medicine. Elsevier, 2019. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Mukherjee 690)

Narrative in-text citation: Mukherjee outlines different analytical methods for pharmaceutical products (690).

Book 2 authors

EXAMPLE 

Lopez Bunyasi, Tehama, and Canids Watts Smith. Stay Woke: A People's Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter. NYU Press, 2019. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Lopez Bunyasi and Smith 145)

Narrative in-text citation: Lopez Bunyasi and Smith outline how even with the best of intentions it is still possible to uphold racial disparities (145). 

Book: Three or more authors

EXAMPLE

Dhamoon, Rita, et al. Unmooring the Komagata Maru: Charting colonial trajectories. UBC Press, 2019.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Dhamoon et al. 95)

Narrative in-text citation: Dhamoon et al. outline how Indian passengers were not allowed to disembark in British Columbia (95).

Book: Group author

EXAMPLE

Emerging Solutions for Gender Equality 2018. United Nations Women, 2019. 

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Emerging 29)

Narrative in-text citation: In the Emerging Solutions for Gender Equality 2018 report outlines their commitment to increasing women entrepreneurs that work in renewable energy development in Africa and India (29). 

Book chapter in an edited volume

Include the DOI or URL for the book and database if retrieved as an e-book from an academic research database.

EXAMPLE

Lautard, Hugh, and Neil Guppy. "Revisiting the Vertical Mosaic: Occupational Stratification Among Canadian Ethnic Groups." Race and Ethnic Relations in Canada, edited by Peter S. Li, Oxford UP, 1999, pp. 219-53.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Lautard and Guppy 222)

Narrative in-text citation: Lautard and Guppy outline how the Abella Commission was criticized for its proposals for affirmative action programs, as it was felt that the inequality experienced by marginalized groups was exaggerated (222).

Contributor Element in Works Cited

It can be the case that you want to recognize the work of a person, group, or organization that is not the primary creator of the work. This commonly occurs with edited or translated books. See section 5.38 for more details in the MLA Handbook.

EXAMPLE

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Edited by Jessica Slights, Broadview Press, 2017.

Parenthetical in-text citation: (Shakespeare, 42)

Narrative in-text citation: Shakespeare's Othello represents several key themes...(42). 

Adding original date in a republished text

It may be the case that you will want to indicate the original date a text or source was published when it is contained within a reprint or another work. For example the original text was published in 1622 but you are using a reprinted version that is from 2017. This is used when it is important to indicate to your reader, especially those with a specialist knowledge, the exact version you are looking at. 

EXAMPLE

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. 1622. Edited by Jessica Slights, Broadview Press, 2017.