Skip to Main Content

MLA Style Guide: Books

This guide is designed to help students learn about MLA style and cite sources for their research.

Quick Tips

Include authors' names in the order that they appear on the title page (not in alphabetical order). Reverse the first author's name (surname followed by a comma and the first name) followed by "and" and the second author's name in normal order (first name then last name).

If there are more than two authors, you may list only the first one followed by "et al."

If you are referencing an entire book that has an editor (rather than an author), start the reference with the editors' names followed by the designation "editor" or "editors."

If you are referencing a chapter from a book, begin the reference with the author and the title of the chapter in quotation marks. Add the title of the book in italics followed by the editors' names. Include the page numbers for the chapter after the publication information.

It is not necessary to include the city of publication unless the reader of your paper may be unfamiliar with the publisher, e.g. an independent publisher or a publisher located outside of North America.

If no date of publication is given, you may provide an approximate date in square brackets or include a question mark after the date to indicate that it is uncertain, e.g. [2008] or [2008?}.


Information required for a book referencce includes:

  • Author(s) and/or editor(s)
  • Title and subtitle
  • Edition
  • City of publication (for unfamiliar publishers)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Page numbers for quotes from the author

Examples of References:

One Author and Edition other than the First:

White, Alex W. The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type. 2nd ed., Allworth, 2011.

Two Authors:

Heller, Steven, and Veronqiue Vienne. Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer: A Guide for Careers in Design. Wiley, 2015.

More Than Two Authors (Unfamiliar Publisher):

Cullen, Cheryl Dangel, et al. Graphic Design that Works: Secrets for Successful Logo, Magazine, Brochure, Promotion, and Identity Design. Gloucester, MA: Rockport, 2006.


Bos, Ben, and Elly Bos, editors. AGI: Graphic Design since 1950. Thames & Hudson, 2007.

Chapter from a Book:

Thevarasa, Kanish A. "Administering a Design Consultancy."  The Business of Graphic Design: A Professional's Handbook, edited by Hilary Ashworth. Assoc. of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, 2001, pp. 75-96.

Examples of In-Text istereditations:

According to Alex White, a designer should "see each element as a shape as well as a signifier of meaning" (39).

Thevarasa states that one of the first steps to becoming a design consultant is "deciding if you have the right skills and temperament" (75).

"Today, creatives are breaking the norm and seeking outlets outside their identity when it comes to production" (Cullen et al., 190).

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Kyle Montgomery
Library, Room 3021
(705) 524-7333