How to Cite a Book in MLA Style

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This short presentation breaks down the parts of a simple book citation in MLA style and demonstrates how to use these parts to write a book citation.

These are the parts of a book citation:

The author's last name, a comma, then the author's first name, and a period.

The title of the book in italic type or underlined, and a period.

The place of publication and a colon.

The name of the publisher and a comma.

The year of publication and a period.

The medium of publication and a final period.

You can find all of this information on the front and back of the title page.

You can also find this information online using websites such as the UTSA Libraries' catalog,, or Google Books.

With information from the title page or the online book record, you can follow the basic citation format to write a citation for this book.

The last part, "medium of publication" is often print for paper publications or web for online publications, but it could also be something like DVD or MP3.

In this case, it's a paper book, so we put print.

This is just one example of a book citation. There are special rules for different kinds of books, such as a book with more than one author, a book with an editor instead of an author, a book that is a translation, or many other differences.

You can find more basic information and examples online. Use the "links" tab to see our recommended sites.

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is the ultimate source for all of the guidelines of MLA style. There are copies available in the library.