Citing and referencing: Books

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Tips from the MLA Handbook

See the handbook p.111 (section 2.7) for details on formatting (e.g hanging indent and double line spacing). The examples in this Guide are based on more detailed information in:

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.


Print books

Book with a single author

Format Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

Lynch, Deidre. Loving Literature: A Cultural History. U of Chicago P, 2015.

Explanation In this example, an academic publisher is used, so the words University and Press are abbreviated. Usually, the publisher's name is written in full (see 1.6.3).

Book with two authors


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


Allain, Paul, and Jen Harvie. The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2015.


Note that the first author's name is inverted, but the second author's name is not. The authors' names should be in the same order in which they are presented in the work.

Also note the hanging indent used for citations that run longer than one line.

This example uses a book that has more than one edition (ed.), which is unnecessary information to include if there is only one edition of a book.

Three or more authors

Format First author's Last Name, First Name, et al. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.


Booth, Wayne C., et al. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed., U of Chicago P, 2008.

Explanation If a source has three or more authors, then only the first author is listed, followed by et al. ("and others").

Edited book

Format Last Name, First Name, editor. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.


Newcomb, Horace, editor. Television: The Critical View. 7th ed., Oxford UP, 2007.


If you are referencing an edited volume as a whole, then the "author" is the editor who assembled the volume (see p.23). If there is more than one editor, then the descriptive label becomes plural (editors), and rules for multiple authors are followed.

This example uses the seventh edition of this book (7th ed.).

Oxford UP is Oxford University Press.

A chapter from an edited book


Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.


Banks, Miranda J. “A Boy for All Planets: Roswell, Smallville and the Teen Male Melodrama.” Teen TV: Genre, Consumption, Identity, edited by Glyn Davis and Kay Dickinson, British Film Institute, 2004, pp. 17-28.


In this example, Banks is the author of the chapter, and Davis and Dickinson are the editors of the book.

The page range is the pages that the chapter occupies in the book. Note that p. is singular (page) and pp. is plural (pages).

As this source is for a chapter of a book, there is a full stop following the chapter, and there is a comma following the book title. This means that edited by follows a comma.

A chapter from a book with a single author


Last NameFirst Name. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book, Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.


Tribble, Evelyn B. "Authority, Control, Community." Margins and Marginality: The Printed Page in Early Modern England, UP of Virginia, 1993, pp. 1156.


In rare cases where the entire book was written by one author, and your lecturer requires you to quote a single chapter from it, follow the rules in the above example. Otherwise, refer to "chapter from an edited book".

Note the subtitle of the book is listed following a colon.

An essay or short story in an edited collection


Last Name, First Name. "Title of Essay/Short Story." Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.


Gurr, Andrew. “A New Theatre Historicism." From Script to Stage in Early Modern England, edited by Peter Holland and Stephen Orgel, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 71-88.

Thurber, James. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." 21 Essential American Short Stories, edited by Leslie Pockell, Thomas Dunne Books, 2011, pp. 280-84.

Edited book in a series


Last NameFirst Name, and First Name Last Name, editors. Title of Book. Publisher, Year, Series name number.


​Markantonatos, Andreas and Bernhard Zimmermann, editors. Crisis on Stage: Tragedy and Comedy in Late Fifth-Century Athens. De Gruyter, 2012. Trends in Classics 13.

Explanation If the book is part of a series, you can include the name of the series and the number of the book (if any) in the series at the end of the reference. There is no need to use quotation marks or italicization (p. 52).

Translated book


Last NameFirst NameTitle of Book. Translated by Translator's Name(s), Publisher, Year.


Metz, Christian. Language and Cinema. Translated by Donna Jean Umiker-Sebeok, Mouton, 1974.

Pevear, Richard, and Larissa Volokhonsky, translators. Crime and Punishment. By Feodor Dostoevsky, Vintage eBooks, 1993.


The first example shows a translated book. The translator's name is in the position of "other contributors", and is preceded by the words translated by.

If your focus is on the translation of a work, then put the translator's name in place of the author's, followed by translator, and give the author's name in the position of "other contributors", as demonstrated in the second example above.

Both ways are correct; it depends if your focus is on the work, or the translation of the work.


Illustrated book

Format Last NameFirst NameTitle of Book. Illustrated by First name Last name, Publisher, Year of Publication.


Rowe, Amy and Philip Rowe. Earnest the Fierce Mouse. Illustrated by Andrea Norton, Gallery Books, 1990.

​Denslow, W. W., illustratorThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz. By L. Frank Baum, Signet-Penguin, 2006. 


If the illustrator is relevant to your discussion, you can include them in "other contributors" as seen in the first example, above.

The second example demonstrates how to reference an illustrated book if your discussion focuses only on the illustrator/illustrations. Put the illustrator's name first, and include the author of the book later in the reference, in the position of "other contributors", as seen above.

Both ways are correct, it depends if your focus is on the illustrations, or on the work as a whole.

Edition of a book, other than first

Format Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. ed., Publisher, Year of Publication.


​Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing about Film. 8th ed., Pearson, 2012.


"ed." is an abbreviation for "edition", so this example is for the eighth edition of the book. Cite the year of the edition used, which is generally the most recent date listed.

Usually the edition of the book is only mentioned in the works cited list if it is the second edition or later.


An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword


Author of foreword Last name, First Name. Foreword. Title of Book, by Author's First Name Last Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.


Flora, Reis. Foreword. A Discography of Hindustani and Karnatic Music, by Michael S. Kinnear, Greenwood Press, 1985, pp. ix-x.

Kolker, Robert. Introduction. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho: A Casebook, edited by Robert Kolker, Oxford UP, 2004, pp. 23-27.

Wallach, Rick. "Cormac McCarthy's Canon as Accidental Artifact." Introduction. Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy, edited by Wallach, Manchester UP, 2000, pp. xiv-xvi.


If the introduction, preface, foreword or afterword is titled only with its descriptive term then use one of the first two examples above. The second example is for an edited book.

If however, the introduction, preface, foreword or afterword has a unique title as well as a descriptive one, give the unique title immediately before the descriptive one, as seen in the third example above.

As Wallach is the author of the introduction as well as the editor of the book in the third example, only his surname is given the second time.

Book with a corporate author

Format Organization Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.


Australian Film Commission. Documentary Production in AustraliaA Collection of Key Data. Australian Film Commission, 2008.

Reading at RiskA Survey of Literary Reading in America. National Endowment for the Arts, June 2004.


A corporate author could be an institution, an association, a government agency, or another kind of organization.

Do not include The before the name of any organization in the works-cited list.

If the organization both wrote and published the work, then skip the author entry and list the organization only as publisher, as seen in the second example.

When an entry starts with a government agency as the author, begin the entry with the name of the government, followed by a comma and the name of the agency, as shown in the third example above.

For further explanation, see section 2.1.3 of the MLA Guide.

Book with a corporate author prepared by an editor

Format Organization Name. Title of Book. Edited by First name Last name. Publisher, Year of Publication.


Australian Theatre Workshop. The Best of the One Act Plays. Edited by Mathew Clausen. Pearson, 2011.


eBook with a single author


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. Title of the database or website, URL.


Zipes, Jack. The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre. Princeton UP, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central,


The example is published by Princeton University Press, and is available online at ProQuest Ebook Central.

http:// and https:// are omitted from the URL.

You can include the date of access if you think it is relevant to your discussion, although this is optional.

eBook with two authors


​Last Name, First name and First Name Last Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. Title of the database or website, URL.


​Railton, Diane and Paul Watson. Music Video and the Politics of Representation. Edinburgh UP, 2011. IG Publishing eBook Library,

Explanation Follow the same rules as for a print book, but add the platform (e.g. IG Publishing eBook Library) and URL.

Chapter from an edited eBook


Author of chapter Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter." Title of Book, edited by Editor's Name(s). Publisher, Year, Page range of entry. Title of the database or website, URL.


Bottigheimer, Ruth B. "Europe's First Fairy Tales". The Teller's Tale: Lives of the Classic Fairy Tale Writers, edited by Sophie Raynard. State U of New York P, 2012, pp. 7-12. ProQuest ebrary,

Explanation Follow the same rules as for a print book, but add the platform (e.g. ProQuest ebrary) and URL.

Kindle book

Format Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Version. Publisher, Year.


Levy, Emanuel. Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film. Kindle ed., New York UP, 1999.

Explanation A Kindle edition is considered a version of a book, so name the device after the title of the book, as above.