Citing a Book in MLA Style

When you are citing secondary resources in your work you need to make sure that you reference them properly. If you don’t know which referencing style you are using, go and check!

If you are using MLA referencing style to cite a book, this is how you will need to do it:

In-Text

(Author page number)

For example:

Some critics argue that here, Shakespeare is making a point about gender (Smith 72).

Note that for MLA style you don’t need to use a comma between the author and page number.

Reference List

Smith, J. What Shakespeare Meant to Say, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Print

Make sure you remember to put ‘print’ or ‘online’ after the reference.

Books by more than one author

If your source has got more than one author you would need to write your references like this:

In-Text

(Smith, Jones, and Hunter 87)

Reference List

Smith, J., Jones, A., Hunter, S. What Shakespeare Meant to Say, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Print

If your source has more than four authors then you can just put the first author and ‘et al.’ (which means ‘and others’):

In-Text

(Smith et al. 87)

For the reference list, you can choose whether to write the names of all the authors out in full or to put ‘et al.’ Your university can tell you what they prefer.

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