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MAN Citing Sources for Academic Success: Citation elements: Books

Covers the four citation types used at UW-Manitowoc: Turabian/Chicago, MLA, APA, and ACS


Books are usually described by these elements: 

  • Title
  • Author
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date

According to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, a book citation looks like this: 

Author's last name, Author's first name.  Title of Book.  Place of publication:  Publisher, date.  Print.  

Use your sources as evidence for identifying what to put for each element of the citations.   For a book, the evidence you need is found in its first pages.  Look for the title page and the other side (verso) of the title page for author, title, and publication information.  These may differ from what is listed on the cover of the book.  When in doubt, use title page information. 

Electronic books

If you are using an ebook as a source, you will need to identify it as such in your bibliography. 

MLA citations include the medium of publication.  If you are using a print book, you will add "Print" to the citation.  If you are using an e-book, you will identify the type of file, such as Kindle file or PDF file.  For more information, see the Modern Language Association site's FAQs:  How do I cite an e-book?

When using APA you will add the e-reader version in square brackets and the URL or doi, as appropriate.  For more information, see the APA Style Blog:  How Do You Cite an E-Book?

Turabian/Chicago style requires you to identify the form of the electronic version used and its URL, if it was read online.  For more information, see Monroe Community College Libraries, Chicago Citation Style, Citing Electronic Books. 


1.  Identify the bibliographic elements for a book using the title page and its other side as evidence. 

2.  Put these elements into the form of a citation, using the MLA model above. 

3.  If your source was a book with three authors, where could you find out how to correctly form an MLA citation for it?