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Creating MLA Style Citations Using Book Title Pages: Example 1: Book, Print Format

Learn how to use title pages to create MLA-style citations for books.

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Sasha Bishop
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843-525-8236
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Credits

The pages used in this guide are available via Creative Commons, and are reproduced here under a Creative Commons license.

Citation components

Let's review the components of MLA-style Works Cited page entries for books. This is the basic form:

Author name. Title of the Book: Subtitle of the Book. Publisher location: Publisher name, Year. Publication medium. 

The information we need to include is as follows:

1. Author

2. Title

3. Place of publication

4. Publisher name

5. Publication year

6. Publication medium (Print or Web)

The final part of the citation, the medium, depends on whether you used a print or an electronic version of the book. For the sake of this example we will say that we checked out a print version of this book. Note: If the medium is "Web" you should include additional information, indicating where and when you found the resource. See Example 3.

Title page, front

We will need to look at the front and back of the book's title page to get the information we need. On the front of this book's title page, we find the book's title, author, and publisher.

Title page

We can now update our list with information taken from the front of the title page:

1. Author - Lawrence Lessig

2. Title - Code: Version 2.0

3. Place of publication - New York

4. Publisher name - Basic-Perseus

Note: Sometimes you will see a "division" or "member" of a publisher listed on the title page along with the publisher. This division is called an "imprint." You will include both the imprint and the publisher in your Works Cited page entry, separating the names with a hyphen. In this case, Basic is the imprint and Perseus is the publisher.

Note: Do not include words like "Books," "Press," "Publishers," etc. in the publisher information. Shorten the publisher name to its basic form.

5. Publication year

6. Medium - Print

Title page, back

On the back of this book's title page, we find the book's publication information.

Publication information can be found on the back of the book's title page

We can now update our list with information from the back of the title page.

1. Author - Lawrence Lessig

2. Title - Code: Version 2.0

3. Place of publication - New York

4. Publisher name - Basic-Perseus

5. Publication year - 2006 (Note: Since a publication date is not listed, we use the most recent copyright date.)

6. Publication medium - Print

Finished citation

We now have all the information we need to create our Works Cited page entry using the basic format for a book:

Author name. Title of the Book. Publisher location: Publisher name, Publication date. Publication medium.

Our final citation looks like this:

Lessig, Lawrence. Code: Version 2.0. New York: Basic-Perseus, 2006. Print.