If you want to know how to cite books in essays properly, here’s my guide on the top three citation styles.
You’ll learn to cite the title of books in essay in APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Get ready to remember formatting guidelines and consider examples.
Book Titles: Formatting Guide
|APA||Last name, Initials. (Year of Publishing). Book title. Publisher.||Shakespeare, W. (1954). The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Folio Society.|
|MLA||Last name, First Name. Book title. Publisher. Year of publishing.||Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Folio Society. 1954.|
|Chicago||Last name, First Name. Book title. Publishing place: Publisher. Year of publishing.||Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. London: The Folio Society. 1954.|
How to Write a Book Title in an Essay: APA
I’ll focus on the latest version, APA’s 7th edition . For this format, you provide the author’s surname, initials, the publishing year (use round brackets), the italicized title, the publisher, and DOI if the manual has it.
If the book has several authors, place surnames in the alphabetic order, with “&” before the last surname. If it’s an edited work without an author, put the editor’s surname and initials at the beginning. In the case of several editors, add “Ed.” or “Eds.” after the initials.
If the copy has both an author and an editor, place the author’s surname initials in the beginning and add the editor’s surname and initials in brackets between the book title and the name of its publisher.
- Shakespeare, W. (1954). The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Folio Society.
- Black S. (1981). How to live this life. (White A. & Brown L., Eds.) Scale University Press.
Bonus: How to Cite Bible in APA
How to Write a Book Title in an Essay: MLA
I provide the rules according to MLA’s 8th edition .
Provide the author’s full name, italicize the book title, the publishing place (for works older than 1900), the publisher, and the publication date.
If the copy has several authors, you write the first author’s surname and their name after a comma and then name other authors in the usual name-surname order. Add “and” before the last author in the list.
In the case of books with no authors, the MLA format doesn’t require you to note the editors. You can skip the part with authorship and start with the title in italics.
Examples to correctly cite books in MLA:
- Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Folio Society. 1954.
- Encyclopedia of Montana. Summerset, 1993.
Bonus: How to Cite Songs in MLA
How to Write Book Titles in Essays: Chicago
The fine points of the Chicago style are the fine points for the footnotes and endnotes as in-text references:
In the footnote, you provide the author’s first and last name, italicize the book title, specify the place of publication, publisher, and year in round brackets, and write the page number.
The difference between the footnote and source in the bibliography is not so big. In the bibliography, you provide the author’s surname, not the name first. Also, don’t use round brackets and page numbers.
|Footnote/endnote:||William Shakespeare. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. (London: The Folio Society. 1954), 6.|
|Source in bibliography:||Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. London: The Folio Society. 1954.|
Writing Author Names in Paper Bodies
Authors’ surnames in the bodies of papers go in capital letters. Depending on the citation style, it might or might not require a personal name.
For example, APA 7 or MLA 8 doesn’t require the author’s name. In-text citations in APA will be “As Shakespeare (1954) writes,” while Chicago, as you can see from above, requires both first and last names in footnotes.
In Lieu of a Conclusion: FAQs
- Are books italicized?
Yes, the titles of the books go in italics in the references.
- Do you underline book titles?
No, you don’t need to underline the book titles. The exception might be if you write an essay by hand. It’s hard to italicize titles when handwriting, so you underline the name to specify it.
- How do you write book titles with subtitles in an essay?
Italicize the title, start with a capital letter, and place the subtitle after the colon, also capitalized. For example: I am Malala: The story of the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.
- How to write a short story title in an essay?
A story, poem, essay, or any other short genre represented as a book part must go in quotation marks. For example: “The Intruder.” It’s a short story in Andre Dubus’s collection, Dancing After Hours.
- Why properly cite books in essays?
The title of the books in the essay is critical for a reader to understand what kind of source this is.