An e-book—that is, a book that lacks a URL and that you use software to read on a personal device or computer—is considered a version according to the MLA Handbook’s template of core elements:
If you know the type of e-book you consulted (e.g., Kindle, EPUB), specify it instead of “e-book”:
When citing an e-book in your text, avoid using device-specific numbering systems. See section 3.3.3 of the handbook for suggestions on alternative ways to identify the parts of a work.
For an example of how to cite a book published on a Web site, see page 34 of the handbook.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.
If your source uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers or line numbers, your in-text citation should give the relevant number or numbers preceded by par. (for paragraph) or pars. (for paragraphs):
To allow readers to easily locate the quotation in a more standard edition of the play, you could add the act, scene, and line numbers in square brackets as part of your citation:
For either method, it would be a good idea to indicate in an endnote that your source does not have line numbers, because readers may expect them.
Practice varies. As indicated in section 1.6 of the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, MLA style does not use periods between letters for abbreviations composed of mainly capital letters, but you can use periods if you are consistent.
Follow the MLA format template. List the interviewee as the author, followed by the title of the chapter in which the interview appears. List the title of the book as the title of the container and the author of the book as an “other” contributor. Then list the publication details and the page range for the chapter:
Note that this example is an exception to our guidelines for citing a chapter in a book by one author. You would normally create an entry only for the book, not for an individual chapter. But since, by convention, the interviewee is considered the author of an interview, the chapter containing the interview is cited separately. If, however, you cite several interviews in the book and your discussion focuses on the work of the interviewer, then you might create an entry for the book as a whole and key your in-text citations for the interviews to it.
Read more on citing interviews.
When you are citing an image reproduced in a book, it is usually sufficient to refer to it in your text and create a works-cited-list entry for the book as whole. In the example below, the image, printed in a book on a page with no page number, is described in prose, and the figure number is given parenthetically:
One political cartoonist working during the 1919 Paris peace talks depicted Bolshevism as an aggressive, predatory hawk, and the peace treaty as an unknowing dove (MacMillan, fig. 6).
MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2001.
If a page number appears, include it:
In describing the influences of Byzantine and Levantine silks on Anglo-Saxon art, C. R. Dodwell includes an image from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting two beasts eating their own tales (fig. 45, p. 169).
Dodwell, C. R. Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective. Cornell UP, 1982.
Another way to cite an image from a book is to treat the image as a work contained in another work. Using the MLA format template, list any relevant information about the image supplied by your source. Then list the publication information for your source:
Velázquez, Diego. An Old Woman Cooking Eggs. Circa 1618, Scottish National Gallery. The Vanishing Velázquez: A Nineteenth-Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece, by Laura Cumming, Scribner, 2016, p. 27.
If the image is transformed, distinctively presented, or informally published, characterize the work you are citing accurately in the entry:
Cat photographed with Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Cat Photobombs of Famous Art, edited by Calliope Sanderson, Meow Publishers, 2017, plate 7.
Polaroid of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Circa 1982. Polaroid Photos in the 1980s, edited by Dan Greenleaf, North Press, 2010, p. 24.
Photo of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Smith Family Travel Photos, 2017, www.smithblog.com/eggs.
To cite the cover of a book, create a works-cited-list entry for the book and then key your in-text reference to the first element of the entry:
The cover of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak depicts a large horned creature sitting in a forest next to a body of water and a boat.
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. HarperCollins Publishers, 25th anniversary ed., 1963.
If you discuss a cover image in detail and want to credit the artist, you could provide the artist’s full name at first mention in your prose or the artist’s last name in parentheses and list the entry under the artist’s name. Note that in this example, the illustration on the cover of the book is by the author of the book.
The cover of Where the Wild Things Are features an illustration of a large horned creature sitting in a forest next to a body of water and a boat (Sendak).
Sendak, Maurice. Cover image. Where the Wild Things Are, by Sendak, HarperCollins Publishers, 25th anniversary ed., 1963.
For citing magazine cover art, see this post.
How you cite e-mail messages depends on how you are using them in your work.
If you refer generally to a series of e-mail exchanges that you had with the same person over several months or if you repeatedly discuss or quote from such an exchange, you could refer to the e-mail messages in your prose or in an endnote. But if you quote directly from a single message that you received or paraphrase its contents, it may be clearer and more economical to create a works-cited-list entry for the message.
Authors of introductions, prefaces, afterwords, and the like—collectively called front and back matter—are not usually essential to identifying a work and can be omitted from works-cited-list entries. If you do include the author of an introduction, place the author’s name in the “Other contributors” slot:
Gogol, Nikolai. Dead Souls: A Novel. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volkhonsky, introduction by Pevear, Vintage Books, 1996.
You might include the author of an introduction or related material in your entry if the information would be especially useful for readers—for example, if the name of the author indicates that the edition being cited is reliable, notable, or up-to-date or if it suggests the work has a particular viewpoint or approach.
How you punctuate an e-mail or other greeting depends on the level of formality and the structure of the message. In a formal message, one that does not begin with a direct address, you would likely write:
But the greeting “Hi” is a form of direct address, which by convention is set off with commas:
That said, “Hi” marks the correspondence as informal. Thus, you might omit the punctuation:
If you run the body of your correspondence into the greeting line, as in a text message, you might use a period instead of a comma after the name: