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MLA Style Guide: eBooks

This guide covers how in-text citations and references should be formatted in the MLA Style, 9th Edition.

A note on eBooks

As a general rule an eBook should be cited as you would a print source but additional information such as the platform or "container" should be included along with the location. The format will differ depending on the file used. EBooks include electronic versions of books available through library databases, eBook readers and online sources such as Google Books. The bibliographic information should be used for the relevant entry (e.g. a chapter from a book). 


ReferenceAuthor’s Last name, First name. Title of eBook. Publisher, Year of Publication. Name of container/access platform, location/link.  

Example: Rawson, Michael. Eden on the Charles: the Making of BostonMassachusetts, Harvard UP, 2010. ACLS Humanities E-book, hdl.handle/net/2027/heb.30498.0001.001. 


  • (Author Last name Page no. or location in ebook )
  • (ch.)


  • It is suggested that Boston would have been a very different city had there been no fire (Rawson).
  • Michael Rawson suggests that Boston was a city that could have had a very different form, if the fire had not occurred (ch.2).

Note on URLs: To get a shorter URL, such as the one above, go to the eBook itself and see if a shortened URL is provided. This is sometimes called a citable link or something similar. In the MLA Style, the https/http is not included in the reference.

Note: “Ch.” is short for Chapter and “para.” is short for paragraph. These can be used when no page numbers are available.

Still unsure what in-text citation and referencing mean? Check here

Still unsure why you need to reference all this information? Check here


REF: Author Last name, First name. Title. Version, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example: Rowley, Hazel. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. Kindle ed., Farrar, 2010.


  • (Author Last name, ch.)
  • (ch.)


  • The Roosevelts enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle but they were not ostentatious (Rowley, ch.6).
  • Hazel Rowley notes that although the Roosevelts enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle, they were not ostentatious (ch.6).

A note on eReaders

eBooks that lack a URL and which you use a software to read on a personal device or computer are considered a version in the MLA 8th Edition

If page numbers are not available, avoid markers such as Kindle file location as these may not be consistent on all devices. Instead, use stable numbered sections such as chapters. If the eBook does not have sections of any kind, then the work must be cited as a whole within the text.