Student Toolkit: Bibliography Format for Single, Double and More than Two Authors in a Bibliography

A Student's Tool kit

This article is the first of a series of hopefully helpful articles that will comprise a student's toolkit. This particular article is a student’s quick guide to the Modern Language Association (MLA) Bibliography format as well as the Chicago Manual of Style format. The examples displayed are for single, double, and more than two author entries in bibliographic format.

The note number appears first, then the author’s name should display as it appears in the publication. 

For example, if the author’s name has a middle initial, it should appear after the first name with a period after it.

If the author’s name displays only initials, the entry should also display the initials. The author’s last name should appear first followed by a comma and then the author’s first name. A period should be placed right after name and two spaces should display before the next entry in the bibliography. The name of the publication is italicized For example:

A single author entry:

1. Terry Eagleton. How to Read a Poem. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), 23-25.

If the entry does not have a note number, the entry displays as follows:

Terry Eagleton. How to Read a Poem. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

Two or More authors:

Two or more authors are arranged alphabetically separated by commas ending in a period and beginning with the note number. The second name in the list is written with the first name first. The rest of the authors are displayed the same way as a single author. In addition, separate the authors by placing an, “and” before the last author’s name in the list. For example,

10. Barnet, Sylvan, and William E. Cain. A Short Guide to Writing about Literature. 10th ed. (New York: Longman Pearson, 2005), 44-46.

If the entry doesn’t’ have a note number the entry will display as follows:

Barnet, Sylvan, and William E. Cain. A Short Guide to Writing about Literature. 10th ed. New York: Longman Pearson, 2005.

For three authors the pattern displays:

Author #1 -last and first name,

Author #2 -first and last name, an,  “and”

Author #3 or more- first and last name. Title of the Book italicized : Subtitle of the book. Place of Publication: Publishers Name, Date of Publication.

Johnson, Kevin,  John Riverson, Barbara Jones and John Winter. A guide to Poetry. New York: Knoff, 2007.


Booth, Wayne, C.,  Gregory G.,  and Joseph M, Williams. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Turabain, Kate L.. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed.  Chicago: The University of ChicagoPress, 2007.

The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2010.