MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

According to the MHRA Style Guide, this item should be cited in a bibliography as follows:

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018), pp. 107–17

This is how standard MHRA style would look. Some of its book series (notably Legenda) allow an alternative citation system called 'author-date', but please talk to your editor before using it. (To see the demonstration for author-date, follow this link.)

Let's take this bibliography entry one step at a time:

Step 1. We start with the name(s) of the author(s) of the article, inverting the first name into the form 'Forename, Surname'.

Vechten, Carl Van

Step 2. This is regular MHRA style, so the name's followed by a comma.

Vechten, Carl Van,

Step 3. Now we add the title, in single inverted commas. Any single quotation marks already in the title must be converted to doubles.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’

Step 4. We have to say where this comes from, so:

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in

Step 5. Next we identify where the article is to be found, using italics, not quotation marks, for the volume title.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten

Step 6. After the title come any editors or translators. It's 'ed. by', not 'ed by', because although 'ed.' abbreviates 'edited', we regard the 'd' as the second letter of 'edited', not the last: so the abbreviation doesn't contain the last letter, and thus must have a full stop '.'

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod

Step 7. This book belongs to a series, so we'll name that. If the series is numbered, we give the number, too. No italics, no quotation marks in the series name.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62

Step 8. Since this is a book, not a journal issue, we have to identify its source, in round brackets. First, place of publication. This can be ambiguous. MHRA now has its registered address in Cambridge, so let's give that.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge

Step 9. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Abbreviating to 'MHRA' is fine here.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge: MHRA

Step 10. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018)

Step 11. Now the pagination. This is a book, so we use 'p.' or 'pp.' as appropriate. Number ranges are elided in the last two digits: thus '2234-2265' should be '2234-65', and '102-109' should be '102-09'.

Vechten, Carl Van, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018), pp. 107–17

And that's the finished bibliography entry. Note that there's no final full stop.

So how about citations in footnotes or endnotes?

In standard MHRA style, the first time the work is cited in a note, it should be cited in full. This looks very like a Bibliography entry, but:

  • The author's name doesn't always come first: only for monographs. For collections and editions, the title comes first.
  • Even if the author's name does come first, it's back to being the right way round, so it's Forename Surname, not Surname, Forename;
  • Unlike Bibliography entries, notes are punctuated as sentences, and usually end in full stops.

Suppose we want to cite a passage on pages 24 to 27:

34 See Carl Van Vechten, ‘Chapter IX’, in The Blind Bow-Boy by Carl Van Vechten, ed. by Kirsten MacLeod, Critical Texts, 62 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018), pp. 107–17, pp. 24-27.

But in any subsequent notes, a heavily abbreviated form is used:

37 Compare Vechten, p. 17.