MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016), pp. ix–ix

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'.

J.N

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

J.N,

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

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’

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

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in

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Step 5. Next, the author(s) of the book, which come before the title because this is a monograph.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna

Step 6. Now a comma, not a full stop:

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna,

Step 7. Here we have the book's title, in italics, not quotation marks.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination

Step 8. 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.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11

Step 9. 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. Legenda may be edited in Oxford, but the registered address of MHRA, which owns Legenda, is in Cambridge.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge

Step 10. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Here that's Legenda because this is the imprint name under which the book is published, even though Legenda is not strictly speaking a company. To decide these things, one must look at the exact wording of the preliminary pages. Our preference is for Legenda books to be cited as 'Legenda', and we word our preliminaries with that aim.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda

Step 11. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016)

Step 12. 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'.

J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Neilly, Joanna, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016), pp. ix–ix

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 J.N, ‘Acknowledgements’, in Joanna Neilly, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Orient: Romantic Aesthetics and the German Imagination, Germanic Literatures, 11 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016), pp. ix–ix, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare J.N, p. 17.