MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), pp. 59–62

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'.

Slater, Michael

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

Slater, Michael,

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

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’

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

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in

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

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy

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 '.'

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong

Step 7. 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.

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge

Step 8. 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.

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge: Legenda

Step 9. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013)

Step 10. 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'.

Slater, Michael, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), pp. 59–62

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 Michael Slater, ‘Hamlet’s Revenge; or, Mr Q Strikes Back’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. by William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), pp. 59–62, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Slater, p. 17.