MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', Critical Texts, 45 (Cambridge: MHRA, 3000)

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. The entry begins with the author(s) or editor(s) of the volume, with the first name inverted into Surname, Forename. This is because a Bibliography is a list in surname order, so we need a surname up front.

Shoemaker, Peter William

Step 2. If somebody has a role other than that of author, it goes next, in brackets. One editor becomes '(ed.)', two or more '(eds)'. (Remember: 'ed.' stands for 'editor', not 'edited', so the full stop must be used, because 'd' is not its last letter.)

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.)

Step 3. Now a comma, not a full stop:

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.),

Step 4. Here we have the book's title, in italics, not quotation marks.

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie'

Step 5. 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.

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', Critical Texts, 45

Step 6. 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.

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', Critical Texts, 45 (Cambridge

Step 7. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Abbreviating to 'MHRA' is fine here.

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', Critical Texts, 45 (Cambridge: MHRA

Step 8. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Shoemaker, Peter William (ed.), Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', Critical Texts, 45 (Cambridge: MHRA, 3000)

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 Jean Donneau de Visé, 'Les Intrigues de la loterie, comédie', ed. by Peter William Shoemaker, Critical Texts, 45 (Cambridge: MHRA, 3000), pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Shoemaker, p. 17.