MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 5 (2011)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-5> [accessed 28 November 2021]

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'.

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles

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

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles,

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

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’

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

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in

Step 5. Next we identify where the article is to be found, using italics, not quotation marks, for the volume title. This is actually a journal issue, but it's a themed number with a title, so we give that title here just as if it were a book.

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth

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 '.'

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly

Step 7. We gave this a title as if it were a book, but we need to give the equivalent journal citation as well: note the '=' sign.

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 5 (2011))

Step 8. This is an electronic publication, so we give the URL. Note the angle brackets!

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 5 (2011)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-5>

Step 9. Electronic publications cited by URL rather than DOI must give an access date. For this demonstration, it's today. Note the format, Day Month Year, with the Month spelled out in full.

O'Donnell, Thomas Charles, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 5 (2011)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-5> [accessed 28 November 2021]

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 Thomas Charles O'Donnell, ‘The Poet-Outsider and the Passion of Christ: Interlacing Myths in the Middle Irish Preface to Cáin Adomnáin’, in Myth, ed. by John McKeane and Joanna Neilly (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 5 (2011)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-5> [accessed 28 November 2021], pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare O'Donnell, p. 17.