MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011), pp. 1–14

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'.

Long, J. J.

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

Long, J. J.,

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

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’

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

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in

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

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression

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 '.'

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin

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.

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (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.

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Cambridge: Legenda

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

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011)

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'.

Long, J. J., ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011), pp. 1–14

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. J. Long, ‘Introduction: “Perfume from a dress...”: On Not Getting to the Point’, in Textual Wanderings: The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression, ed. by Rhian Atkin (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011), pp. 1–14, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Long, p. 17.