The MHRA Style Guide Online
A Handbook for Authors and Editors • Third Edition
From Chapter 11, 'References'
In an alphabetical bibliography that does not follow the author–date system described in 11.4 above, the surname of the author or editor whose surname governs the alphabetical position will precede the forename(s) or initial(s). Do not reverse the normal order for collaborating authors or editors other than the first quoted. Anonymous works are listed under their title, ignoring any initial definite or indefinite article when determining alphabetical order. The following examples illustrate these points:
Chadwick, H. Munro, and N. Kershaw Chadwick, The Growth of Literature, 3 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1932–40; repr. 1986)
Cook, Robert F., ‘Baudouin de Sebourc: un poème édifiant?’, Olifant, 14 (1989), 115–35
Fuentes, Carlos, Aura, ed. by Peter Standish, Durham Modern Language Series: Hispanic Texts, 1 (Durham: University of Durham, 1986)
Johnson, Thomas H., ed., Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters, 2nd edn (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985)
McKerrow, Ronald B., ed., The Works of Thomas Nashe, 2nd edn, rev. by F. P. Wilson, 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1958)
The Quest of the Holy Grail, trans. and intro. by P. M. Matarasso (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969)
Strayer, Joseph R., and others, eds, Dictionary of the Middle Ages, 13 vols (New York: Scribner, 1982–89), vi (1985)
Welsh, Alexander, ‘The Influence of Cervantes’, in The Cambridge Companion to Cervantes, ed. by Anthony J. Cascardi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 80–99
If the list includes more than one work by the same author, a 2-em dash should be substituted for the name after the first appearance (see 11.4), and the works should be arranged in alphabetical order of title, disregarding initial definite or indefinite articles.
If two or more essays in the same edited volume are cited, the bibliography should have separate entries for each essay. In general, it is sensible to avoid creating cross-references to an edited volume, especially within a very large bibliography or one with various sections.
Where many of the books cited in the bibliography have the same place of publication (e.g. London or Paris), this may be abbreviated (‘L’ or ‘P’) or omitted, but there must be a general note to explain this at the beginning of the bibliography (see 11.2.2 under 7). The titles of frequently cited journals or series should also be abbreviated (without full stops) and a list of these and the full forms given in a list of abbreviations:
MLR Modern Language Review
YES Yearbook of English Studies
The system of abbreviations employed in The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies is widely used in the fields of language and literature. If the bibliography covers other areas, a system of abbreviations generally recognized within the field should be used.
In a bibliography in list form, final full stops after each item should not be used. In a long bibliography of foreign books the native forms of the places of publication are sometimes preferable; and if formal bibliographical descriptions of books are being given, the spelling of the place of publication should be as given on the title page. Whereas the length of an article will be clear from the citation of the first and last page numbers, the length of a book will not, unless the number of pages is stated. Since readers will often need to know whether to expect a pamphlet or a lengthy volume, the number of pages should always be stated in a bibliographical reference work (e.g. The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies or a volume in the series Research Bibliographies and Checklists). The number of pages should be stated after the date (or, if the author–date system is used, after the publisher); thus: ‘238 pp.’, or ‘xvii + 302 pp.’, or ‘89 pp. + 32 plates’, or ‘130 pp. + CD’. It may also be helpful to include such information in a bibliography placed at the end of a book, article, or thesis.
Whatever system is adopted, it is essential to maintain consistency of styling throughout a bibliography.