The Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) is pleased to announce the launch of a full online version of the MHRA Style Guide, an essential guide to referencing and other matters of style and presentation for scholars and their students.

Screen shot of the Guide

The MHRA Style Guide was already available as a PDF version, which continues to be downloadable free of charge. But the online version has the further advantage that readers can click through to each chapter and sub-section from a contents list. Cross-references and index are also fully hyperlinked, and the Guide is easy to link to and bookmark: for example, §5.7, Ellipses and Square Brackets, lives at:

Many university department websites provide links to the Style Guide already, but using convoluted addresses dating back to old versions of the MHRA website. From here on, we would ask external websites to link here:

The Style Guide can be accessed from our ‘Style’ homepage alongside two other resources. A Quick Guide to MHRA Style outlines twenty or so main points of style which, if followed, should make a typescript perfectly acceptable to an editor. A series of Citation Examples act as referencing tutorials, taking you step by step through the construction of a reference for various types of publication.

The Style Guide is made available for free as a service to scholarship, in line with the aims of the MHRA, which exists to promote high-quality research in the Modern Languages and English.

Chloe Paver, who chairs the group that oversees revisions to the Guide, writes:

‘We hope that the online version of the Style Guide will quickly find its way onto the “favourites” ribbon of any academic colleague or PhD student who uses MHRA style for their referencing, or needs clear guidance on other matters of textual style. For undergraduate students, the Quick Guide covers key elements of our style and the Citation Examples take student writers step-by-step through the basic principles.

We have followed with interest the proliferation of online ‘guides to MHRA style’ (which may now perhaps be less necessary). We are also aware that some students now use reference generators which claim, with varying degrees of justification, to produce MHRA-style references. As we launch this more accessible version, we welcome suggestions about whether and how we might make the Guide more useful to the profession and to students. We know, for instance, that readers would welcome an expanded section on author-date referencing and will address this at the next revision.’

The MHRA continues to publish a paper version of the Style Guide. This has had eight major editions over the decades: the current edition dates from 2013 and includes, for example, advice on citing social media, not a pressing issue when the first Guide appeared in 1971. More than 50,000 copies have been sold worldwide.

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