MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda, 2017), pp. 1–13, doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km12g.6

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'.

Watt, Calum

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

Watt, Calum,

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

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’

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

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in

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Step 5. Next, the author(s) of the book, which come before the title because this is a monograph.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum

Step 6. Now a comma, not a full stop:

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum,

Step 7. Here we have the book's title, in italics, not quotation marks.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship

Step 8. 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.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8

Step 9. Since this is a book, not a journal issue, we have to identify its source, in round brackets. Until 2024, MHRA style required a place of publication - for example, New York or Oxford. This is no longer given except in special circumstances.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (

Step 10. 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.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda

Step 11. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda, 2017)

Step 12. Now the pagination. And 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'.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda, 2017), pp. 1–13

Step 13. This contribution has a DOI, so the Fourth Edition Guide (2024) requires us to quote it, like so.

Watt, Calum, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda, 2017), pp. 1–13, doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km12g.6

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 Calum Watt, ‘Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema’, in Calum Watt, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Legenda, 2017), pp. 1–13, doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km12g.6, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Watt, p. 17.