MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (Legenda, 2020), doi:

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'.

Crook, Nora

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

Crook, Nora,

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

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’

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

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in

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

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio

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 '.'

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida

Step 7. 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.

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55

Step 8. 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.

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (

Step 9. 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.

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (Legenda

Step 10. Then the year of first publication, and we're done with the bracketed part.

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (Legenda, 2020)

Step 11. This contribution has a DOI, so the Fourth Edition Guide (2024) requires us to quote it, like so.

Crook, Nora, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (Legenda, 2020), doi:

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 Nora Crook, ‘But How Do We Know that It Is by Mary Shelley?’, in Mary Shelley and Europe: Essays in Honour of Jean de Palacio, ed. by Antonella Braida, Studies In Comparative Literature, 55 (Legenda, 2020), doi:, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Crook, p. 17.