MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2 (1973), pp. 473–74, doi:10.2307/3725939

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'.

Dorsten, Jan Van

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

Dorsten, Jan Van,

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

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands

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

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in

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

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2

Step 6. Since this is a journal, no need for place of publication or publisher, only the year.

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2 (1973)

Step 7. Now the pagination. And we use 'p.' or 'pp.' as appropriate. Journal articles used to omit 'pp.' in MHRA Style, but the Fourth Edition Guide (2024) removes this exception, so now page ranges in journals are treated just the same as in books. Number ranges are elided in the last two digits: thus '2234-2265' should be '2234-65', and '102-109' should be '102-09'.

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2 (1973), pp. 473–74

Step 8. This contribution has a DOI, so the Fourth Edition Guide (2024) requires us to quote it, like so.

Dorsten, Jan Van, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2 (1973), pp. 473–74, doi:10.2307/3725939

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 Jan Van Dorsten, review of P. K. King, Dawn Poetry in the Netherlands, in Modern Language Review, 68.2 (1973), pp. 473–74, doi:10.2307/3725939, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Dorsten, p. 17.