MHRA Style Citation Demonstration

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

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA, 1991), pp. 877–85, doi:10.2307/20868254

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'.

Larsen, Erling Georg

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

Larsen, Erling Georg,

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

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’

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

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in

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

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989

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 '.'

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo

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.

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51

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.

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (

Step 9. Now a colon, a space, and the publisher's name. Abbreviating to 'MHRA' is fine here.

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA

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

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA, 1991)

Step 11. 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'.

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA, 1991), pp. 877–85

Step 12. This contribution has a DOI, so the Fourth Edition Guide (2024) requires us to quote it, like so.

Larsen, Erling Georg, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA, 1991), pp. 877–85, doi:10.2307/20868254

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 Erling Georg Larsen, ‘Norwegian Studies: Language and Early Literature’, in The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, Volume 51: Survey Year 1989, ed. by Peter Mayo, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 51 (MHRA, 1991), pp. 877–85, doi:10.2307/20868254, pp. 24-27.

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

37 Compare Larsen, p. 17.