How to reference books and literary texts in MHRA

  • For more details of how to use the MHRA referencing style, check the page Referencing in MHRA. If you need help with referencing, you can contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for English and Drama

  • Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x. 

    For example:

    Janette Dillon, The Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 34.

    Mick Wallis and Simon Shepherd, Studying Plays, 3rd edn (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010), p. 78.


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    For example:

    Dillon, Janette, The Cambridge Introduction to Early English Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

    Wallis, Mick and Simon Shepherd, Studying Plays, 3rd edn (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010)


    Key things to remember when referencing books:

    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the first author in the bibliography reference.
    • Use book title as it appears on the title page.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • If any publication details are not given in the source, use: ‘[n.p.]’ (= no place), ‘[n. pub.]’ (= no publisher), ‘[n.d.]’ (= no date).
    • Include page number(s) in footnote references only as you are citing a specific section of the book, in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’. In the bibliography you are citing the whole book, so no page numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, Book Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x. 

    For example:

    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, ed. by Maurice Hindle, rev. edn (London: Penguin, 2003), pp. 62-63. 


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, Book Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    For example: 

    Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, ed. by Maurice Hindle, rev. edn (London: Penguin, 2003) 


    Key things to remember when referencing books:

    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the first author in the bibliography reference. The editor's name follows the title, as in examples above.
    • Use book title as it appears on the title page.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • If any publication details are not given in the source, use: ‘[n.p.]’ (= no place), ‘[n. pub.]’ (= no publisher), ‘[n.d.]’ (= no date).
    • Include page number(s) in footnote references only as you are citing a specific section of the book, in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’. In the bibliography you are citing the whole book, so no page numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Book Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x. 

    For example:

    Romanticism: An Anthology, ed. by Duncan Wu, 3rd edn (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), p. 88.

    The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B, 1820-1865, ed. by Nina Baym, Arnold Krupat and Robert S. Levine, 7th edn (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007), p.60.


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, ed., Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    For example:

    Wu, Duncan, ed., Romanticism: An Anthology, 3rd edn (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)

    Baym, Nina, Arnold Krupat and Robert S. Levine, eds., The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B, 1820-1865, 7th edn (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007)


    Key things to remember when referencing books:

    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the first editor in the bibliography reference. 
    • Use book title as it appears on the title page.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • If any publication details are not given in the source, use: ‘[n.p.]’ (= no place), ‘[n. pub.]’ (= no publisher), ‘[n.d.]’ (= no date).
    • Include page number(s) in footnote references only as you are citing a specific section of the book, in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’. In the bibliography you are citing the whole book, so no page numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, ‘Chapter Title’, in Book Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), pp. x-xx (p. x).

    For example:

    Nathaniel Leach, ‘Mary Shelley and the Godwinian Gothic: Matilda and Mandeville’, in Mary Shelley: Her Circle and Her Contemporaries,ed. by L. Adam Mekler and Lucy Morrison (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2010), pp. 63-82 (p. 66).


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, ‘Chapter Title’, in Book Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), pp. x-xx  

    For example:

    Leach, Nathaniel, ‘Mary Shelley and the Godwinian Gothic: Matilda and Mandeville’, in Mary Shelley: Her Circle and Her Contemporaries, ed. by L. Adam Mekler and Lucy Morrison (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2010), pp. 63-82


    Key things to remember when referencing sections of books:

    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the chapter author in the bibliography reference.
    • Put chapter title in single quotation marks and the book title in italics. Use book title as it appears on the title page. 
    • If the title of the chapter includes works of literature, these should be italicized or placed within double quotation marks to differentiate, for example "Hamlet", or Macbeth
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • If any publication details are not given in the source, use: ‘[n.p.]’ (= no place), ‘[n. pub.]’ (= no publisher), ‘[n.d.]’ (= no date).
    • Include page range of chapter in the form ‘pp.’ in both footnote and bibliography references. Specify page cited in footnote references only.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x <URL> [accessed day month year].

    For example:

    Paul Giles, The Global Remapping of American Literature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), p. 7 < http://www.dawsonera.com> [accessed 13 July 2013].

    The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. by Margaret Drabble, Jenny Stringer and Daniel Hahn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 23 < http://www.oxfordreference.com> [accessed 14 September 2014].


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) <URL> [accessed day month year]

    For example:

    Giles, Paul, The Global Remapping of American Literature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011) < http://www.dawsonera.com> [accessed 13 July 2013]

    Drabble, Margaret, Jenny Stringer and Daniel Hahn, eds, The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)  < http://www.oxfordreference.com> [accessed 14 September 2014] 


    Key things to remember when referencing e-books:
    • Treat e-books in the same way as print books - see the examples in sections above - but add the URL or DOI of the resource in angle brackets < > and the date accessed in square brackets [ ] at the end of the reference.
    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the first author in the bibliography reference.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • Include page number(s) in footnote references only as you are citing a specific section of the book, in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’. In the bibliography you are citing the whole book, so no page numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

     

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, ‘Poem Title’, in Collection Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x
    OR pp. x-xx (p. x), ll. x-xx.  

    For example:

    Sylvia Plath, ‘Daddy’, in Collected Poems, ed. by Ted Hughes (London: Faber and Faber, 1981), pp. 222-24 (p. 222), ll. 2-4.


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, Collection Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year)  

    For example:

    Plath, Sylvia, Collected Poems, ed. by Ted Hughes (London: Faber and Faber, 1981)


    Key things to remember when referencing a poem:

    • Use this format when you are referencing a poem from a collection by a single poet.
    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the poet in the bibliography. 
    • Put poem title in single quotation marks and the collection title in italics. In the bibliography you need only cite the collection title as you are referencing the whole book.
    • Include page number(s) and line numbers (if available) in footnote references only, as you are citing a specific section of the book. Use the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’ and/or ‘l.’ for ‘line’ or ‘ll.’ for ‘lines’. In the bibliography you are referencing the whole book.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, ‘Poem Title’, in Anthology Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname, edition (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), p. x OR pp. x-xx (p. x), ll. x-xx.  

    For example:

    Sylvia Plath, ‘Daddy’, in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, ed. by Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, 5th edn (London: W. W. Norton, 2005), pp. 1840-42, ll. 2-4.


    Bibliography format: Editor Lastname, Firstname, and Editor Firstname Lastname, eds, Anthology Title, edition (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    For example: 

    Ferguson, Margaret, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, eds., The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th edn (London: W. W. Norton, 2005)


    Key things to remember when referencing a poem:

    • Use this format when you are referencing a poem from an anthology or collection of works by several poets.
    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author/editor surname, so always reverse the name of the first editor in the bibliography reference. 
    • Put poem title in single quotation marks and anthology title in italics. In the bibliography you need only cite the anthology title as you are referencing the whole book.
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • Include page number(s) and line numbers (if available) in footnote references only, as you are citing a specific section of the book. Use the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’ and/or ‘l.’ for ‘line’ or ‘ll.’ for ‘lines’. In the bibliography you are referencing the whole book.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, Play Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Act. Scene. Line no. OR p. x.  

    For example:

    William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. by John Dover Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), iii. 4. 139-155.


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, Play Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year)  

    For example:

    Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, ed. by John Dover Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)


    Key things to remember when referencing plays:

    • Use this format when you are referencing a play published individually. 
    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the playwright in the bibliography reference. 
    • If the play is anonymous (as is the case with some older plays), do not use 'Anon.' Instead start the reference with the title of the play.
    •  In footnote references only, include act, scene and line numbers if these are available, separated by full stops, as you are citing a specific section of the play. Use lower case roman numerals (e.g. ii) for acts of plays. Use numbers for scenes and lines. Note that unlike references to poems, you do not include ‘l.’ for ‘line’ or ‘ll.’ for ‘lines’. If the play doesn’t have scenes, or if you’re citing the introduction, use page numbers in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’.  In the bibliography you are referencing the whole book, so no page or line numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.

    Footnote format: Firstname Lastname, ‘Play Title, in Collection Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Act. Scene. Line no. OR p. x.
    If there is an editor: Firstname Lastname, ‘Play Title’, in Collection Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Act. Scene. Line no. OR p. x 

    For example:

    Sarah Kane, ‘Crave’, in Complete Plays (London: Methuen Drama, 2001), p. 165.

    Thomas Heywood, ‘A Woman Killed with Kindness’, in Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, 2ndedn, ed. by Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), viii. 102-104.

    ‘The Tragedy of Master Arden of Faversham’, in Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, 2nd edn, ed. by Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), xiv. 223-225.


    Bibliography format: Lastname, Firstname, ‘Play Title’, in Collection Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    If there is an editor: Lastname, Firstname, ‘Play Title in Collection Title, ed. by Firstname Lastname (Place of publication: Publisher, Year) 

    For example:

    Kane, Sarah, ‘Crave’, in Complete Plays (London: Methuen Drama, 2001)

    Heywood, Thomas, ‘A Woman Killed with Kindness’, in Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, 2nd edn, ed. by Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 

    ‘The Tragedy of Master Arden of Faversham’, in Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, 2nd edn, ed. by Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 


    Key things to remember when referencing plays:

    • Use this format when you are referencing a play published as part of a collection or anthology. 
    • The bibliography needs to be arranged alphabetically by author surname, so always reverse the name of the playwright in the bibliography reference. 
    • If the play is anonymous (as is the case with some older plays), do not use 'Anon.' Instead start the reference with the title of the play.
    • Put play title in single quotation marks and the collection title in italics. 
    • Include edition if not the first, in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘rev. edn’ etc, preceded by a comma.
    • In footnote references only, include act, scene and line numbers if these are available, separated by full stops, as you are citing a specific section of the play. Use lower case roman numerals (e.g. ii) for acts of plays. Use numbers for scenes and lines. Note that unlike references to poems, you do not include ‘l.’ for ‘line’ or ‘ll.’ for ‘lines’. If the play doesn’t have scenes, or if you’re citing the introduction to the collection, use page numbers in the form ‘p.’ for ‘page’ or ‘pp.’ for ‘pages’.  In the bibliography you are referencing the whole book, so no page or line numbers are needed.
    • Put a full stop at the end of footnote references, but not at the end of bibliography references.