Skip to main content
University of York Library
Subject Guides

Referencing styles - a Practical Guide

MHRA

MHRA referencing style

Used by: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (along with others)

Introduction to STYLE referencing style

The MHRA referencing style is set by the Modern Humanities Research Association. This guide is based on the 3rd edition of the MHRA style guide.

In-text citations

MHRA uses a footnote citation system.

In the text, a reference number is added in superscript1 after the information or the end of the sentence, after any punctuation. The reference numbers increase in sequence throughout the assignment (or chapter of a long piece of work).

Johnson expresses her disgust as the ‘complete breakdown of moral values’.1
There is little to distinguish between the two arguments (as Simmons states on several occasions),2 but it might be worth considering a different approach to this quandary.


Footnotes

Full details of the source are given in a reference in a footnote at the bottom of the page it's cited on. Include the page number(s) if you're quoting or referring to specific information.

The information to include in footnote references depends on the type of source - see examples for details.

8 Charles Nicholl, The Reckoning. The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (London: Vintage, 1992), p. 72.

 

Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of all sources cited that appears at the end of the document. You usually don't need to include a bibliography in assignments - however, a bibliography is needed for some assignments, such as the Dissertation, so check your assessment instructions.

Useful resources

Guidance for all source types

Formatting author names correctly

Formatting of names

In the footnote, names are given in Forename Surname order:

1 Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1999), pp.25-29.


In a bibliography, the first author's surname is given first in the bibliography to allow for alphabetic listing:

Grafton, Anthony, The Footnote: A Curious History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1999)

 


Number of authors

If a source has one, two or three authors or editors, include all of their names in full, in the order they appear on the source.

H. Munro Chadwick and N. Kershaw Chadwick, The Growth of Literature, 3 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1932– 40; repr. 1986), i, p. xiii.


For a source with four or more authors or editors, give the name of the first author followed by 'and others'.

Sarah Moore and others, The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Maidenhead: Open UP, 2010), pp.15-16.

 

Referencing the same source repeated times

If you refer to the same work on more than one occasion, you have three options, depending on context.


Citing the same work directly after the original reference

You can use the Latin abbreviation ‘ibid.’. This means ‘in the same place’, and you footnotes might look like this:

1 Heidi J. Holder, ‘Between Fiction and Reality: Synge’s Playboy and its Audience’, Journal of Modern Literature, 14: 4 (1988), 527-42 (p. 532).
2 Ibid., p. 528.

 


Refer to the same source at different points of your essay.

Here you are free to abbreviate the original reference to something intelligible to the reader, as in the following example:

1 Heidi J. Holder, ‘Between Fiction and Reality: Synge’s Playboy and its Audience’, Journal of Modern Literature, 14: 4 (1988), 527-42 (p. 532).

Then after some other references:

14 Holder, ‘Between Fiction and Reality’, p. 528.

 


Frequent references to the same source

If you frequently refer to the same source, eg, when quoting from the same play throughout an essay, you can signal in the first footnote that you will be including an ‘in-text’ references for all subsequent mentions:

1 Caryl Churchill, Far Away (London: Nick Hern, 2003), p. 15. Subsequent references will appear as a bracketed ‘FA’ followed by a page number.

A subsequent example in the essay may look like this:

The play opens with a note of disturbance when Joan says ‘I can’t sleep’ (FA 3).

There is no longer need for a footnote in this case.

No author name or publication date

No author name

It is important to use quality sources to support your arguments and so you should consider carefully the value of using any source when you cannot identify its author. For online sources, look carefully for named contributors, such as in the ‘about us’ sections. For printed material, try to locate authors in the publication/ copyright information which is often on the inside cover of a book or back page of a report.

If you can't find the author information, you can use ‘Anon.’ in place of a name.


No publication date

Knowing when a source was created, published, or last updated is important as this helps you to determine the relevance and reliability of the source. Sacred and classical works where dates are not given (precisely) are, however, also commonly used. For online sources, look carefully for created and/ or last updated dates on the page(s).

If you can't find a publication date, use ‘n.d.’ for no date in place of the year.

Direct quotes

Quotations are word-for-word text included in your work and they must always be copied with exact accuracy. This includes, for instance, precise transcription of the smallest details of both punctuation and typography (the use of italics, say, or capitalisation, etc.). Do not italicise quotations unless they appear in italics in the original. Quotations should always be carefully identified as quotations.

If your chosen quotation is relatively short (i.e., no more than two lines in length), use a brief phrase within your paragraph or sentence to introduce the quotation before including it inside single quotation marks ‘ ’. For longer quotations, you should indent the quotation in full, so that it appears as an indented paragraph of its own, and no quotation marks are needed around the text. A footnote should follow both forms of quotation.


Quoting a person quoted in a source

For example, you may find an interesting quotation from a named person in a newspaper article, interview or other published material. In this case, the person quoted is different from the person writing the source itself.

In-text:

As Ralph Fiennes noted, when discussing Richard III: ‘It’s quite rare that you actually are close to a political crisis, political uncertainty’.1

Footnote:

1 Ralph Fiennes, quoted in Mark Brown, ‘Ralph Fiennes: Michael Gove is just like Richard III’, The Guardian, 19 July 2016.

 


Quoting from plays

Quoting from a single character’s speech involves simply putting the line in single quotation marks. When quoting dialogue, you should include the characters’ names, as in the following example:

Anna: I don’t kiss strange men.
Dan: Neither do I.

This would then be followed by a footnote.

When quoting from a play with line numbers, such as a play by Shakespeare, include the line number in the footnote (in the form: p. x, l. y). For example:

MACBETH Prithee peace:
I dare do all that may become a man,
Who dares more is none.
LADY MACBETH What beast was’t then
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man.
(Macbeth, I.7.46–51) 7

Corresponding footnote:

7William Shakespeare, Macbeth, ed. by Nicholas Brooke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), i.7.46-51

Citing a source you've read about in a different source (secondary referencing)

When you want to cite a comment about one author's work quoted in another author's work. 

Secondary referencing should be avoided as far as possible and the original source consulted and cited. If it is essential to use a secondary reference follow these guidelines:

In-text:

Abbott has stated that John Clare wrote more poetry early in the day. 1


Footnote:

1 Colleer Abbott, The Life and Letters of George Darley, Poet and Critic, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), p.59, quoted in Paul Chirico, John Clare and the Imagination of the Reader (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p.47.


Bibliography

Chirico, Paul, John Clare and the Imagination of the Reader (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Note: Only list the source that you have actually read in your bibliography. 

Commonly used sources

Examples of footnotes and reference list entries for key source types.

Use these examples alongside the information given in the 'Guidance for all source types' box.

Book

Information to include
Author name, Title, including subtitle if one exists, # edn* (Place of publication: publisher: year), page number or page numbers quoted.

Footnote 
Names are given in Forname Surname order.

1 John Peck, and Martin Coyle, The Student's Guide to Writing, 3rd edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).


Bibliography:

The first author’s surname is given first in the bibliography to allow for alphabetic listing.

Peck, John and M. Coyle, The Student's Guide to Writing, 3rd edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

*include edition number only if it is not the first edition.

Chapter or article in an edited book

These are usually books that contain a number of essays by different contributors, compiled by an editor or editors.

Information to include:
Author name, ‘Title of essay in full’, in Title of book, ed. by Editors’ names or name (Place of publication: publisher, year), page range of the essay (page or pages quoted).

Footnote: 

1 Audrey Collin, ‘Human Resource Management in Context’, in Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Perspective, ed. by Ian Beardwell and Len Holden. (London: Pitman Publishing, 1994), pp.29-68.


Articles which are republished later in an edited edition should take one of the following forms:

2 Alfred L. Kellogg and Louis A. Haselmayer, ‘Chaucer’s Satire of the Pardoner’, PMLA, 66 (1951), 251–77 (repr. in Alfred L. Kellogg, Chaucer, Langland, Arthur: Essays in Middle English Literature (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1972), pp. 212–44).

Or

2 Edwin Honig, ‘Calderón’s Strange Mercy Play’, in Critical Essays on the Theatre of Calderón, ed. by Bruce W. Wardropper (New York: New York University Press, 1965), pp. 167–92 (first publ. in Massachusetts Review, 3 (1961), 80–107).


Journals’ first and last pages aren’t preceded by pp.

Bibliography:

Colin, Audrey, ’Human Resource Management in Context’, in Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Perspective, ed. by Ian Beardwell and Len Holden (London: Pitman Publishing, 1994), pp.29-68

See MHRA Style Guide 11.2.3 for more details. 

Edited book

Footnote: 

The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. By Ronald B. McKerrow, 2nd edn, rev. by F.P. Wilson, 5 vols (Oxford: Blackwell, 1958) III, 94-98 (pp.96-97).
2 Carlos Fuentes, Aura, ed. by Peter Standish, Durham Modern Language Series: Hispanic Texts, 1 (Durham: University of Durham, 1986).


Bibliography:

Fuentes, Carlos, Aura, ed. by Peter Standish, Durham Modern Language Series: Hispanic Texts, 1 (Durham: University of Durham, 1986)


Notes:
• If an entry refers to a span of pages, the first and last pages should be given eg. 17-25.
• Specific pages within that should be indicated by pages numbers within brackets eg (pp.18-19).

More details are in the MHRA Style Guide 11.2 

Journal paper

Journal article (print copy)

Information to include
Author name, ‘Title of article in full’, Title of journal, volume number: part number (year), page range of the article (page or pages quoted).

Footnote:

1 David Montero, Candela Díaz-Cañestro, ‘Maximal Cardiac Output in Athletes: Influence of Age’, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 22 (12), 1588-1600 (p.1589).


Bibliography:

Montero, David, and C. Díaz-Cañestro, ‘Maximal Cardiac Output in Athletes: Influence of Age’, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 22 (12), 1588-1600

Note:

  • Reverse the order of the first author’s surname and first name in the bibliography, but not for subsequent authors. This is so that works can be placed in author order in the bibliography.
  • First and last pages of journal articles cited do not use pp. unless referring to specific pages within that span. Indicate specific pages referred to in brackets using p. or pp.

Journal article (electronic copy)

Use the information for the print version if that is available. Only provide URLs and DOI for material that can only be obtained via the web.

Footnote:

1. Moira Burke, and Robert E. Kraut, 'The Relationship between Facebook Use and Well-Being Depends on Communication Type and Tie Strength', Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 21 (2016), 265-81 < http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12162/full> [Accessed 1 Sept 2016] (pp.265-267).

Note: if there are no page numbers, refer using ‘para’, for paragraphs.

Bibliography:

Burke, Moira and Robert E. Kraut, 'The Relationship between Facebook Use and Well-Being Depends on Communication Type and Tie Strength', Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 21 (2016), 265-81 < http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12162/full> [Accessed 1 Sept 2016]

Further sources

Examples of footnotes and reference list entries for other source types.

Use these examples alongside the information given in the 'Guidance for all source types' box.

Atlas

footnote

1 Concise World Atlas, 7th edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 42.


Bibliography

Concise World Atlas, 7th edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Blog

Footnote:

1 Stephen Andrew Hiltner, ‘On Press with “The Paris Review”’, < http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/tag/stephen-hiltner/page/2/ > [accessed 31 Aug 2016].


Bibliography:

Andrew Hiltner, Stephen, ‘On Press with “The Paris Review”’, < http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/tag/stephen-hiltner/page/2/ > [accessed 31 Aug 2016]

Book (translated to English)

Footnote:

1 Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire, trans. by Reg Keeland (New York: Vintage, 2010) , p. 403.


Bibliography:

Larsson, Stieg, The Girl Who Played with Fire, trans. by Reg Keeland (New York: Vintage, 2010)

Book (read in another language)

Present the information in the language of origin if the book was read in that language. for a translated book, see specific advice). Use the language conventions for capitalisation.

Footnote:

1 Debra Linowitz Wentz, Fait et fiction: les formules pédagogiques des ‘Contes d’une grand-mère’ de George Sand (Paris: Nizet, 1985), p. 9.


Bibliography:

Linowitz Wentz, Debra, Fait et fiction: les formules pédagogiques des ‘Contes d’une grand-mère’ de George Sand (Paris: Nizet, 1985)

Conference papers & proceedings

Give conference paper in single inverted commas and the title of the conference in Italics. If the paper has been published, give the details of the publisher and the page references. If it hasn't been published, just give the location of the conference.

Footnote

1 C. Smith, 'Humanities in the Future', in Digital Humanities (University of Sheffield: University of Sheffield, 2016), pp. 24-26.


Bibliography

Smith, C, 'Humanities in the Future', in Digital Humanities (University of Sheffield: University of Sheffield, 2016)

E-book

Give details of the type of digital file and give pages numbers where possible.

Footnote

1 Nicolas Jacobs, Early Welsh Gnomic and Nature Poetry (London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2012), p. 10. Google ebook.


Bibliography

Jacobs, Nicolas, Early Welsh Gnomic and Nature Poetry (London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2012), p. 10. Google ebook

Film (movie)

Footnote:

The Grapes of Wrath, dir. by John Ford (20th Century Fox, 1940).


Bibliography:

The Grapes of Wrath, dir. by John Ford (20th Century Fox, 1940)

Graph, chart, figure or table

Use the term Figure and arabic numerals (1,2,3 etc) to identify graphs and figures and if necessary, allocate a footnote to them.

In text:

Figure 1 Alain Delon.1

Interview (conducted by someone else)

Footnote:

1 Lana Wachowski, ‘Interview with Lana Wachowski ‘ (interviewed by Laurence Smith on The Matrix Reloaded) (DVD) (Los Angeles: Warner Brothers Inc., 2003).
2 Mary Beard, ‘A Roman holiday with Cicero’ (interviewed by M. Reisz for Times Higher Education, 19 April 2012, 48-49).


Bibliography:

Beard, Mary, ‘A Roman holiday with Cicero’ (interviewed by M. Reisz for Times Higher Education, 19 April 2012, 48-49)
Wachowski, Lana, ‘Interview with Lana Wachowski ‘ (interviewed by Laurence Smith on The Matrix Reloaded) (DVD) (Los Angeles: Warner Brothers Inc., 2003)

Lecture

Footnote:

1 Thomas Smith, The Mill on the Floss. Lecture from BA English Literature year 2. (York: University of York, 31 Oct 2016).


Bibliography:

Smith, Thomas, The Mill on the Floss. Lecture from BA English Literature year 2. (York: University of York, 31 Oct 2016)

Lecture notes

Footnote:

1 Thomas Smith, The Mill on the Floss. Lecture notes from BA English Literature year 2. (York: University of York, 31 Oct 2016).


Bibliography:

Smith, Thomas, The Mill on the Floss. Lecture notes from BA English Literature year 2. (York: University of York, 31 Oct 2016)

Musical score

Footnote:

1 Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, study score, Edition Eulenburg no. 905 (London: Eulenburg, n.d.).

n.d is used to indicate no date known.

Bibliography:

Wagner, Richard, Tristan und Isolde, study score, Edition Eulenburg no. 905 (London: Eulenburg, n.d.)

Newspaper or magazine article

Indicate date of issue, section (where relevant) and page numbers. Omit ‘The’ or ‘A’ when citing newspapers or magazines with the exception of The Times. Newspapers and magazines use pp. to indicate the first and last pages of the article, unlike journal article citations.

Footnote:

1 Jonathan Friedland, ‘Across the Divide’, Guardian, 15 January 2002, section G2, pp. 10–1.


Bibliography:

Friedland, Jonathan, ‘Across the Divide’, Guardian, 15 January 2002, section G2, pp. 10–1

 

Online video (eg YouTube) & other online digital media

References to online digital media should include the author, the title in italics, the type of source, the title of the website, the date of publication, the URL, and the date of access, e.g.:

Footnote:

1 Gabriel Dominato, Morceaux de conversation avec Jean-Luc Godard, online video recording, YouTube, 10 January 2013, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0keNMXK5nvw > [accessed 31 Aug 2016].


Bibliography:

Dominato, Gabriel, Morceaux de conversation avec Jean-Luc Godard, online video recording, YouTube, 10 January 2013, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0keNMXK5nvw > [accessed 31 Aug 2016]

Plays and long works

Small roman numerals should be used for the numbers and acts of plays eg iv. Smaller subdivisions such as scenes, chapters etc. are indicated by Arabic numbers eg 1,2,3. The first footnote should give full details, subsequent footnotes can use the title.

Footnotes:

1 William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: A Comedy. By William Shakespeare (Edinburgh: printed by and for Martin & Wotherspoon, 1768).
---
The Merchant of Venice, ii. 3. 10.


Bibliography:

Shakespeare, William, The Merchant of Venice: A Comedy. By William Shakespeare (Edinburgh: printed by and for Martin & Wotherspoon, 1768)

Poem (in an anthology)

Footnote:

1 Edmund Wright, ‘The Storm’ in Wilting Flowers: An Anthology of Poetry ed. by Arthur Wavell, (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 2015) pp.14-15.


Bibliography:

Wright, Edmund, ‘The Storm’ in Wilting Flowers: An Anthology of Poetry ed. by Arthur Wavell, (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 2015)

Religious & sacred texts

Give full details in the first footnote. Subsequent footnotes can indicate book, chapter, verse etc.
Titles of books from the Bible are not italicised. Book numbers are given in roman numerals, chapter and verse numbers are given in arabic numerals (1,2,3 etc) separated by a full stop.

Footnote:

1 Stephen Prickett, The Bible. ed. by Robert Barnes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
2 Corinthians 5. 13-15.


Bibliography:

Prickett, Stephen, The Bible. ed. by Robert Barnes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Sound recording (CD, vinyl, cassette)

Include composer or author; title of piece in italics; artist, orchestra etc separated by commas; recording company, CD reference, date in brackets().

Footnote:

Ballads of Love and Betrayal, Joglaresa, dir. by Belinda Sykes (Village Life, 01013VL, 2001).
2 Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, read by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce (LPF 7667, 1992).

First names of composers, artists, conductors, may be omitted if not deemed necessary.

Bibliography:

Ballads of Love and Betrayal, Joglaresa, dir. by Belinda Sykes (Village Life, 01013VL, 2001)
Thomas, Dylan, Under Milk Wood, read by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce (LPF 7667, 1992)

Television & radio programmes

Give the title of the specific episode if there is one in single inverted commas. Give the title of the series in italics.

Footnote:

1 Green Shoots from the Arab Spring’, Analysis, BBC Radio 4, 12 November 2012.
Newsnight, BBC2, 2 November 2012, 10.30pm.


Bibliography:

Green Shoots from the Arab Spring’, Analysis, BBC Radio 4, 12 November 2012
Newsnight, BBC2, 2 November 2012, 10.30pm

Thesis

Footnotes:

1 Ching Chen, 'Impacts of Climate Warming on Range Shifts with Emphasis on Tropical Mountains' (PhD, University of York, 2012), p.17.


Bibliography:

Chen, Ching, 'Impacts of Climate Warming on Range Shifts with Emphasis on Tropical Mountains' (PhD, University of York, 2012

Twitter post

Short posts on Twittter or Facebook: ‘“tweet or Facebook post.” #hashtag(s) [if present in original post]’ (@handle, date).

Footnote:

1 ‘“Congratulations to Deep Blue Sea audience member @SadiqKhan on #100days as Mayor of London.” #LondonisOpen’ (@National Theatre, 16 August 2016).


Bibliography:

List the tweet by the first major word

‘“Congratulations to Deep Blue Sea audience member @SadiqKhan on #100days as Mayor of London.” #LondonisOpen’ (@National Theatre, 16 August 2016)

Websites

Do not cite a web source unless there is no other version of that source. Cite the print version if that is available. Do not give a web address unless the source is only found via the web.

Footnote:

1 Erika Engelhaupt, ‘Butterflies Behaving Badly: What They Don’t Want You to Know’, National Geographic, 14 March, 2016 <http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/14/butterflies-behaving-badly-what-they-dont-want-you-to-know/> [accessed 30 Aug 2016].


Bibliography:

Engelhaupt, Erika, ‘Butterflies Behaving Badly: What They Don’t Want You to Know’, National Geographic, 14 March, 2016 <http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/14/butterflies-behaving-badly-what-they-dont-want-you-to-know/> [accessed 30 Aug 2016]