How to Cite a Book in MHRA Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 31st May 2019

How to Cite a Book in MHRA Referencing

MHRA referencing is a citation style set out by the Modern Humanities Research Association. It is used in humanities subjects, such as English language and literature. And in this post, we’re looking at how to cite a book in a college paper using this system.

Footnote Citations

MHRA uses footnote citations, indicated via superscript numbers in the main text. You will usually give these numbers at the end of a sentence:

We put footnotes after final punctuation, like this.1

You will then need to provide full publication information for the source in a footnote at the bottom of the page. For a book, in MHRA referencing, this means using the following format:

n. Author Name(s), Title (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number(s).

The part at the end here is the exact page or pages you are citing. In practice, then, a footnote citation for a book would look like this:

1. Simone Weil, Waiting on God (Glasgow: Fount Paperbacks, 1951), p. 65.

Your reader will then be able to find the relevant passage.

Repeat Citations in MHRA Referencing

There’s no need to repeat the full source information in footnotes if you cite the same source more than once. In these cases, simply give the author’s surname and a page number:

1. Simone Weil, Waiting on God (Glasgow: Fount Paperbacks, 1951), p. 65.
2. Weil, p. 100.

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If you cite more than one book by the same author, give a shortened version of the title as well:

1. Simone Weil, Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks (London: Routledge, 1957), p. 84.
2. Simone Weil, Waiting on God (Glasgow: Fount Paperbacks, 1951), pp. 59–60.
3. Weil, Intimations of Christianity, p. 112.

This will ensure that your reader knows which book you’re citing each time.

Books in an MHRA Bibliography

As well as giving source information in footnotes, you will need to list sources in a bibliography at the end of your document. With MHRA referencing, this includes every book you used during your research, even if you did not cite them in the finished essay. The format for a book here is:

Surname, First Name, Title (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year)

For example, we would list the book Waiting on God by Simone Weil as follows in an MHRA bibliography:

Weil, Simone, Waiting on God (Glasgow: Fount Paperbacks, 1951)

Note that, unlike in footnotes, you do not need page numbers or end punctuation here. And don’t forget that you can have your work proofread if you want to be sure your referencing is correct.

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