Free MHRA referencing generator

Generate MHRA reference for a Book

Use the full author name, like "John Smith".

Only required if you are generating a reference for an edited book.

Only required if you are generating a reference for a translated book.

Use abbreviated format like "2nd edn.". Leave blank if the book is a first edition.

You only need to include the page range if you are referencing a specific bit of information.

Plus, a handy guide on how to do MHRA style referencing…

Always remember to check your references and citations before submitting them with your work. Always get your tutor or a university staff member to check your references before you submit your work.

MHRA Referencing Guide

When is MHRA referencing used?

The Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) referencing style is used mainly for referencing sources about or as part of the arts, such as literature, theatre performances, television, dance, film and other media.

Like with most other referencing styles, you will need to reference the materials and resources you have used for your own writing in two places:

  1. In text citations: A small number is added (in superscript) onto the end of the information you need to reference (following any punctuation), which links the info to the full details of the reference found in a footnote at the bottom of the page. These superscript numbers increase in sequence throughout your text – ¹, ², ³ etc.
    For example:
    The Tabletop theory¹ is challenged by the studio-based movement.² Farthing argues that ‘the movement was clearly drawing a line under…’.³

  2. Footnotes: The full details of these materials need to be noted as a footnote at the bottom of the same page you refer to them on.

    For example:
    ¹Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010), p. 225.


Additionally, if you’ve done other reading around the subject, but aren’t referring to those texts specifically, you can choose to list those sources in a Bibliography at the end of your essay. Any bibliography (along with your footnotes) will not be included in your word count.  

Exactly what to include in each of these locations depends on the type of source the information comes from. Our referencing tool will ask you for what’s needed for each material type, but if you don’t have everything you need, this guide takes you through what you need to do. As well as this, we explain how in-text citations and footnotes are formatted in the MHRA referencing style.

How to use our free MHRA referencing generator

Don’t forget that not doing your referencing incorrectly could impact your marks. Always take some time before you submit your assignment to manually check your reference list once you’ve assembled it.

To use our free referencing tool, simply select which kind of resource you need to reference and fill in all the information that’s needed for that specific source material type. Then click ‘Generate reference’ and your MHRA style reference will be ready for you to paste into your Footnotes. It’s as easy as that. 

If you don’t have all the information you need, that’s when things get a little more complicated. See the next section if you’re missing some of the essential info.  

What to do if you don't have all the information

You don’t know an author’s name

If you’re looking at a source that doesn’t state who it’s been written by, you should firstly question its credibility. There may be times it does need to be included anyway, so if that’s the case, you’ll just need to make do with the information you can find. Use any listed contributors instead – if it’s an online resource, you should be able to find a name on the ‘About’ section of their website. 

For printed resources, try to locate the authors in the publication or copyright information which is usually just inside the cover of a book or at the back of a report. If you simply can’t find the author, you can use ‘Anon.’ in place of a name.

You don’t know the publication date

Again, you should question a resource if it can’t be dated. If it needs to be included, you can use (n.d.) which stands for ‘no date’. If it’s an online resource you’re using, you could use the date a page was last updated. 

You don’t know the page numbers

If you’re referencing a certain page of a book, e-book or journal and you don’t have the page number, you can make do with just the chapter number.

MHRA Referencing - Your questions answered

How should you format footnotes?

In the footnote, names are given in Forename Surname format.
For example:

¹Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010), p. 225

But if you are including a bibliography, they are formatted a little differently. The superscript number and page number is dropped and the surname goes first – so it will look like this:

Farthing Stephen. ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010)

What if a source has multiple contributors?

If a source has two or three authors or editors, you need to include all of their names in full and in the order they appear in that source. For example:

Kevin Strong and Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd. 2010). pp. 221-249.

If a source has four or more contributors, you just give the name of the first one followed by ‘and others’.

For example:
Kevin Strong and others. ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010). pp. 221-249.

What if you need to refer to a source more than once in your essay?

  • If you’ve referenced a source and then you continue to reference it, you don’t need to include the entire footnote again. You can simply use the Latin abbreviation ‘ibid.’ (meaning ‘in the same place’). It will look like this:

    ¹ Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010), p. 225.

    ¹ Ibid., p. 231.

  • If you need to refer to the same source at various points throughout your essay, you can abbreviate your footnote to something shorter that the reader will still understand.
    For example:

    First footnote:

    ¹ Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010), p. 225.

    Subsequent footnotes:
    104Farthing, ‘ART’, p. 409.

  • If you need to refer to a particular source frequently throughout your text, you can include a note in the first footnote to explain that you will be including an in-text reference to it going forward. It should look like this:

    ¹Stephen Farthing, ART The Whole Story (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2010), p. 225.
    Subsequent references will appear as a bracketed ‘AWS’ followed by a page number.

    This means you don’t have to footnote it going forward. Any subsequent references will then look something like this:

    The Tabletop Theory was firstly challenged in 1994 (AWS 4).

When should you use quotation marks and how should they appear?

If it’s useful to include word-for-word text from a source, make sure it sits between single quotation marks ‘like these’ to distinguish it from your own ideas.

 If your quote is 1 or 2 lines long, you should integrate the quote within your text.
For example:

As Dadswell (2019) states, ‘the studio-based moment didn’t…’ (p.137). 

But, if you are including a longer quote that is made up of 3 lines or more, you should drop the quotation marks and it should be separated out from the text a little. To do this, you simply move the quote to a new line and indent it. For example, 

Farthing (2010) states that:

Pottery making has been an integral component of indigenous communities in the Southwest for thousands of years. Until the early 20th century, when tourist demand for pots outstripped supply, pottery making was the domain of Puebloan women. Like their ancestors, Pueblo women gathered clay from sacred places (p. 281).

If you need to quote directly from a play or other performance, you simply include the line in single quotation marks (as usual). If you’re quoting a dialogue between two or more characters, you need to include their names too so it’s clear that there is a back and forth. In your footnote, you need to include the line number (if there is one) in the same format it appears in the play. For example:

Bill: What time is it?

Ben: I have no idea Bill.

Bella: I have the time. It’s 10 to 2.

(Macbeth, I.7.29–32) ¹

¹William Shakespeare, Macbeth, ed. by Nicholas Brooke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), i.7.46-51

Are in-text citations included in your word count?

Yes, they usually are. It might be worth checking with your university or college if you aren’t sure. Your footnotes and any bibliography you might use are not included.