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Referencing Books

Books with a single author

When using the MHRA referencing system, citations should be set out in full in footnotes or endnotes. In order for readers to find the book easily from the reference, the following information must be included

  • Author - as written on the title page of the book
  • Title and any subtitle as written on the title page
  • Series
  • Edition
  • Number of volumes
  • Details of publication - place of publication, publisher and date of publication
  • Volume number
  • Page number(s) of reference

The name of the author is written with initials or given name before the surname; in a footnote, there is no need to reverse the order found on the title page of the book. Do not replace the author's given name with initials if it is written in full on the title page. The author's name should be followed by a comma.

The title of the book is written in italics, with a colon separating the title from the subtitle, even when there is no punctuation on the title page. All significant words should begin with a capital letter, as should the first word of the title and subtitle.

The publication details are placed in parentheses (brackets). The place of publication is written first, and is separated from the name of the publisher by a colon. If the place of publication is in the USA, include the standard abbreviation for the American state to avoid confusion e.g. Manchester, CT or Venice, FL. The year of publication should appear after the publisher, following a comma. This can be found on the copyright page, which is usually the reverse of the title page of a book.

The specific page reference(s) follow the place of publication, and volume number if applicable. If the reference is to a single page then 'p.' should be used, if reference is made to several pages then 'pp.' is used. Do not use the abbreviation 'f.' or 'ff.' for 'following page(s)'. Be specific.

Always end the note with a full stop.


W. H. C. Frend, The Donatist Church: A Movement of Protest in Roman North Africa (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), p. 34.

Jim Corbett, The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1954), p. 15.