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English Literature: researching your dissertation: Citing references

This guide gives an overview of the range of resources available to you when researching your dissertation topic. Topics covered include developing effective search strategies and finding scholarly primary and secondary source material.

Whenever you refer to another person's work in your own essay, dissertation or article you must acknowledge them and give full details of your source. You risk being accused of plagiarism if you fail to do so.

For general information on referencing, including an explanation of different citation systems, and guidance on citing specific types of publication, see our Citing references guide.

For help with citing specific types of publication contact your subject librarian (contact details below).

For advice on using references in your work, and how to use them to support your arguments, consult the guidance on the Study Advice website or make an appointment with them.

Further help

For help with citing specific types of publication contact your subject librarian, Kim Coles.

For advice on using references in your work, and how to use them to support your arguments, consult the guidance on the Study Advice website or make an appointment with them.

Get help from your academic liaison librarian

Kim Coles's picture
Kim Coles
Contact:
If you would like help with a specific research question, finding information for an assignment, an introduction to using the library, or help with referencing and EndNote, make an appointment.



You can also join a quick query drop-in session each Tuesday between 2-3pm, and Friday between 10-11am - please email me for a joining link.
+44 (0) 118 378 3410
Website

Department of English Literature Style Guide

The Department of English Literature have provided a referencing style guide, based on the MHRA Style. You can download a copy here, or from Blackboard.

Citations and References using the MHRA system

The form of referencing recommended for use when submitting assessed work to the Department of English Literature is based on the MHRA system. The MHRA publishes the MHRA Style Guide, which is available as a free download from their website.

When submitting work to other departments you should be guided by their advice. The golden rule, however, is: regardless of which style you use, make sure you use it consistently.

MHRA referencing for English Literature

MHRA referencing distinguishes between citations for primary texts (e.g. novels, poems etc) and secondary texts (e.g. critical works, additional information).

Most in-text citations are in footnotes. Full details (including editions and translation details if appropriate) should be included in the footnotes for the first mention of a text for both primary and secondary texts. After this, a shortened version can be used, either in brackets in the body of the text, or in footnotes. Whichever method you choose, be consistent.

Examples for primary and secondary texts:

In-text, first mention, primary text: (in footnote) Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems, ed. by Thomas H. Johnson (London: Faber, 1970) p. 172. All further references to this text are from this edition and are given parenthetically in the essay.

In-text, following mentions, primary text: (in body of text) (Dickinson, p.174) or (p.174)

In-text, first mention, secondary text: (in footnote) Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968) p. 49.

In-text, following mentions, secondary text: (in footnote) Vickers, p. 85.

In bibliography, primary and secondary texts: Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems, ed. by Thomas H. Johnson (London: Faber, 1970).


For more information (but always check your course handbook first):

EndNote

EndNote logoWhen you do your dissertation you could consider using EndNote to manage your references. This bibliographic management package can be used to store references, and then insert the citation in your Word document, automatically building the bibliography for you in the correct style.

Find out more on our EndNote webpages:

For information on other options for electronic management of your references see our guide to Managing references: