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English Faculty Library Services: Books and Journals

Books and Journals

Books are the staple example of the referencing arena. Oftentimes material is assumed to be printed unless stated otherwise, which is why books and journals are one of the  publications in which you don’t have to specify what format it is in, or where you access it. Ebooks and books in databases change that slightly, but the rules for most printed material are just about the same.


The general format for referencing printed material is: 

Author name, ‘Title of Smaller Work if Part of a Larger Work’, in Title of Larger Work, names and titles of editor or translator (Place published: Name of Publisher, Year), page range if part of a larger work (p. # cited). 

For more specific information on referencing books, see section 11.2.2 of the MHRA Style Guide, or section ii of the Faculty Guide and the examples below. 

The Bible

Translator, time period in which published, branch of Christianity, these are all factors which change the texture and content of a different versions of the Christian Bible, making it important to specify the version from which you are quoting. 

For more information on citing from The Bible, see section viii of the Faculty Guide.

Bible in a Database

Holy Bible, Twentieth Century New Testament (1904), Matthew 5. 38-42, in The Bible in English > [accessed 20 March 2020].

Print Bible

Holy Bible, The New American Bible, (Fireside Bible Publishers: Wichita, KS, 2000-2001), Proverbs 28. 3. 

Online Dictionary

According to section 11.1 of The MHRA Guide , 'full references to well-known works (OED, DNB, etc.) are normally unnecessary, though for encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries of multiple authorship it is often relevant to name the writer of the article cited'

So for references to dictionary definitions, you do not need to reference the individual word entry, but should refer to the dictionary as a whole.  Print dictionaries can be referenced like edited collections. However, MHRA doesn't specify online dictionaries, but something like this should suffice:

Oxford English Dictionary Online (Oxford University Press, 2022) < > [Date Accessed].

Single Author Book

Pamela Regis, A Natural History of the Romance Novel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p. 86.

Charlotte Brontë, Villette, ed. by Herbert Rosengarten and Margaret Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 103.

Chapter in an Edited Book

Stephen Orgel, ‘Shakespeare Illustrated’, in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Popular Culture, ed. by Robert Shaughnessy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 67-92 (p. 72).  

Edited Collection

Congenial Spirits: The selected letters of Virginia Woolf, ed. by Joanne Trautmann Banks (London: Hogarth, 1989), pp. 357. 


It can seem a little confusing how to cite edited primary source material like example above, where the material has been written by the author, but collected and edited by someone else. For this kind of material - like other edited collections - the order goes Title then Editor


If you are referring to an edited critical collection as a whole, rather than by it's individual essays or chapters, then you would follow the same citation format. 


The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies, ed. by Siobhan B. Somerville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck (London: Fourth Estate, 2009), p. 23. Hathi Trust ebook.

Paul Johnson, Love, Heterosexuality and Society (London: Taylor & Francis, 2005), p.76. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Book in a Database

Books in databases like Early English Books Online (EEBO) or The Internet Archive are somewhat unique among internet-based material because they are usually scans of printed material and thus considered stable source., so you do not need to provide the URL or the access date. You can use the publication information found on the title page or verso of the book, like most other printed material. 


John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from this World to that which is to Come: Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream, wherein is Discovered the Manner of his setting out his Dangerous Journey and Safe Arrival as the Desired Country, 11th edn (London: Printed for Nathanial Ponder at the Peacock in the Poultry near the Church, 1688), p. 11. 


For books in databases which have been transcribed, such as in Project Gutenberg, these are less stable sources, so you included the database name where you found it (like an ebook) and the URL and date accessed. 

Author Name, Book Title in Title of Collection p. x (if available) <URL> [accessed day month year].

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  in Project Gutenberg <> [14 March 2023].


Journal Article

Joanna Russ, ‘Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me and I Think it’s my Husband’, Journal of Popular Culture, 6.4 (March 1973),  666-691 (p. 673). 
K. Allison Hammer, ‘”Doing Josephine”: The Radical Legacy of Josephine Baker’s Banana Dance’, Women’s Studies Quarterly, 48.1-2 (2020), 165-181  < https://doi-org./10.1353/wsq.2020.0010 > (p. 167). 

Ketih M.C. O’Sullivan, ‘”You Know Where I Am If You Want Me”: Authorial Control and Ontological Ambiguity in the Ghost Stories of M. R. James’, Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Stories, 15 (Autumn 2016),  44-56    <> [Accessed 20 May 2021] (p.51).


You can use a DOI or a URL to reference online journal articles, but you don’t need to use both. If you use a URL you also need to include an access date. A DOI is considered more stable, so you don’t need to use an access date if referencing with one. For journal articles you should include the page span of the article (if applicable), but don’t include the “pp” as with much other printed material.


See section 11.2.11 of the MHRA Style Guide for using DOI vs URLs. For more examples of journal articles see section 11.2.4

Newspapers or Magazine Articles

Name of Author, ‘Title of Article’, Name of Newspaper, Day Month Year of Publication, Section of Newspaper if relevant, page number.

Richard Webb, ‘An Ode to Physics’, New Scientist, 28 March 2020, p. 31.

Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica and Giovanni Russonello, ‘Punk-Rock Teens’ Anti-Hate Anthem, and 10 More New Songs’, New York Times, 20 March 2021, The Playlist <> [24 May 2021].

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