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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Referencing other works

Using a referencing system

It is important that you reference the work of others very carefully in your dissertation. The meticulous use of an established referencing system is vital:

  • it allows your reader to find the works you mention easily.
  • it shows the reader/examiner clearly which ideas in the dissertation are your own interpretations and should be credited as such.
  • it protects you from any suspicion of plagiarism.
  • it demonstrates that you have mastered the technical skills of scholarly research and writing.
  • it demonstrates the care, consistency and attention to detail which always accompany high-quality research.

You are free to choose either of the two main referencing systems set out in the Style Guide of the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association): the traditional footnote system, or the author-date system. The one used here is a slightly simplified version of the standard MHRA footnote system, as it is more commonly used than the author-date; although it may initially seem more complicated, it deals more effectively with a wider range of bibliographic items and also has the advantage of being more elegant. Whichever system you choose, it is important to use it consistently throughout your dissertation. Examiners will award or deduct marks for the scholarly presentation of your work.

The full MHRA Style Guide may be downloaded from the MHRA website. But it is usually much simpler to consult Cite Them Right Online, as MHRA is one of the styles it supports. 


Referring to titles of works

Referring to authors or other people

Using footnotes

Inserting footnotes markers

Formatting footnotes