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English and Comparative Literary Studies: Referencing

A subject guide to the Library for students, researchers and staff in English and Comparative Literary Studies

Why reference?

It is important to learn the scholarly practice of citing other people’s research, and referencing the material you have used. 


  • Enables your reader to find the material you have referred to  

  • Demonstrates your breadth of reading about the subject 

  • Supports and/or develops your argument

  • Avoids plagiarism: using somebody else’s work without acknowledging the fact is plagiarism. It is important to always reference when quoting or paraphrasing another person’s work 

E-book referencing guides

Your Department Style : MLA

MLA referencing style

The Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies requires most students to use the MLA referencing style (currently in its 9th edition). The following resources will help you:

OWL Purdue MLA Formatting and Style Guide

A clear, easy to follow web guide to the MLA style, covering all main reference types.

MLA Style Center

Guidance and resources for the MLA style and a good place to look for answers to more obscure referencing questions!

MLA Handbook

The definitive guide to the MLA style, available in print through the Library.

Your Department Style : MHRA

MHRA referencing style

Many joint degree students will use the MHRA referencing style in your home departments and this style is also acceptable to the English department. (You may just want to mention to your tutors that you are using this style). The following resources will help you:

The MHRA have a comprehensive PDF guide, covering all main reference types (referencing is in chapter 11).

MHRA Style Guide PDF

MHRA style guide: a handbook for authors, editors, and writers of theses (available in print in the Library)


Moodle course: Introduction to Referencing

Referencing Software

Referencing software allows you to manage references, insert citations and create a bibliography, in your referencing style. It can be useful for students writing dissertations and theses, as a way of storing references as you find them. However, it does not guarantee to produce a full accurate bibliography or reference list, so you need to build in time to check what it is creating!

EndNote icon


EndNote is the referencing software available  from Warwick IT Services, and is supported by Warwick Library. Please see our EndNote webpages for further information.