COLT: Citation On-Line Tutorial

Effective citation and referencing is an essential skill for all academic writing. Citations, whether in the form of footnotes printed at the foot of each page or endnotes printed at the end of your work, should allow the reader to check easily the source of quotations and evidence that you cite. This web tutorial will teach you about what information should appear in your footnotes and bibliographies, and how this information should be presented according to an approved citation style guide, the MHRA Style Guide.

Where to start?

The site contains two tutorials: the Basic Tutorial is designed for beginners. It is a brief, interactive guide to referencing some of the commonest – and simplest – types of source. The Advanced Tutorial provides instruction in dealing with some of the less common and more problematic types of source.

In addition, the site includes a section on Techniques and Theory which provides tips on effective citation practice and offers a brief account of the history, form, and politics of the citation.


This tutorial has been developed by the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London. Initial development of COLT was conducted by Giles Bergel and Markman Ellis, aided by a Queen Mary e-Learning Fellowship. A subsequent grant from the Westfield Fund for Enhancing the Student Experience has enabled Rob Ellis to revise and improve the tutorial and website.