Ways to Write a Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of all the books, articles, and other references you’ve used to complete your work. So let’s say that you’ve just finished your research paper PDF template that you’ll have to submit to your professor. Your information had to come from somewhere, so the annotated bibliography template will provide the reader the information of where you were able to find your sources of information.

The main point of a bibliography is to give credit to the authors whose work you’ve used as a reference in your research. It’s also very helpful for those that would like to know the sources of the information you’ve gathered so that they could possibly reference it for their own work.

How to Write a Bibliography

If you’re going to write a research paper sample, then your professor will tell you to cite all of the sources you’re going to use for your work. There are about three styles of bibliography: the American Psychological Association (APA) for scientific papers, the Modern Language Association (MLA) for humanities papers, and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) for the social sciences. So if you want to learn how to write your bibliography using any of these styles, here are the steps that could help you:

For an APA Bibliography

  • When using the APA format, at the end of your free research paper, make sure you reserve a page for your bibliography. Title it as “references” as this is where you’ll list everything you used for your research.
  • When writing the name of the author, make sure that it starts with the author’s last name and then his or her first and middle initials. If there’s more than one author, then list them in the order they appear in the source by alphabetizing them based on their last names.
  • If there are more than seven authors, then use an ellipse. After the ellipses, write down the name of the last author that’s in the source.
  • Depending on the type of paper that you’re writing, you might just have multiple sources that contain the same author. If that’s the case, then you should start with the source published first, and then list the rest chronologically
  • There will be times when your source of information might not have an author or it might have come from an organization. In the event that this happens, you must write out the name of the organization. If there’s no author, then just start with the title of the source
  • If you’re citing articles, this should start with the author’s name, then the year, the title of the article, the name of the publication in italics, the volume and issue number, and the pages that were referenced.
  • If you’re citing books, then you’re starting with the author’s name, the year of the book’s publication, the title of the book in italics, the location of the publisher, and the name of the publisher.
  • If you’re citing websites, then include the name of the author, the complete date, and the complete title of the web page, followed with the words “Retrieved from” which is then followed by the complete web address.

For an MLA Bibliography

  • Reserve a page at the end of the paper for your bibliography. Write the words “work cited” on the last page of your paper. The last page should have the same header that you’ve made in the rest of your paper. So basically this should contain your last name and your page numbers.
  • All the words of the title of your sources have to be capitalized. There are a couple of exceptions such as the words “an”, “the”, and “of”. If you’re unsure of this, then you may make use of online websites that contain title generators that should be able to help with the capitalization.
  • If you’re making an MLA annotated bibliography, then you’ll have to make sure that all of your pages are double-spaced. You don’t have to put any extra spaces between the sources; just make sure that everything is double-spaced.
  • If the author has his or her complete name on the source, then you should list it by starting with the author’s last name, followed by the author’s full first name and the middle name or initial.
  • When citing books, place the author’s last name and then first name, the two separated by a comma and ending with a period. The book title should then follow and it must be in italics. Remember to place a period at the end of the title. Then write the place of publication and the name of the publishing company, where you will then separate the two by using a colon, then a comma, then the date of publication. So remember this after you’ve made your book order and have gathered all of the necessary books that you’ll use as your research materials.
  • When citing articles, start with the author’s last name and then his or her first name and place a period at the end. The title of the article should be enclosed in quotes with a period after the title. Remember that the period must be inside the quotation mark. The title of the book should be in italics, which is then followed by a comma and the volume and issue numbers of the publication date.
  • When citing websites, start with the author’s last and then first name, followed by a period. Then write the title of the article on the webpage in quotes, which is then followed by the title of the website that should also be in quotes. The date of the publication and the name of the sponsoring institution should be in parentheses and separated by commas. Lastly, include the date of when you accessed the site and the full web address to end the citation.

For a CMS Bibliography

  • Create the bibliography page at the end of your paper by placing the word “bibliography” at the top of the page. There should be two spaces between the title of the page and your first source.
  • All of the authors whose works you’ve based your research on should be listed in the order that they appear in the source. In the event that your sources don’t have an author, use the first letter of the title of the source.
  • Single space all of your entries, even if one source takes up a lot of lines. Place a line of space for every entry.
  • When citing articles, start with the author’s full name with his or her last name being first. This is then followed by a comma and then the author’s first name. The title of the article should then be in a parenthesis, with a comma at the end of the article title inside the parentheses. Then the journal or magazine title must then be italicized. This is then followed by the volume number and then the issue number. The issue number has to be preceded with  “no.”
  • When citing books,  place the author’s name in a similar fashion when citing articles. After which, the title of the books must then be cited in italics. Next would be writing the city of where the book was published, which is then followed by a colon. Lastly, write the name of the publisher and the date of publication where the two will be separated by a comma. The whole citation must end with a period.
  • When citing websites, write the name of the company or organization. Then write the date of when it was last modified and its full web address.

If you want to know more about citation rules, you may check reliable sources such as Purdue University’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) to help you out.

You may also view our research paper examples as it could provide you with the information you need to help you with making a bibliography.

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