Students frequently ask me how to do a bibliography. A bibliography is an organized list of books, articles and other references that you have used for your research paper, appearing at the end of your document. Doing a bibliography involves creating citations, which are the formatted notes that acknowledge the source of ideas, information, and quoted passages consulted for your research paper.
A complete APA format bibliography or MLA format bibliography typically consists of certain kinds of information, such as authors, book or article titles, publishers, dates, and places of publication; styles of type, book size, and other physical characteristics of your sources are also sometimes included. The purpose of a bibliography is to help your readers locate the original source of your references. Bibliographies are arranged in alphabetical order.
Often, a bibliography consists of annotation, that is, the task of listing concise notes that point to the subject treated or by commenting on the usefulness of an appended work. How to do a bibliography is fundamental to a number of scholars, literary writers and those who are professionally involved with the publishing industry, including university professors, librarians, as well as high school and collegiate students. Likewise, bibliographies are useful sources of information for all serious readers.
A bibliography can be categorized into two types: analytic or critical bibliography and descriptive bibliography. Analytic bibliographies are concerned with resources as material objects; they use the evidence of physical features – for example, the type of paper and printing features – to establish authorship or judge the reliability of different texts. On the other hand, descriptive bibliography, with which APA format bibliography and MLA format bibliography are concerned, is the systematic enumeration of sources, references and publications; it is, in turn, categorized into universal, or general, bibliography and selective bibliography.
bibliography may list sources about several subjects, published in various countries and at different times. Depending on the instruction of your professor or academic institution, bibliographies can also be limited based on a particular subject, the country of origin, works of one author, or on books for a particular purpose or audience.
By keeping track of each book, article of any other source you use for your research and by taking notes, you will find it much easier to arrange your APA format bibliography or MLA format bibliography. We advise you to draft a preliminary bibliography by listing all your sources on a separate sheet of paper or word document. Remember to take note of the full title of your particular source, its author, the location and date of publication, and the publisher.
Finally, when structuring your final bibliography or works cited page, arrange your sources in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names. For those sources that do not have authors, such as electronic media, you must list them by title. You may also use a citation maker to assist you in formatting your references.