How to Define a Bibliography: What’s It All about?

How to Define a Bibliography: What’s It All about?

Compiling a bibliography in a particular format is a complex process. The fact that such organizations as Modern Language Association and American Psychological Association provide changes to their established writing formats every year makes the situation even more complicated.

Students first meet the need to cite various sources when they study at school. The first writing assignment is an essay. There are several types of essays:

  • Definition
  • Descriptive
  • Argumentative
  • Analytical
  • Compare and contrast
  • Critical thinking
  • Research
  • Character analysis

All of these types have two things in common: general structure and Works Cited page. Unless you don’t have to cite anything (e.g., when writing a reflection paper), a detailed bibliography list must appear on the last page of your essay.

A Works Cited page contains all sources, from articles to full books that were cited or simply used to collect information during the entire writing process. In MLA style, this page is called a Works Cited page. In APA format, a bibliography is a References page. As for the rest of the essay parts, you can find more here.

Bibliography Goals and Essentials

You have to write a bibliography when you cite the words of other authors for several reasons. First, publisher of the valuable information usually has all rights reserved (an exclusive right to use information). Citing the paper properly is the only way to avoid problems with copyrights. Both online and traditional publisher deserves to be known.

It is better to keep track of each source when you work on your essay. The bibliography may include:

  • Books
  • Textbooks
  • Academic journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Separate articles
  • Internet sources
  • Documentaries
  • Reports

Don’t miss a thing - write down every author’s name and last name, the title of the source, and publication date each time you cite something in your own publication or essay.

The way you format the entire page depends on the chosen writing format (Chicago, IEEE, etc.) You can download samples of bibliography or guidelines online to make sure you’re on the right way.

Make sure you have access to all required sources. Once you have addressed all the sources, write them down in the final draft by following the chronological or alphabetical order. Use your separate draft page with all the works you applied. There are many nuances of creating a bibliography. E.g., if the source’s author is unknown (it often happens with encyclopedias and movies), alphabetize them by title.

Find Out How to Make Great References Page

Mind the type of your paper format before working on the bibliography. The most popular source to take citations from is a published or online book.

Any bibliography entry for a book in MLA format would look this way:

Author (last name first). The title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of publication.

An article should follow this design:

Author(s) names. "Full title." Name of selected media source, city/town and state of publication. (Date): If given: Details like issue or edition and available page number(s). Add publisher if possible.

If you cite a website, you must note the full URL of this site. You may create your bibliography list by following some examples in APA from the internet:

Goldsmith, N. M. (2007). The ten lessons of psychedelic psychotherapy rediscovered. In M. J. Winkelman & T. B. Roberts (Eds.), Psychedelic Medicine (Vol. 2, p. 107-141). Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E. (1998). History, rationale, and potential of human experimental hallucinogenic drug research. Pharmacopsychiatry 31 Suppl 2: 63-8.

More Tips & Tricks on Writing Bibliography

  • Every time you cite something, use parenthetical to write down the author’s last name and publication year and page (if available). Type everything according to your background research plan.
  • Even if the teacher or professor does not include the number of sources to be on the list, you should still cite other authors to show how well you understand the course material. Usually, 3-5 sources have to be addressed. The number of sources you select sometimes depends on the volume of your publication or article.
  • Type or print the information given above for each source you work with when writing your essay.
  • You may need to search for the additional material if the information on the source is provided in a format different from which you have chosen. For example, you may want to include a full name of the authors in your Bibliography, but they are not available in the article or book you read. You may find the full information on the internet.
  • Download and use various formatting guides when you write a bibliography. It is better to choose MLA style as it is the easiest one.

When it is time to turn in your paper, type the used sources into a single list. You may search for the professional writing help each time you experience problems with writing your bibliography or other academic issues.