How to Write a Bibliography in Various Academic Styles

How to Write a Bibliography in Various Academic Styles

A bibliography (a.k.a. annotated bibliography) is a short part of the research paper which contains valuable information about the title, author, date of publishing, and other details about the selected sources (from printed magazine to e-book).

It is crucial to stick to the generally accepted writing styles as well as overall bibliography format when writing this sort of paper. It may be assigned together with an essay or proposed as a separate task to gain extra points. Usually, it takes no more than 2-3 pages as far as a regular term paper requires no more than 10 sources to be applied. 

Do not confuse bibliography with reference page or works cited page! It’s an expanded version of these fragments that also contain title, author name, date, and other details of the:

  • Book
  • Magazine
  • Journal
  • Single article
  • Newspaper
  • Website
  • Video
  • Else

Now, it’s time to learn more about the stages of bibliography development. If you still find this paper difficult to cope with, contact professional online writers to get homework done.

Preparation Phase

Stage 1: Off We Go

Before writing your piece, it is crucial to know the size. As a rule, you cite the source which is then followed by the brief summary (approximately 100-150 words). It should be a short descriptive and at the same time critical paragraph which is also called an annotation. The reader should find out why the particular source was chosen, its publication details like year, author, pages used, etc. The primary goal of such activity is to provide information on the relevance, accuracy, and quality of each retrieved source, try to use only the last sources (no older than 5 years).

Stage 2: Do Not Confuse with Abstract!

The author should simply put down brief information about the upcoming article written by him in the abstract. This part includes up to 150 words (no longer than ½ of the page). You need to write an abstract when you want to include information about your own piece. The section appears at the beginning of the essay or another written paper. Bibliography, on the contrary, is the section which goes at the end of the academic paper. It’s a descriptive material which can contain citations. The text should be unique anyway.

Stage 3: Mind Your Organization

The bibliography has to obey the alphabetical order. Time line also matters. You have to specify whether your project should stick to the alphabetical or time line order. Both versions might be correct. The proper steps that have to be taken when writing a bibliography are described further in the text.

More Practical Tips

Let's pretend you have chosen your bibliography to be in MLA format. Then, you should mind that each source entry must be single-spaced unlike with essay or research paper.

Use single-space after every punctuation Mark as well. When dealing with too long word, insert a hyphen or slash to break it into parts.

Simply cite everything that you manage to find on the topic if there is not enough information. Your bibliography has to communicate the sources like book or article to the reader, pointing to the significant role of the data used.

While making a decision on how to cite/add quotations to your annotated bibliography properly, mind the following factors:
  • Type of source (book, article, encyclopedia, web page, video, etc.)
  • Number of authors (single author or more; you don't have to recall all 5+ authors each time you're citing the source in your text)
  • Date (specific publication year for particular edition)
These three elements define the way your final bibliography looks like no matter whether you are a school or college student. If you don't have access to all necessary sources, try to get help from experts online who would do both compose the paper and include all necessary sources. According to the latest statistics, at least 25% of students use such services and benefit.
Basically, be ready to take the next steps when writing a bibliography:
  1. Unless you are assigned a specific topic by your tutor, select one through collecting ideas, brainstorming, watching news, reading books, and counseling with people around.
  2. Establish your specific topic.
  3. Look for the potential sources of information everywhere on the web and at the traditional library.
  4. Read each source carefully. Don't forget to take notes while observing particular book or journal article. It will ease the process of composing bibliography significantly.
  5. Structure your ideas by paying much attention to the order, format, and text organization.
  6. Cite widely! Insert only those quotations that are really meaningful.
  7. Write the first draft without going into many details.
  8. The role of footnotes and endnotes is to document applied sources.
  9. Now, it's about time for a student to compose a full bibliography based on his draft and findings.
  10. Proofread and edit what you've got.
  11. Revise the final draft.

Hopefully, this guide was useful. You can rely on another New York magazine to learn more about writing a bibliography and citing sources, but, in fact, everything was written in this article.

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