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How to Write a Bibliography? Tips, Examples, and General Rules

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how-to-write-a-bibliographyWriting a bibliography can be a very time-consuming task, especially for a person who doesn’t know much about the structure of bibliography entries and the difference between citation styles. There are several strategies that can be quite useful. One of them is to examine the elements present in almost every bibliography entry.
 
How to Write a Bibliography and How to Name It?
 
There are many citation styles such as MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, Oxford, and so forth. You should bear in mind that these citation styles do not use the same name for a bibliography. As a matter of fact, the word “bibliography” is not used too often. This section of the paper can be named in different ways; here are some examples:

  • Harvard – References;
  • American Psychological Association or APA – Reference List;
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) – Works Cited;
  • Oxford – Bibliography;
  • Chicago – Bibliography or Reference List.

Some professors can attach great importance to these minor details and can even deduct points from a student’s grade if the paper does not follow a specific format. So, it’s always useful to learn more about various citation styles.
 
How to Write a Bibliography? Its Main Elements
 
As you can see, there are various citation styles. They differ in terms of punctuation and structure, but bibliography entries have common elements, such as:

writing-a-bibliography

  • The last and first name of the author. In APA and Harvard, the first name is usually abbreviated.
  • The title of the book. This part of the bibliography entry is normally italicized in MLA and APA papers.
  • The place of publication and the name of the publisher.
  • The year of publication. This element can be placed right after the name of the author, especially in APA and Harvard papers. Yet, in MLA references, it is placed almost at the very end of the entry.
  • Medium. In your bibliography, you may have to specify the type of the sources that you used, for instance, printed documents, videos, animations, and so forth. If you are writing an essay in MLA format, you will be asked to do it.

You can use this template as a checklist while compiling your reference list. If one or two of the above elements is absent from a bibliography entry, you may need to revise it. Yet, you should also remember that there are plenty of sources that you can cite, for example online lectures, video, newspaper articles, and so forth. If you want to know how to write a good bibliography, you should see the examples of such references.
 
How to Write a Bibliography: Learning More about Details
 
There are plenty of bibliography samples available on the Internet. They can give students a good idea of how to write a bibliography or a reference list. Admittedly, you’ll have to spend some time while researching these materials, but if you do that, your essays or research papers will be much easier for you to write. This knowledge will certainly benefit you in the long term.

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