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How to Write a Bibliography for your Assignment

Before you venture out to explore and know how to write a bibliography, it is important to get introduced to the fundamentals of this essential element. It is nothing but a list of references, works and citations used by an individual while composing scholarly assignments.

Not incorporating bibliographies or bothering to learn how to write it is also an indication of acknowledgement-refusal, which in the long run will affect your work on the grounds of ethics. Thus, for students who are genuinely interested in figuring out how to write a bibliography, here is a complete guide on how to make a bibliography look impressive in the eyes of the academic supervisors.

Know What is a Bibliography Before Knowing How to Write A Bibliography  

To explain how to write a bibliography, students should know about it before anything else. It is to be stated that most of the times students tend to goof up or ruin their bibliography segment in an assignment due to lack of knowledge on what is a bibliography. Unless you are coming up with an answer to what is a bibliography, it won’t be possible for you to figure out how to write a bibliography.

So, first things first, it is to be mentioned that bibliography is a list comprising the name of books, references and works cited of other scholars and researchers that you may have used as references and in the form of factual instances in your own composition.

To name a few important elements essential for students willing to figure out how to write a bibliography; the genre of the work, its author and location mentioning the city and publisher are get a special mention. Adding a bibliography is a way to inform the readers about the various works you have referred to, numerous findings that you have discovered and books read before framing the assignment. Now that you know what is a bibliography, let’s move on to the next stage, decoding “how to make a bibliography work”.

Know How to Do a Bibliography – a basic informative guide

It is to be noted that bibliography can be broken down into several categories, comprising  “enumerative bibliography”, “analytical bibliography” and “annotated bibliography”.

  • Enumerative Bibliography: Before you understand how to write a bibliography, it is important for you to know about enumerative bibliography. An enumerative bibliography is generally arranged in an order that includes the name of the author, subject and date. In an enumerative bibliography, the items listed belong to a common category or thematic representation. The writer using enumerative bibliography is supposed to use detailed insight and information about the sources used in his/her work. However, descriptive details concerning the physical attributes of the book are not required to be highlighted here. You may refer to this explanation if you are struggling to understand how to do a bibliography using an enumerative representation or format.
  • Analytical Bibliography: If we are to talk about to how to make a bibliography that is analytical, then there are 3 sub-categories comprising an analytical bibliography; namely, textual, historical and descriptive. A textual bibliography explains and compares the published work with the original work of the author. While on the other hand, a historical bibliography explains the background or the context discussed or referred to in the work. Lastly, a descriptive bibliography is all about describing the physical attributes of the book published. If you could relate this explanation and adopt the knowledge shared, you will do well! You know how to write a bibliography, which is analytical in nature.
  • Annotated Bibliography: If you wish to know how to write a bibliography that is annotated in nature, then take note of the fact that in case of an annotated bibliography, the author is supposed to make a clear list of all sources used in an alphabetical format. Annotations and addition of all crucial notes to the sources is one vital element to be considered if you are willing to figure out how to make a bibliography in an annotated format. Commenting on the sources used, alongside adding them to the list is a unique attribute of this particular form of bibliography.

However, among the other sub-categories, Current Bibliography, National Bibliography, Period Bibliography, Retrospective Bibliography, Serial Bibliography and Subject Bibliography get a special mention.

Difference between Bibliography and References

Well, it is to be noted that there is a thin line of difference between referencing and bibliography. The basic difference between bibliography and references is the list of sources included. In case of a reference, you’re supposed to use all sources in the list which has been used in your work. While, in case of a bibliography, you need to list all sources, including the ones which are not directly linked to your citations, but are once consulted. If you are confused regarding the difference between referencing and bibliography, then this explanation is likely to help you figure out the basic difference between bibliography and references and also how to write a bibliography.  Bibliography is a much explanative version of referencing, where every prospective source gets credited and acknowledged.

Now for example, if you are creating a reference list based on the APA format, then it is to be noted that you are supposed to include all references in the list, which are used in the text. And for each of the reference entries made in the list, you’re supposed to cite your source in the text accordingly.  If you ever get confused about the basic difference between bibliography and references which are supposed to be included following the APA format, then simply recall what’s explained here.

However, for students, who are wondering how to write a bibliography in MLA and APA formats, and wish to understand the basic difference between referencing and bibliography that follows individual guidelines, then here is an explanation which would help you understand the basic difference between referencing and bibliography based on these two styles.

APA

MLA

Mostly used in the social science domain

Mostly used in the fields of Humanities and Arts.

It comprises the “reference page” at the end of the paper.

It comprises a “works cited” section at the end of the assignment paper.

Author’s surname and date of publication need to be inserted if his/her name is not included in the list.

Author’s surname along with the page number needs to be inserted if his/her name is not included in the list.

 

As a helpful piece of advice on how to write a bibliography, it is to be stated that in order to understand the fundamental differences highlighting bibliography vs. references, recall such differences mentioned above. In case there’s any further confusion, students can choose to read bibliography vs. references blogs, or consult experts to figure out other mentionable differences concerning bibliography vs. references.

Two Mentionable Formats – “How to Write a Bibliography” in a Nutshell

If you want to make a bibliography work successfully, then a few good samples highlighting the different attributes can be a nice idea to count on. Here are examples of the three different types of bibliography listed for your convenience and idea.

  • Enumerative Bibliography

Format - Author’s Surname. Author’s Name, Book Title. Location: Publisher, Year.
Example:  Smith, Abigail. Of Dreams, Myths and Philosophies. New York:  Inkpot Publications, 1996

  • Annotated Bibliography
    Format –Author’s Name, Author’s Surname, (Year), Book Title. Volume, Page Number
    Example –Brown, D.A, (1996), The Impact of The Internet on The Young Learners of the World, The Daily Tech Journal, 67, 645-652.

To wrap up this informative discussion on how to write a bibliography, it is to be mentioned that every academic assignment deserves to be completed with perfection. Thus, bibliography is one important aspect to be considered by every student when it comes to finishing up an assignment. Thus, without learning how to write a bibliography, one might face difficulty in finishing off the assignment successfully.

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