Bibliography

The bibliography is alphabetized by authors’ last names. A bibliography is required if you have cited your sources with short notes. If you have given complete references for every source in full notes, a bibliography is not necessary. However, in most cases, Chicago recommends the use of short notes and bibliography.

  • 😕 What is an MLA Citation Generator? An MLA citation generator is a software tool designed to automatically create academic citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take information such as document titles, author, and URLs as in input, and output fully formatted citations that can be inserted into the Works Cited page of an MLA-c.
  • If you want to create a bibliography from your sources, do the following: Click where you want to insert a bibliography. Typically, they are at the end of a document. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Bibliography.
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Bibliography Meaning

Key Info

  • Make a list to keep track of ALL the books, magazines, and websites you read as you follow your background research plan. Later this list of sources will become your bibliography.
  • Most teachers want you to have at least three written sources of information.
  • Write down, photocopy, or print the following information for each source you find. You can use the Science Buddies Bibliography Worksheet to help you.
BibliographyBibliography
Collect this information for each printed source: Collect this information for each Web Site:
  • author name
  • title of the publication (and the title of the article if it's a magazine or encyclopedia)
  • date of publication
  • the place of publication of a book
  • the publishing company of a book
  • the volume number of a magazine or printed encyclopedia
  • the page number(s)
  • author and editor names (if available)
  • title of the page (if available)
  • the company or organization who posted the webpage
  • the Web address for the page (called a URL)
  • the last date you looked at the page

  • The bibliographic information for different types of resources are located in different places, so you may need to do some detective work to get all of the information for your bibliography. Try looking in these places:
    • the title page of a book, encyclopedia or dictionary
    • the heading of an article
    • the front, second, or editorial page of the newspaper
    • the contents page of a journal or magazine
    • the header (at the top) or footer (at the bottom) of a Web site
    • the About or the Contact page of a Web site
  • When it is time to turn in your Bibliography, type all of your sources into a list. Use the examples in MLA Format Examples or APA Format Examples as a template to insure that each source is formatted correctly.
  • List the sources in alphabetical order using the author's last name. If a source has more than one author, alphabetize using the first one. If an author is unknown, alphabetize that source using the title instead.
Bibliography

Overview

A bibliography is a listing of the books, magazines, and Internet sources that you use in designing, carrying out, and understanding your science fair project. But, you develop a bibliography only after first preparing a background research plan — a road map of the research questions you need to answer. Before you compose your bibliography, you will need to develop your background research plan.

With your background research plan in hand, you will find sources of information that will help you with your science fair project. As you find this information it will be important for you to write down where the sources are from. You can use the Bibliography Worksheet to help you, just print out a few copies and take them with you to the library. As you find a source, write in all of the necessary information. This way, when you are typing your bibliography you won't need to go back to the library and find any missing information. The more information you write down about your source, the easier it will be for you to find if you want to read it again.

When you are writing your report, you will use the sources in your bibliography to remind you of different facts and background information you used for your science fair project. Each time you use some information from a source, you will need to cite the source that it came from. To cite a source, simply put the author's name and the date of the publication in parentheses (Author, date) in your text. If the person reading your report wants to find the information and read more about it, they can look up the reference in your bibliography for more detail about the source. That is why each source you use must be listed in a detailed bibliography with enough information for someone to go and find it by themselves.

Your bibliography should include a minimum of three written sources of information about your topic from books, encyclopedias, and periodicals. You may have additional information from the Web if appropriate.

Examples of Bibliography Formats

There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the author's name, the title, the date, and the source.

Different types of sources have different formatting in the bibliography. In American schools, the two most commonly used guidelines for this formatting are published by the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association).

Bibliography

The MLA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called Works Cited. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common MLA formats for your use: MLA Format Examples.

The APA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called the Reference List. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common APA formats for your use: APA Format Examples.

Your teacher will probably tell you which set of guidelines to use.

On the Science Buddies website we use the following guidelines:

  • APA format for online sources
  • MLA format for all other sources
  • APA (author, date, page) format for citations in our articles

Getting Started

Download and print the Science Buddies Bibliography Worksheet. Keep several copies with you and fill in the information as you do your research. When you are finished, type the information from the worksheet into a formatted bibliography using the examples listed above.

Sample Bibliographies

Sample Bibliography: MLA Works Cited Format
Sample Bibliography: APA Reference List Format

Bibliography Checklist

Bibliography
What Makes a Good Bibliography?For a Good Bibliography, You Should Answer 'Yes' to Every Question
Have you included at least 3 sources of written information on your subject? (If you include Web pages, they should be in addition to the written sources.)Yes / No
Have you included complete information to identify each of your sources (author's name, the title, the date, and where it was published)?Yes / No
Have you used the proper format for each of your sources? Most teachers prefer the MLA or APA formats. Yes / No
Is your Bibliography in alphabetical order, by author's last name?Yes / No
Do you have sources of information to answer all of your research questions?Yes / No

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A bibliography is a list of books, scholarly articles, speeches, private records, diaries, interviews, laws, letters, websites, and other sources you use when researching a topic and writing a paper. The bibliography appears at the end.

The main purpose of a bibliography entry is to give credit to authors whose work you've consulted in your research. It also makes it easy for a reader to find out more about your topic by delving into the research that you used to write your paper. In the academic world, papers aren't written in a vacuum; academic journals are the way new research on a topic circulates and previous work is built upon.

Bibliography entries must be written in a very specific format, but that format will depend on the particular style of writing you follow. Your teacher or publisher will tell you which style to use, and for most academic papers it will be either MLA, American Psychological Association (APA), Chicago (author-date citations or footnotes/endnotes format), or Turabian style.

The bibliography is sometimes also called the references, works cited, or works consulted page.

Bibliography Examples

Components of a Bibliography Entry

Bibliography entries will compile:

  • Authors and/or editors (and translator, if applicable)
  • Title of your source (as well as edition, volume, and the book title if your source is a chapter or article in a multi-author book with an editor)
  • Publication information (the city, state, name of the publisher, date published, page numbers consulted, and URL or DOI, if applicable)
  • Access date, in the case of online sources (check with the style guide at the beginning of your research as to whether you need to track this information)

Mla Citation Generator

Order and Formatting

Your entries should be listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author. If you are using two publications that are written by the same author, the order and format will depend on the style guide.

In MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style, you should list the duplicate-author entries in alphabetical order according to the title of the work. The author's name is written as normal for his or her first entry, but for the second entry, you will replace the author's name with three long dashes.

In APA style, you list the duplicate-author entries in chronological order of publication, placing the earliest first. The name of the author is used for all entries.

Bibliography Example

For works with more than one author, styles vary as to whether you invert the name of any authors after the first. Whether you use title casing or sentence-style casing on titles of sources, and whether you separate elements with commas or periods also varies among different style guides. Consult the guide's manual for more detailed information.

Bibliography entries are usually formatted using a hanging indent. This means that the first line of each citation is not indented, but subsequent lines of each citation are indented. Check with your instructor or publication to see if this format is required, and look up information in your word processor's help program if you do not know how to create a hanging indent with it.

Bibliography Format

Chicago's Bibliography vs. Reference System

Bibliography Generator

Chicago has two different ways of citing works consulted: using a bibliography or a references page. Use of a bibliography or a references page depends on whether you're using author-date parenthetical citations in the paper or footnotes/endnotes. If you're using parenthetical citations, then you'll follow the references page formatting. If you're using footnotes or endnotes, you'll use a bibliography. The difference in the formatting of entries between the two systems is the location of the date of the cited publication. In a bibliography, it goes at the end of an entry. In a references list in the author-date style, it goes right after the author's name, similar to APA style.