How to Create a Bibliography: Steps, Styles, and Prompts


How to Create a Bibliography: Steps, Styles, and Prompts

Can you imagine a situation when you submit a dissertation without a specific chapter? Such paper will never ever be accepted by the supervisor. The absence of the references to the solid academic works devalues the scientific value of your work. It means that you have spun the theories and opinions of the prominent figures of your field out of thin air or simply thought them up in your bibliography. So if you do not want to risk your grade, then learn how to create a bibliography and proper citations with us!

What is a Bibliography?

There are some academic paper parts such as abstract and bibliography you may think are less important. But it is not actually true. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a bibliography means ‘the works or a list of the works referred to in a text or consulted by the author in its production’. It is proof that you have used reliable and relevant sources for your research and your thoughts correlate with the ideas of the well-known scholars. Proper addition of the citations and completed bibliography show that you respect the copyright and protect yourself from being accused in plagiarism.

Sometimes the task can expand to the creation of the annotated bibliography, brief information about the sources, their relevance and core ideas.

Each and every bibliography fits under these rules:

  1. It is necessary to follow the alphabetical order when you list sources in bibliography
  2. Use the title to alphabetize the source without an author
  3. Meeting the requirements of the chosen format is a must

There are many citation styles, however, some are more popular for a bibliography. For the most part, the papers of the scientific field require the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Modern Language Association (MLA) style is the most appropriate for the Human Sciences’ papers. When students write papers for the social sciences they usually select Chicago Manual of Styles (Chicago or CMS) for their bibliography. However, there are exceptions so always specify what style you should use to arrange the citations.

Planning Out the Bibliography

This guideline works perfectly well with any academic paper where you have to insert the bibliography and incorporate citations.

  • Choose the sources

It is insufficient to google your topic and write down all the articles and books that match your request. Searching for the most palatable resources is the quest comparable to the research itself. To do so, you will have to specify the research issue, and the main aim of the writing. And then to decide on the type of sources that meet the requirements of your aim. Maybe your best choice will be a historical document or government records?

Give a preference to the sources cited in several articles related to your research question.

  • Estimate the importance of the chosen source

Crudely put, explain why you have chosen this very source. You have to prove that a certain resource is reputable and covers your topic. Here are some bridging questions that will help you to represent the source:

  1. What is the reason for using this book/article/magazine? Is it an appropriate method or a new approach to the topic?
  2. Why it is important and how deep is the analysis of the topic?
  3. Is it relevant?
  4. Are there enough pieces of evidence that support the arguments expressed in the text?
  • Estimate the background of the author

You should prove that the author of the chosen source is an authority in the chosen field of study. So when you select between the authors, choose the one with rich expertise in your sphere, and with academic works closely connected to your research issue. Also, it will be necessary to highlight the scholar school of the chosen author. Do not forget to use transition words properly

  • Create a summary for each citation

This is especially true to the annotated bibliography. On this stage, describe the essential concepts of the book/article that you use.

  1. Check the intro and conclusion of the text to find the main idea of the work
  2. How does the author connect the theory and the practice of the research?
  3. What research methods does the author prefer?
  • It’s time to write down the bibliography

Jot down the list of titles of all books, articles, sites etc. used in your text. Then look through the rules of the chosen citations style. For example, APA style requires alphabetization of the references by the last name of the author.

Another important requirement is to list the works of one author by the chronological order. And here we could add another dozen of tips.

It is too complicated to comprise all the rules of the different citations styles in one article. So the best solution will be to use a reputable resource like Purdue University’s OWL website. There you can find a complete selection of guidelines dedicated to the most popular referencing styles with close attention to the detail.

  • Books

Books are the bibliography format with which you’re probably most familiar. Books follow this pattern:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. (Publication Year) Title. Publisher’s City: Publisher. Page numbers.

Alexander, Carol. (2001) Market Models: A Guide to Financial Data Analysis. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 200-220.

  • Periodicals

Periodicals remove the publisher city and name and add the title of the article and the volume or issue number of the periodical. Notice article titles are put in quotation marks and only the publication title is italicized or underlined.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. (Publication Date—could be more than a year) “Article Title.”Publication Title, Vol. #. (Issue #), Page numbers.

Salman, William A. (July-August 1997) “How to Write a Great Business Plan.” Harvard Business Review 74. pp. 98-108.

Professional Bibliography Help

If you still unsure how to create a bibliography and use citations, there is no need to worry. Professional writers and editors are here to help you with this meticulous task of bibliography writing. Our experts have a solid academic background in various fields so they may prompt you what sources are the best for your research subject. Also, they have an access to a vast database of academic materials so they can find the most sector-specific articles for your topic.

If you have any doubt in the correctness of your paper’s arrangement, feel free to ask our editors to check it. They have a profound knowledge of the rules of the most popular referencing styles so they will be able to polish your paper and bibliography to perfection in terms of grammar, arrangement, and structure.

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