Creating a Bibliography

In the APA style and the MLA style, a bibliography pertains to the organized list of all the sources and references that you have used in writing your essay or research paper, including in-text citations and other materials relevant to work that may interest your readers. Because it leads readers to other works for further reading, the bibliography appears at the end of your document.

A bibliography is also sometimes called as a reference list or the works cited page, and is normally required in all types of scholarly writing, especially in the publishing industry, and in most colleges and universities. If you are a student and writing an essay or term paper for your class, your instructor will likely require you to include a bibliography in your paper.

Your class, or your instructor, may request for a either of these two bibliography formats. The APA style is commonly used in writing essays for a number of social science courses, while the MLA style is prescribed for research papers in the literary studies and languages category.

Whether you are using either style, a bibliography serves as a reference list to acknowledge and give credit to the original sources of words, ideas, diagrams, illustrations, or any sources that you have quoted, summarized, or paraphrased, and as a supplementary list of recommendations for other reading materials that are relevant to the topic of your research paper. If you are a student writing a comprehensive thesis paper, your instructor will most likely insist on including a bibliography to ensure that no copied or plagiarized material is used in your work. You might also want to include a bibliography in cases where you want serious readers to have an opportunity to critique your work by checking out your sources for proper context and accuracy.

If you want to prepare a bibliography using the APA style, please use the following bibliography format as demonstrated by the bibliography example:

Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year published). Book title. City {include state, province, or country if city is not well known}: Publisher.

Camus, A. (1991). The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New York, NY: Vintage.

Below is the typical bibliography format for MLA style:

Author’s last name, First name Middle name. Book title. City {include state, province, or country abbreviation if city is not well known}: Publisher, year published.

Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New York, NY: Vintage, 1991.

If your source citation contains more elements, you can see more bibliography examples by consulting the respective style manuals.

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