One of the most essential components of any research project or Independent Study Unit (ISU) is the bibliography. This makes sure you give credit to those works you used for your own research.
A bibliography is a list of all the sources you used when researching an essay, research paper or assignment. To avoid plagiarism, whenever you use other people’s ideas or words you need to credit the source from which the information was obtained. Every source that has been used should be listed in the Bibliography or Works Cited page(s).
General Guidelines for preparing a bibliography
- Cite all your sources to prevent plagiarism. For more about plagiarism see Plagiarism.org
- Gather citation information as you are doing the research, while you have the source on hand
- Alphabetize all citations by author’s last name
- If there is no author, use the first main word of the title
- Note punctuation, include all required information and follow instructions exactly
- If a specific style of bibliography (MLA vs. APA) has been specified by your school use that
- Always start the bibliography on a new page
- The bibliography is placed at the back of your work
Information for your Citation
As you are researching keep track of all books, encyclopedias, articles or Internet websites you use. When you are ready to write your final bibliography or works cited page, you will need bibliographic information to describe the sources you consulted. Different types of sources require different types of information.
For example, if you are citing a book you will need:
- Author(s) of book
- Title of book
- Place of publication
- Date of publication (year)
You can use the library catalogue to find most of the information you need for your citation. Below is a chart showing you the different types of bibliographic information you need to gather, depending on the types of sources you used.
Once you know how to do a bibliography and have the right information about your sources, it is just a matter of putting it in the right style.
Citation style MLA vs. APA - Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) are the two formats commonly required in secondary schools and universities. Your teacher will tell you what format to use. MLA guidelines are generally used for organizing sources for English, language and literature essays and papers. APA format is usually used to reference sources for social science, such as psychology or sociology essays and papers.
|INTERNET/WORLD WIDE WEB|
|Author known, date given|
|MLA||Yadav, Sid. “Facebook – The Complete Biography.” [Online]. Available http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/ (accessed July 14, 2008.)|
|APA||Yadav, S. (2008). Facebook –The complete biography. Retrieved July 14, 2008 from http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/|
|MLA||“Gangs”. [Online]. Available http://www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca/HPS/PreventingCrime /gangindex.htm (accessed July 14, 2008.)|
|APA||Gangs. (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2008 from http://www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca/HPS/PreventingCrime/gangindex.htm|
|BASIC BOOK FORMAT|
|MLA||Crook, Marion. Out of the darkness: teens and suicide. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2003.|
|APA||Crook, M. (2003). Out of the darkness: teens and suicide. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.|
|Two or Three Authors|
|MLA||Houston, Susan E. and Alison Prentice. Schooling and scholars in nineteenth century Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.|
|APA||Houston, S. E. and Prentice, A. (1988). Schooling and scholars in nineteenth century Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.|
|MLA||Go ask Alice. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Pub, 2006.|
|APA||Go ask Alice. (2006). New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Pub.|
|MLA||“Wounded Knee Massacre.” Encyclopedia of Native American Wars & Warfare. 2005.|
|APA||Wounded Knee Massacre. (2005). W. B. Kessel (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Native American Wars and Warfare (p.349). New York: Book Builders Incorporated.|
|MLA||Petrou, Michael. “Are we helping Haiti?” Maclean’s. 14 April 2008: 16-22.|
|APA||Petrou, Michael. (2008). Are we helping Haiti? Maclean’s, 14(121), 16-22.|
|MLA||Ogilvie, Megan. “Melanoma rate soars among U.S. young women”. Toronto Star. 11 July 2008: A1.|
|APA||Ogilvie, M. (2008, July 11). Melanoma rate soars among U.S. young women. Toronto Star, p. A1.|
|MLA||Fisher, Kimball. Leading Self-directed Work Teams : A Guide to Developing New Team Leadership Skills. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). EBSCO. Web. 9 Sept. 2011.|
|APA||Fisher, K. (2000). Leading Self-directed Work Teams : A Guide to Developing New Team Leadership Skills. McGraw-Hill Professional. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.|
If you need more examples about how to cite information consult the following guides:
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: 6th Edition
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th Edition
For further help, you can use the (Son of) Citation Machine, an interactive web tool, to format your citations in MLA, or APA style. To generate a citation, select the format and the type of resource (book, web document, magazine article, etc.) you need and complete the Web form with information from your source.