What is a Bibliography?
bibliography can be defined as,
“A list of reference materials (involving any kind of content ; text, music, paintings, video etc.) elucidating the type, nature and other detailed information on the basis of name, date, place and genre of the materials.”
“A complete categorical compilation of any type of content based on it’s creator(s), editors and time (of production, distribution).”
Bibliography, also known as works cited, reference list is basically an orderly study and referencing of books and source materials used in academic research. It might or might not include any information on the literary analysis or criticism of the materials cited.
Etymology and Origin
The etymology of this term can be semantically traced back to the New Latin bibliographia. It is a Greek word meaning “copying of books.”
bibli (books) and graphia -graphy (writing)
The concept was in practice by Greek writers in the first three centuries AD and was referred to as the copying of books by hand. By the turn of 12th Century, the concept took a literal form and was referred to as the intellectual practice of compiling books and materials. The modern day notion of bibliographies, however, only took off in the 17th Century.
Importance and Use of Bibliographies
A mandatory requirement of copyright laws and academic conventions is that whenever a research paper is written, there should be a section at the end of it where you acknowledge the sources used.
So, bibliography means listing all the sources which you have consulted while writing your essay or research article.
The sources may be in the form of printed and online books, websites, web documents, web blogs, newspaper articles, journals, pod casts, wikis, unpublished material, maps etc.
Citation ensures that the information contained in the research paper is based on logic, truth and facts. Absence of references or bibliography indicates that the paper may be a piece of plagiarism.
Standard Citation Styles Used in Bibliographies
There are various formats used in the creation of bibliographies such as the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association of America (MLA) and Chicago Manual of Style and Council of Biology Editors (CBE).
The APA style of referencing is common in the papers written on topics of social sciences; MLA style is used in field of humanities; and CBE is a popular citation style in the natural sciences.
APA Bibliography Format Definition and Examples
APA style referred by American Psychological Association uses both in-text citations and a list of references to document the sources. This style is used in social sciences. For Example,
According to Adams (2008), …..
…… (Adams, 2008).
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Follow this format while citing book with one author using APA style:
- Author: Include author’s last name and only the initials of the first name.
- Year: Year of publication will be included in parenthesis.
- Title: Title should be in italics and only the first word of title should be capitalized or any proper noun.
- Place of Publication: Mention city name followed by country name separated by a comma.
- Publisher: include the name of publisher.
Author’s Last name, Initials . (Year) . Title (italicized) . Place of publication : Publisher.
Spielberg, S. (2010). Creative Writing. Boston, MA: Bedford/St.Martin’s.
MLA Bibliography Format Definition and Examples
MLA style is used in English and humanities. MLA bibliography uses in-text citation to list sources within the text of your research document and a list of works cited at the end of research document. For example,
According to Albert Einstein…. (47).
…(Albert Einstein 47).
You can easily find the MLA citation from book’s title page and copyright page. Follow this format while citing book with one author:
Author: Last name should come before the first name.
Title: Title should be in full and it should be capitalized and italicized.
Publisher: Use the full name of publisher.
Date: Use most recent publication date mentioned in book’s copyright page.
Author’s last, First Name . Title(italicized) . Publisher , Date.
Hall,Thomas A. Court Cases. FT Press, 2010.
Standard Bibliography Format
A standard bibliography for a book typically consists of the following information:
- Date of Publication
Bibliography Format for a Periodical & Journal Article
An entry for a journal or periodical article contains the following information:
- Article Title
- Journal Title
- Volume Number
- Date of Publication
Bibliography Format for Internet Sources
Format for internet sources usually includes the following information:
- Author (Website)
- Article Title
- Publication Information
- Date of Publication
- Location (Digital Object Identifier – DOI or URL)
Top Five Bibliography Generator or Bibliography Maker Websites
There are a lot of free online bibliography generator tools which have made this difficult task of citation easy for students. Whichever format you use, they have the option to cite the reference; be it MLA, APA or Chicago. These tools offer a variety of sources for citation including books, journals, magazines, eBooks, website, software, online video or presentation and much more. Some of these websites include a plagiarism checker to check whether the content you have used is free of plagiarism. Top 5 websites are:
Types of Bibliographies
This provides a brief description or annotation of the cited sources. The annotation comprises of a brief summary of content along with a short analysis or evaluation.
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
Often times, your instructor wants an annotated format for your research paper. This is an informative way to document the research paper, as it will include all the sources used in your research along with brief description. Make sure to summarize the main points of the source in your annotation. This helps to evaluate the source in terms of how it relates with your research project. So, make sure it provides useful summary of the content included.
Annotated Bibliography Example
Here is a format for a research paper which discusses the use of e-learning in school and college classrooms.
Ruttenbur, Jared. eLearning: The Engine of Knowledge Economy. Information Science Reference, 2010.
This books provides industry based information on how e-learning can be introduced in educational system using practical examples explained with industry based approach.
It provides a list of published material and sources which are recently published or currently recorded material. The purpose of a current bibliography is to report recent literature as soon as it is published.
It provides a lists of documents or parts of documents (articles) published in previous years, as distinct from a current bibliography.
It is published over a period of known and pre-defined time slots. Time intervals for serial bibliographies normally range from weekly to annual basis and informs on the updates of book and research article titles.
This provides a list of documents and sources published in a particular country and are produced in the national or local language of a country.
This provides a list of works and sources relates to a specific subject.
It provides a list of works and publications produced within a specific period range.
It refer to the collection of sources and material for the purpose of critical study and evaluation and refers to the following categories:
Descriptive (Physical) Bibliography
This provides a list of detailed facts for a book analysis by listing its size, format, binding, and publication details.
It provides a list of contextual factors related to the production of a book i.e. printing details, publishing, bookselling and binding etc.
It provides a list of literary materials, concerned with identification and editing of transcription errors from manuals, manuscripts, transcripts, scribes and inscriptions.
Enumerative (Systematic) Bibliography
It provides a list of the list of books according to some system, common theme or reference plan and includes information on by author, by subject, or by date.
Bibliographies for Non-book Sources
A discography is the systematic process which involves listing, categorization and branding of musical materials or phonographs on the basis of artists, composers, conductors, genres and era.
A filmography provides a list of films, documentaries and movies collected and grouped w.r.t a certain topic or theme.
Webography (Webliography) or Internet Bibliography
A webography, webliography or internet bibliography provides a list of websites related to a certain topic or subject. A website bibliography is limited to the listing and citation of online sources.
An arachniography provides a reference list of URLs collected on a specific subject or topic. The term has been coined by NASA research historian Andrew J. Butrica.
- McWhorter, K. Successful College Writing.
- КОВАЛЕВА, А. (2014). How to Write Essays.