How to write a bibliography

Answers to How to write a bibliography

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of all the sources you used when researching an essay or paper.

You will find it easier to prepare your final bibliography if you keep track of each book, encyclopedia, or article you use as you are reading and taking notes. You'll want to keep track of the full title, author, place of publication, publisher, and date of publication for each source.

Every citation in a bibliography should include the author and title. If it is a book, it should also include the date and place of publication. If it is an article, it should include the magazine or newspaper title, volume number, year or date of publication and appropriate page numbers.

When assembling a final bibliography, list your sources (texts, articles, interviews, and so on) in alphabetical order by authors' last names. Sources that don't have authors (encyclopedias, movies) should be alphabetized by title.

Below is a general guide to formatting a bibliography.
Book with one author:
Author (last name, first name). Title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of publication.

Buffa, Liz. Research Paper Smart. New York: Random House, 1997.

Book with two authors:
Author's last name, first name, and second author's full name. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.

Lackey, Mercedes and Larry Dixon. Owlknight. New York: Daw Books, 1999.

Book with an editor:
Editor's last name, first name, ed. Title. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.

Kizer, Carolyn, ed. 100 Great Poems by Women. New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1995.

Encyclopedia article:
Encyclopedia Title, Edition Date. Volume Number, "Article Title," page numbers.

EXAMPLE: The Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1997. Volume 7, "Gorillas," pp. 50-51.

Short story or chapter of a book:
Author's last name, first name. "Title." Title of the book that the source comes from. Editor (ed.) of the book's full name. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication. Pages of the source.

EXAMPLE: Buell, Lawrence. "Moby-Dick as Sacred Text." New Essays on Moby Dick. Ed. Richard Broadhead. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1986. 53-72.

Journal article:
Author's last name, first name. "Title of article." Magazine title volume number: issue number (year of publication): page numbers.

EXAMPLE: Carlin, David R. Jr. "Why Catholic Liberal Should Settle for Half a Loaf." America 176:2 (1997): 11-15.

Magazine article:
Author's last name, first name. "Article title." Magazine title date of publication: page numbers.

EXAMPLE: Jerome, Richard and Margaret Nelson. "Deadly Game?" People Sept 23, 2002: 221-2.

Newspaper article:
Author's last name, first name. "Article title." Newspaper title [city of publication, if not in title] date of publication, edition if necessary: section if necessary: page numbers.

EXAMPLE: Martinez, Jose. "Airline: Doomed pilot well trained." Daily News [New York] Oct 31 2002: 26.

A person:
Full name (last name first). Occupation. Date of interview.

EXAMPLE: Smeckleburg, Sweets. Bus driver. April 1, 1996.

A film:
Title, Director, Distributor, Year.

EXAMPLE: Braveheart, Dir. Mel Gibson, Icon Productions, 1995

Disc title: Version, Date. "Article title," pages if given. Publisher.

EXAMPLE: Compton's Multimedia Encyclopedia: Macintosh version, 1995. "Civil rights movement," p.3. Compton's Newsmedia.

Email message:
Author of message, (Date). Subject of message. Electronic conference or bulletin board (Online). Available e-mail: LISTSERV@ e-mail address

EXAMPLE: Ellen Block, (September 15, 1995). New Winners. Teen Booklist (Online). Helen

Site name. Date of last update. Author. Date you accessed the site

EXAMPLE: U. S. Department of Education (ED) Home Page. 29 Sept. 1999. US Dept. of Education. 1 Oct. 1999 .

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