According to the Oxford dictionary, a bibliography is a list of the books referred to in a scholarly work, typically printed as an appendix.
A bibliography is different from a work cited on pages because it includes works that were referenced to write the paper and not merely the works cited.
Most times, bibliographies are used in research-based works or anything involving essay writing.
They are used to cite an article, journal, or any research work to ascertain that they are not the original author, but would want to make reference to their research work.
Information needed for a bibliography is located in different places, so there will be a need to determine what you are searching for to make finding it easier. These are;
- The title page of the article, research work, or journal
- The heading of the article
- The header or footer of the work
- The about or contact page of the work.
This information is required to help locate the author’s name, the title of research work, publisher, other contributors, year of publication, location, and maybe page number.
To write a bibliography, it is necessary to make a list of all referenced articles, websites, journals and books read and review. This will help make work easier. Writing a bibliography is largely dependent on the writing style employed.
There are different styles of writing, including the Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), American Psychological Association (APA), Harvard writing style, etc.
Using some of the writing styles, the following are highlighted tips to write a bibliography:
MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION (MLA)
The MLA format is primarily used for disciplines of humanities. When using the MLA format, it is necessary to keep track of all the papers works consulted when working on your research. Ensure you know the required information that you consulted.
When you include these sources, they should be in alphabetical order. Also, use a hanging indent for each entry, this makes it easier for the readers.
An example of the MLA format is highlighted below:
Allen, Thomas B. Vanishing Wildlife of North America. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1974.
Boorstin, Daniel J. The Creators: A History of the Heroes of the Imagination. New York: Random, 1992.
CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE (CMS)
Primarily used for history texts. It also has a shorter student version known as the Turabian style. There are two kinds of CMS; author-date style and Chicago notes-bibliography style. The former means that the first element is the author’s name and the second the date of publication.
An example is highlighted below:
Anurag 2021, 92
The latter, Chicago notes-bibliography style means that either footnote is included throughout the text.
The full source entry is then attached at the end of the research.
An example is:
Anurag Aleeg, Forestry and wildlife habitat: The conservation of species (India: ajrm publishers, 2021), 19
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA)
APA is mostly used for psychology, sciences, and other social sciences. This format shares similarities with Chicago author-date style. However, there is always a parenthesis after the author.
The year of publication is enclosed within the parenthesis. Then the name of the book and article is attached after the parentheses (this does not apply if it’s a book), and the page number if available.
An example of the APA style of writing is highlighted below:
Adeferanmi, A.A. (2001). The tradition behind the Nsulu clan burial, an overview. Nigeria: traditional publishers
HARVARD WRITING STYLE
Also known as the Author-Date style, emphasizes the author of research work and the date of publication, with the list of references in alphabetical order at the end of the research.
Unlike other citation styles, Harvard has no single, definitive version as it encourages variation in characteristics such as punctuations, capitalization, abbreviations, and the use of italics.
It is commonly used in fields such as humanities, behavioral sciences, and philosophy.
Examples of the Harvard writing style are:
Tschudin, V & Davis, AJ 2008, The globalization of nursing, Radcliffe Publishing, Oxford, UK.
Evans, J, Grimshaw, P, Philips, D & Swain, S 2003, Equal subjects, unequal rights: indigenous peoples in British settler colonies 1830s-1910, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK.
It is imperative to note that these writing styles are in contrast to the numerous writing styles we have and check with your department or advisor to ascertain what is required of you.