How to Write Bibliography for Assignment: Tips on Working with Your Sources

The most tedious and time-consuming part of any written assignment is the bibliography. Sometimes, it can even be challenging! For example, if you’re confused by the variety of citation styles. That is why Custom-Writing experts prepared a brief guide about creating a perfect bibliography for you. Some tips regarding the formatting are also included!

A bibliography is a list of all of the sources used in your project: books, magazines, and web pages.

First of all, you shouldn’t be worried about this dreadful part of your assignment. A bibliography is just a list of all the sources, such as books and articles, that you have used for creating your project. No matter how short your writing task is, you will most likely need to add a list of references.

📍 What Is a Bibliography?

Every time you use a book, magazine, or a webpage for your essay, you need to mention it in a special list called a bibliography. Even if you are not quoting the source but just using it for the general understanding of the topic, you should still include it there. For citing the source in the text, you would only need to write the author’s name and the publication date. Then, the reference about it goes into your bibliography, and that’s where extra information is needed. However, it would depend on the type of source and the citation style. In case you’re not familiar with the variety of the citation styles and the requirements, have a look at our guide, which can save you some time!

Printed Sources Web Sources
  • Author name
  • Full title (plus the article title when you’re using a magazine)
  • Publication date
  • Place of publication (usually a city)
  • Publishing company
  • Volume (for a magazine)
  • Page number
  • Author name (if mentioned)
  • Title (if mentioned)
  • Name of the company that created the webpage
  • Web address (just copy the URL)
  • The date when you used the page last time

Most of the time, your teacher would request to collect at least three printed sources, so try not to rely on the Internet solely.

👣 How to Write a Bibliography Step by Step

Now you know what a bibliography is. It is time to learn how to write it! We assure you: there is nothing complicated. Follow the steps below.

Select the Sources

The first thing you need to do is find the proper sources for your research assignment. When selecting the sources, you should consider the questions below.

What is the primary purpose of my research? What problem should I explore?
What kind of sources am I looking for? Do I need printed or online sources?
Should I find primary sources on my topic?

Evaluate Each Source

The next step in writing a bibliography is a brief assessment of each source’s importance.

In case you need a bibliography as part of an assignment, you should identify the reason why and the way how you want to use the source. If you’re assigned to write an annotated bibliography as an independent project, examine the source’s contribution to the research area.

By the way, you may want to use the following questions for sources assessment.

Why do I want to use the source? Is it interesting in terms of its theory, methods, or data?
Does the source explore new connections or ways of understanding a research topic?
How does the chosen source use a research topic’s initial concept and theoretical framework?
Are its methods of investigation valuable?
Is there enough good evidence?

Assess the Author’s Background and Credentials

When writing a bibliography for a project, you may need to examine the author’s credentials and experience. Here are some questions to help you.

Does the author have rich expertise related to your research question?
Are there any author’s credentials as both critical and academic reviews related to the research topic?
What is the intellectual inclination of the author and the school of thought he belongs to?

Write a Summary for Each Source

Look through the following questions that will guide you. And don’t forget to search for the summarizing paragraphs. You may find them at the beginning or conclusion of each section.

What is the central claim or purpose, author’s thesis, or research question? Look through the introduction and the conclusion for an answer.
Does the source explore new connections or ways of understanding a research topic?
What are the key ideas and terms?
How is the text organized? What are the main sections?
How does an author use theory to interpret the data and evidence? What are the methods used to explore the research problem?

Make a Proper Bibliography

Well, you’re almost there. You’ve evaluated your sources, took short notes, wrote an outline for each reference.

Use your notes and write your bibliography. How?

📑 How to Refer to Different Sources

You will have to use different writing patterns for different sources. Check these guidelines for bibliography writing:

  1. Book with one author: Author’s last name, first name. Title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of Publication.

Example:

Jones, Edward. The Toy. New York: Random House, 1987.

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

Example:

Jones, Edward and Amelia Smith. Strangers. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Book without an author: Title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of Publication.

Example:

Old Lake. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Article in a book without an author: Name of the article. Title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of Publication.

Example:

Swans. Flora and Fauna. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Book with an editor: Editor’s last name, first name, ed. Title of the book. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.

Example:

Jones, Edward. 100 Recipes for You. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. 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:

Jones, Edward. “Learning to communicate.” The Toy. Ed. Helen Stevenson. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Encyclopedia article with an author/a signed article: Author’s last name, first name. “Title”. Encyclopedia Title. Volume Number. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.

Example:

Jones, Edward. “The Wild Swans.” World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 13. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Encyclopedia article without an author/an unsigned article: “Title”. Encyclopedia Title. Volume number. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.

Example:

“The Wild Swans.” World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 13. New York: Random House, 1987.

  1. Journal article: Author’s last name, first name “Article Title.” Name volume number:issue number (year of publication): page numbers.

Example:

Jones, Edward, “The Wild Swans.” Flora and Fauna 15:1, (2007): 8-11.

  1. Magazine article: Author’s last name, first name. “Article title.” Magazine title date of publication: page numbers.

Example:

Jones, Edward. “Never been kissed” Us Sept 23, 2002: 221-2.

  1. 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:

Jones, Edward. “Handbags are Health Hazard.” Daily News [New York] Oct 31 2002: 26.

  1. Interview: Full name (last name first). Occupation. Date of interview.

Example:

Jones, Edward. Writer. February 10, 2006.

  1. Film: Title, Director, Distributor, Year.

Example:

Titanic, Dir. James Cameron, 20th Century Fox, 1998

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

Example:

Edward Jones, (May 23, 2006). New Winners. Teen Booklist (Online). Edward Jones@yahoo.com

  1. Web page: URL (Uniform Resource Locator or WWW address). Author (or item’s name, if mentioned), date.

Example:

(Boston Globe’s www address) https://www.boston.com/. Today’s News, May 23, 2006.

🔨 Reference Generators

Nobody wants to do routine work. So you may want to use a citation builder for your assignment. Try one of the source-generating apps or websites below!

Cite This For MeCite This For Me is a great citation generator that allows you to make references in Harvard, APA, MLA, and other styles. All you have to do is scan a book’s barcode. Moreover, you may download your completed bibliography into MS Word format!
CiteCite generator is another excellent online tool for your papers. It supports various citation styles and offers templates to create a citation manually. Moreover, if you sign up, you can edit and save bibliography pages for future use.
BibmeBibme is an entirely free reference generator. You may create citations in various styles within just a few clicks and save your precious time.
CitefastCitefast is an online reference maker and bibliography generator. It supports APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. By the way, you can use its feature and create a title page for your paper.
Citation MachineCitation Machine is a powerful student app. Make a citation in various styles less than in a minute. All you have to do is to select the citation style, search for a source in auto or manual mode, and make a reference for your assignment!

By the way,

Have you checked our citation guidelines already?

✏️ Bibliography FAQ

❓ What Is a Preliminary Bibliography?

A preliminary bibliography is basically the draft of all the sources you think might help your research. You create it when you are still not too familiar with the topic and scanning all the sources available. It’s not the final version of your bibliography since you might find some of the books not as useful as you thought and never use them.

❓ What is a Bibliography Card?

A bibliography card is used to make the process of gathering and categorizing the sources easier. It’s a small piece of paper the size of a standard sticky note. You would take a new one every time you find a useful source. There you need to mention all the information for later referencing. On the back, you can write a brief summary.

❓ What Is a Bibliography in a Science Project?

Writing a bibliography for a science project is usually no different from creating one for other assignments. It’s a list of the sources the student uses for completing their task. Every source mentioned in the bibliography needs to have some specific publication information as well.

❓ How to Alphabetize a Bibliography?

First of all, you need to make sure that your bibliography follows the citation style you are required to use. Otherwise, it will not be alphabetized correctly. Then, if you’re using the MS word program or a similar one, it’s easy to alphabetize your list by choosing the option “Sort.”

🔗 References

Comments (10)

David
David

Excellent! Thanks for your work!

Kaudiya
Kaudiya

I thank you for the post on this website, and you teach me what I needed to know. This really has helped a lot, so thank you.^)

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Glad to help, Kaudiya! 🙂

Mickey
Mickey

Thanks! I’m a part-time student who has no time to go deep into the peculiarities of various types of academic papers. Your blog posts are brief and informative enough to write all these papers fast and effectively.

David
David

Me too!

Liz Winter
Liz Winter

Your post on writing a bibliography boosted me up! I had no idea how to cope with this assignment before, but now after reading your how-to bibliography writing post, I’m sure to complete it without any problems! THX!))

Mary Ashly Priestly
Mary Ashly Priestly

Hi! I want to thank you for this information! I read some articles on writing a bibliography correctly, but the materials provided only concise info without patterns. In contrast, your bibliography writing guidelines are what every student needs to write this section successfully!

Lena
Lena

I had to write a current event essay with a bibliography. This website really helped.
Thanks,
Lena

Wali
Wali

Nice guidelines on how to write a Bibliography, I really need it.
Thanks a lot for such a helping website.

Chloe
Chloe

Thanks a lot for this website!
Many of the other sites that come up on Google don’t give you a clear enough understanding of how to write it. They’ll just give you a model and expect you to comprehend what all the examples stand for.

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