The thoughts expressed (even though the clever ones) are not enough for academic society. Proper formatting according to the generally accepted standard is obligatory for everyone. Many students experience difficulties with formatting the paper. That’s not fair when you get a low grade due to formatting errors. To exclude this situation and get the mark you deserve, follow the recommendations represented in this article.
What Is a Bibliography: Definition and Types
Sources are an essential part of any academic assignment. A bibliography is an enumeration of all the sources used for an academic paperwork. Placed at the end of a document, it includes both cited and not cited sources. The primary purpose of the bibliography is to avoid plagiarism. When a student involves aside quotes, thoughts, or notes, it is obligatory to use them in the bibliography.
A bibliography usually includes all literature (books, articles from journals, etc.) and websites placed in alphabetical order.
There Is a Wide Variety of Bibliographies
- Annotated: briefly observes the content of the research with a summary analysis;
- Current: discloses recently published or recorded sources;
- Retrospective: determines the editions and publications published in previous years or periods;
- Serial: reviews the sources within an exact time interval (week or a year);
- National: the reference list created according to the producing country;
- International: collects the information about the works from all over the world;
- Subject: includes the sources related to various disciplines;
- Period: provides published materials during exact time frames;
- Analytical: represents the sources for detailed studying and evaluation:
- description (the detailed information about the book, such as volume, format, etc.);
- historical (entails the book production details);
- textual (relates to investigating and editing the transcription mistakes).
- Systematic: represents the list of sources compactly according to a system, e.g., writer, discipline, date.
- Non-published sources, for instance, discography, filmography, Internet bibliography, etc.
According to the type of your paper, you can use the appropriate bibliography.
How to Structure a Bibliography
The term bibliography includes formatting the sources in any writing style. However, they differ in academic writing. To get knowledge of proper formatting, students should study an official book that contains a detailed explanation and guiding recommendation. Here are the formatting standards accepted by the academic societies:
- Modern Language Association (MLA) relates to literature and linguistic paperwork;
- American psychological association (APA) for the assignments on psychology and education-related disciplines;
- Chicago for historical works;
- Chicago author-date for scientific papers;
- Harvard for researching at economics;
- Vancouver is applicable for paperwork in medicine;
- Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is excellent for law and politics;
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) the format for technical and engineering research papers;
- American Medical Association (AMA) works well for medicine with extensive numerations.
- American Chemical Society is appropriate for paperwork at chemistry;
- American Anthropological Association (AAA) bases on the Chicago style and applicable for social disciplines;
- American Political Science Association (APSA) includes the rules characteristic of the American government documentation.
The departments of studying establishments usually determine the specific citation style. But there are cases when students can choose it by themselves, considering the discipline and the most appropriate one. Completing the paperwork according to the standards of one style is vital.
First of all, realize the difference between the reference list and bibliography. While references include the cited items, a bibliography entails the list of the used materials even if you did not quote any specific phrase from it.
Regardless of the format you choose, here is the list of general recommendations for electronic and published sources:
- write down all sources you have taken the information from, such as magazines, websites, books. Regardless of the task complexity, there should be at least three of them;
- scan or make an instant photograph of the information that you use from each particular source.
These steps will help you to sort the information quickly while writing a bibliography.
As soon as your academic assignment is ready, go ahead with the bibliography settlement. To format the published sources, gather:
- the name of the publishing;
- its title;
- the date of release;
- all information about a publishing house;
- the number of pages of the entire magazine;
- the number of pages that an article occupies.
To format electronic sources, gather the information with is available:
- the name of the author and or editor;
- the headline of the page;
- the name of the site owner;
- the page address;
- the date when you visited the page last time.
Prepare for bibliography formatting in the light of developments during your research work without leaving it for last. Being the final page of the assignment, it demands special attention. Neglecting it will add extra work for double reviewing the used sources when your paperwork is ready. In case you do not have all the necessary details, add to your bibliography the available ones.
An Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is an extensive list of references. It includes a detailed explanation and analysis of the citations provided in the academic assignment. A student must represent the references and justify the selecting factors, mentioning their impact on the overall research. This type of work differs from a generally accepted reference list.
Sometimes students receive a task to write an annotated bibliography before submitting the entire paper. This task must show if a student can select the relevant citations relate to the topic and add them to the paperwork. It significantly decreases the time a writer will spend when writing the complete paper.
The topics that can serve for an annotated bibliography are the same as for any essay. Its main distinguishing feature is adding citations with their detailed description. Designing an annotated bibliography, a student should start by detecting a list of appropriate quotes that relate and disclose the topic the best way. The next step is citing the citations according to the requirements mentioned above. Then a student should write a brief conclusion of the main idea of the book or article provided for the quote.
Depending on the annotated bibliography purpose, annotations can evaluate the source, summarize it, or represent it for a practical appliance.
There are cases when the information about the materials makes students confused. Here are the examples of the most doubting issues regarding the formatting of the source.
When a book has several authors, your citation should look like that:
Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens. HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2006.
For more than two authors, use the Latin abbreviation Et.al. that means «and others,» for instance:
«Neil Gaiman et al. Good Omens. HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2006.»
Quotes of articles from newspapers and magazines should include:
- the author, headline;
- the name of the publishing;
- date of publication;
- the number of pages;
- the number of pages where a student took the information.
All this will look this way:
Michael Woodworth. «How to reach success?» The Downtown Voice. 4 September 2019: 2-5.
Some articles do not include the name of the author. Then omit this information and move to the next step:
«Review: Cost of higher education for remote studying.» Financial news. 9 December 2001.
Online resources are very spread. Knowing how to format them is beneficial. Citing an online source, use all available information in the following order:
Madison, James Lui. «Transmutation.» News of Science, Technological Inventions, 21 March 2012, www.xxxx.com/xxx/xxx_xxx
Whenever you use evidence, you need to mark it on the bibliography page. Referring to it, maintain the rules according to the specific academic format. Cite when you use a quote and summarized information based on the thoughts of another person.
Plagiarism (including the ideas of another author, assuming them as own) leads to the paper cancellation process.
Proper formatting is an essential part of academic writing. Maintaining the rules that belong to concrete formatting style accurately is obligatory for any scientific work.
Except for the tedious work, the bibliography has many advantages. It:
- tracks your research process;
- provides extensive information to the readers about the done job;
- confirms the credibility of the sources and your academic paper subsequently;
- gives credit to the authors whose thoughts you have used;
- keeps the quotes mentioned in the paperwork in order.
A bibliography may look differently depending on its type and style of formatting. The most spread ones remain MLA and APA. When you have read the official guide but still experience formatting complications, apply for help from your professor or teacher. If suddenly, you forgot to write down the source of the quote, use the plagiarism checking programs.
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