How to write a bibliography

May 12, 2020

How to write a bibliography

May 12, 2020 | Uncategorized

How to Write a Bibliography

The requirement to write a bibliography at the end of a piece of work is difficult for most students when they are first required to do it. This can happen when one is handling a master’s or undergraduate dissertation, or even a formal essay. However, writing a bibliography is not as difficult and complicated as many people might think. This guide can help you to write one easily since it has the essential pointers for you to keep in mind when writing it. Read on to discover how to write your best dissertation bibliography yet.

Understanding a Bibliography

Though the name does not sound like it, a bibliography is quite a simple thing. It is a list of the different sources that you have used or referred to in writing an essay. It is written at the end of your master’s or undergraduate dissertation. The list will include all the sources you have quoted and referred to in the essay as well as further materials that you read when researching the piece, even when you did not quite cite them.

Writing a Bibliography

Use a separate line for every new text that you list. Get the details of each of your texts in this order: Author (surname, initials), year of publication, book/material title (either underlined or in italics), edition (if there is more than one edition), publisher, the place where it was published. Here is an example for you: Carson, LM, Antiquity and Artistry, 3rd Edition, Virago, Bristol

Primary and Secondary Sources

You need to split the bibliography into primary and secondary sources when writing a dissertation on a specific poet or author. You could also be specifically asked to do this. Primary sources will be those written by the authors that have formed the basis of your paper. Secondary sources are essential reference books and other materials that have inspired your dissertation. For example, if writing a dissertation on Jane Austen, then you can have Pride and Prejudice, as your primary source. A Companion to Jane Austen, which narrates Austen’s scholarship and developments in Austen studies, can be your secondary source.

Bibliography Styles

There are multiple accepted bibliography styles, and they affect which information is included and its order of presentation. These include Harvard, APA, Chicago, MLA, and others. The one given in the example above is a standard bibliography style that is widely accepted. However, make sure that you find out the exact requirements on the bibliography style that you are to use, given by the course provider or your university. Keep in mind that among the useful things you can do for your bibliography is to keep it consistent. For the style that you choose, stick to it in the entire bibliography, having the same style for every reference.


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