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How to Write a Bibliography - Complex Version

How to do a Bibliography - [Simple Version]

This area is designed to help you write your bibliographies for your school research projects.

A bibliography is a list of books and other sources that have been used in your research. There are many different ways to write a bibliography, and this sheet uses the bibliographic format recommended by our teachers, and is based on MLA style. There is a glossary of terms below that defines words that may be unfamiliar.

The following tips may help you when writing your bibliography:

  • The book or magazine title is always underlined in a bibliography!
  • If a citation is more than one line long, indent the second line five spaces.
  • Arrange the bibliography in alphabetical order, by the author’s last name.
  • If there is no author listed, use the first word of the title (not “a,” “an,” or “the”).
  • When there is more than one author, list the authors in the order they are listed on the title page.
  • If you use information from an article in a book or magazine, the article is listed before the title.

Form - Remember always to begin the first line of any entry at the margin and any subsequent lines should be indented. Skip one line between entries.

Book Citations:

Bibliographic citations for books vary. These examples can help you write your bibliography for many types of book citations.

Book with one author:
Lavender, David. Snowbound: The Tragic Story of the Donner Party. New
York: Holiday House, 1996.

The author is listed, last name first. The title is underlined. The city where the book is published is listed followed by a colon and the name of the publisher followed by a comma. The year the book is published is then listed followed by a period.

Book with two authors:
Lurie, Jon and Jimmy Clarke. Fundamental Snowboarding. New York:
Lerner, 1996.

A book that has an editor
Ehrlich, Amy, ed. When I was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up.
Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1996.

If the city of publication is unfamiliar, the name of the state or country is listed as well.

A book without an author:
Mobil Travel Guide, Southeast. New York: Fodor’s Travel Publication, 1997.

An article in a book without an author:
“Fiji.” The World Fact Book. Central Intelligence Agency: Washington, 1997.

The title of the article is listed before the title of the book.
Encyclopedia and Other Reference Books:

An encyclopedia article may or may not have an author. The author’s name can be found at the end of the article. An article that has an author is called a “signed article.”

Signed articles:
Sutherland, Zena. “Literature for Children.” World Book Encyclopedia. Volume
12. Chicago: World Book, 1997.

The name of the encyclopedia article is placed after the author’s name and put in quotation marks.

Unsigned articles:
“Motion.” Encyclopedia Americana. Volume 19. Danbury, Connecticut: Groliers, 1994.

Magazines and Newspapers:

Magazines and newspapers are good sources for locating current information. When citing a magazine or newspapers [sometimes called periodicals], use the following formats. Periodical articles may or may not have an author.

Signed Articles:

Taylor, Phil. “Center of the Storm.” Sports Illustrated. 15 December 1997: 62-67.

The author’s name is given first, the name of the article, then the name of the magazine, the date of the magazine, a colon and then the page number(s).

“Algeria Allegedly Turns Blind Eye to Massacre.” Chicago Tribune. 5 January
1998. Section 1, page 4.

If the article has an author, it is placed before the name of the article.
Non-book materials:

When using non-book materials, include the publication medium (CD-ROM or World Wide Web, etc.), the vendor’s and publisher’s names (if known), and the date of database publication.

Newspaper or Magazine Database:
Smith, Wes and Gary Marx. “U.S. Seizes Unabomer Suspect.” Chicago
4 April 1996. Section 1, Page 1. Chicago Tribune CD-ROM.
Newsbank, Inc. 1996

Boustany, Nora. “Postwar Iraq: A Still-Shaken People.” Washington Post.
9 February 1993. Version 2.3. SIRS CD-ROM. Sirs, Inc. 1997.

Monaco, John E., “When the Diabetic Child is Hospitalized.” Pediatrics for
Volume 17, Issue 1: 6. HealthSource Version 5.0, CD-ROM.
Ebsco. 1996.

The cictation looks like a regular newspaper or magazine citation, until the end where the type of product (CD-ROM) is listed, and then the publisher of the CD-ROM.

Inside the White House. Hosted by President and Mrs. Bush. Videocassette.
MPI Home Video, 1990.

The title of the videocassette is listed first. The person who is credited on the box (the director, host, or narrator) is listed second. The type of media (a videocassette, film, or filmstrip) is listed next. The publisher and the year published are listed last.

Non-book Reference
“Maya Angelou.” UXL Biographies. Version 2.0. CD-ROM. Farmington
Hills, MI: UXL, 1999.

“Belize.” UXL Worldmark. Version 1.0. CD-ROM. Farmington Hills, MI:
UXL, 1997.

Burke, Ronald. “Vatican City.” World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia.
CD-ROM. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1999.

World Wide Web/Internet:

Welcome to the White House. U.S. Government. 3 September 1999.
Where to find the information:

Information for bibliographies is taken right from the source. Look at the title page for the publisher, city, and author. Copyright information is found on the verso page. Glossary:

biography --- A book written about a person’s life.
bibliography --- A list of materials used in creating a report or paper.
citation --- Source of information used in a report.
et al. --- “and others”
periodical --- Publication, especially magazine or newspaper that is printed in regular intervals.
place --- City where the publisher is located.
publisher --- The company that produces the material.
signed --- An article that has an author listed.
verso --- Opposite of the title page (the left page of a book).


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