It can be hard to know where to start when you are creating your bibliography. Are you creating the right margins? Is the formatting correct? Use examples to make sure that your bibliography is top-notch.
It’s All a Bibliography Right?
When it comes to a writing a bibliography, it can get confusing. This is because the word bibliography can have a double meaning when it comes to writing styles. The basic writing styles that students will use are American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA) and Turabian. Of these, the only one that will have an actual bibliography is Turabian. APA and MLA will have a reference list. So, what’s the difference?
- A bibliography is a detailed list of all the references used to create a piece of writing. This includes everything that was used in the creation of the work, even if it was not cited in the body of the writing. This can include, but isn’t limited to, background sources.
- A reference list is only the sources that were cited in the body of the writing. These are actual quotes and ideas that were used from other writers or materials.
Now, that you know the terminology, it’s time to explore the examples of the three most common style types used by students.
Works Cited Example
One of the most common writing styles used in schools at both the high school and college level is MLA. Designed for humanities and communications pieces, MLA makes citing websites, advertisements, blogs, etc. easy for students. It also uses an author-page in-text citation style. While MLA will typically use a Works Cited page, you can also have an annotated bibliography in this style. However, you won’t generally use this as a student. Check out an example of an MLA Works Cited.
Reference List Example
When you are creating a technical paper, you can still use MLA, but it doesn’t really make sense. Therefore, APA style is used for the sciences like psychology, biology, chemistry, etc. APA is designed for formatting citations for journals, books, technical manuals and other large technical sources. For in-text citations, you’ll use an author-date style. Since the author and date are typically one of the first things listed in the reference sheet, it makes finding citations on the reference list easy. Explore an example of an APA References page.
Turabian is another format that might be used by students at the college, and sometimes, high school levels. Turabian is the student version of the Chicago Manual of Style. This professional style can use an author-date with a reference page like APA or notes and a bibliography. The type that you use is dependent on you. Turabian is a diverse style that can work well for fiction and nonfiction sources. You might use it in arts, history, philosophy, religion, etc. Here is an example of a bibliography in Turabian.
Visuals to the Rescue
Sometimes an example is all you need to make sure that you are formatting your bibliography perfectly. Not only can it show you where your margins should be, but you can see the formatting of your citations in action.