Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Bibliography Examples for Students


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 and following the correct guidelines.

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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 Chicago/Turabian. Of these, the only one that will have an actual bibliography is Chicago/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 consists only of 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 a bibliography, a reference list, and a works cited list.

Student creating a Chicago author date reference style bibliography

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.

MLA Works Cited Example

MLA is one of the most common writing styles in schools at both the high school and college level. Designed for humanities and communications pieces, MLA makes citing websites, advertisements, blogs, books, and more 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 generally won’t use this as a student.

APA Reference List Example

When you are creating a technical paper, you can still use MLA, but it doesn’t really make sense. Therefore, sciences like psychology, biology and chemistry use APA style instead. The American Psychological Association (APA) designed this style 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. Make sure all the in-text citations match up with the source citations in your APA reference list.

Turabian Bibliography Example

Turabian is another format that might students may use at the college, and sometimes, high school level. It is the student version of the Chicago Manual of Style. This professional style can use an author-date with a reference page 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, and religion, among other subjects.

Perfect Formatting

Whenever you’re in doubt, refer back to these bibliography examples to ensure your formatting is perfect, regardless of the citation style you’re following for your paper. Remember that you should focus on finding credible sources, as not all sources of information are equally reliable and accurate.

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