Learn and Master Bibliographies, Works Cited, and References

CategoryHow To

Writing the perfect bibliography takes work. You need to have your sources ready and evaluate each source to ensure that you are citing it perfectly. 

Tips on Writing a Good Bibliography

Before you can begin creating your bibliography perfectly, you need to know what format you are working in. The way that you create your bibliography will depend on the specific style that you are using. There are several different styles available.


This style is designed for creating liberal arts or humanities essays.


Use this style for creating in the education or science fields.


You might use this for creating a business essay for professionals.


Similar to the Chicago style but designed for students.


This is used to for referencing informational texts by students.

Perfect Citations

Each style comes with its own way to cite the works that you used. Additionally, within each style, you must cite different works differently. For example, a blog will be cited differently than a website. Among books, there are different formats for online books, print books and even books with multiple authors.

Adding Annotation

Sometimes a regular old bibliography just isn’t cutting it. Adding an annotated bibliography can proved validity and necessity to your citations. In an annotated bibliography, you add a purpose, summary and even information about the author.

Know the Difference

When you are creating a work in a specific style, a lot of different elements are going to come into play. These will include footnotes and in-text citations. It is important to know the difference between a footnote and a bibliography and why each are important.

Creating Hanging Indents for Your MLA Works Cited List

As you organize your Works Cited list, you notice each entry is supposed to formatted using hanging indents. If you’re not familiar with this term, you may feel puzzled and unsure what to do next. Hanging Indent Explained It’s really very simple. A hanging indent simply means that the second line is indented five spaces from the first line. If your works cited entry is longer than two lines, keep...

Useful Copyright Law Sources for Students

Are you interested in copyright law? Or writing a college essay or research paper on copyright law? Explore these links to gain a better understanding on the history of copyright law in the United States. Each entry tells you whether it is a primary or secondary source. Copyright Websites United States Copyright Office This is the link to the complete version of the U.S. Copyright Law, December...

Finding Free Primary Sources for Your School Essay  

As you start your research for your humanities or social studies project, you will need sources for primary documents such as original letters, interviews, images, art, research at many others. Understanding copyright law terms will help you avoid plagiarism. Even though most items are copyrighted by their owners, there are several places you can find archived items. Many institutions such as...

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Your School Essay

Copyright law is extensive and complicated. This article gives a brief overview of copyright law and how it affects students but for specific questions, you should ask your teacher. A general rule in writing school essay or developing research projects is to always credit your sources to avoid plagiarism. Some Basic Copyright Rules Never rewrite someone’s words and make them your own. Even...

Preparing a Chicago Author-Date Essay Outline

One of the first steps to writing a college or high school essay or research paper is creating an outline. Why Create an Essay Outline Part of your assignment Your teacher may include an outline as part of the assignment. If the paper is long, often instructors will ask for an outline as the first part of the assignment. This allows s/he to track your progress. Helps you stay organized Starting a...

Writing a Social Studies Essay

Social Studies classes are required classes in high school and college. You probably have taken several social studies classes throughout your school years. As you graduate into higher level social studies classes, you will be required to prepare research papers about various subjects. Most instructors require either MLA style or Chicago style for your social studies papers. What Does Social...

How to Write a History School Paper

You may feel overwhelmed looking at your history paper assignment. Wondering where to start? It’s easy if you plan your school project before you get started on it. First of all, review the assignment so you understand it before you start. Although your instructor will give you specific guidelines, you can adapt these steps to complete your assignment. Select Your Topic If your instructor gives...

Using Note Cards for MLA Research Papers

In today’s digital age, it seems strange that organizing your research sources would be done on index cards. Instead of a mobile app or Google Doc, writing your sources on separate 3 X 5 index cards may still be a better way to help organize your citation sources. Although some teachers provide Word document templates that follow the same pattern, having the cards available makes it easier to...

Writing MLA Thesis Statements

Writing a thesis statement for your MLA style school paper seems intimidating to high school and college students. You may have practice in understanding thesis statements when you prepared five-paragraph essays. Maybe you have even written short five page research papers in your English classes. Writing MLA College Papers However, now you are entering college and you will be writing a lot of...

APA References, Works Cited and Bibliography Differences

As we have learned in other articles on this site, there is a difference between the way references are cited. It all depends on what citation style your teacher asks you to use while you’re preparing your school project bibliography. Differences of Style Many people use the terms ‘works cited’, “reference list” and “bibliography” interchangeably, but there are differences. First of all, it...

Citing Visual & Performing Arts in Notes-Biblio

As you research a topic for your art or history class, you may land upon a topic referring to plays, musical scores and/or art exhibition catalogs. For example, if your art history instructor asks you to choose a subject on the Italian Renaissance, you have a wide range of topics to pursue from exploring the highlights of the period to Leonardo da Vinci’s life. It is best if you pick a few ideas...

Sectioning Your Bibliography in Notes-Biblio Style

Creating a bibliography guides your readers to all the sources you have consulted or used in research. As you prepare your research paper, you look for sources that will back up your thesis statement. You may realize as you work through this process, that you need to revise your thesis or the way you present your arguments. Developing a preliminary or working bibliography allows you to gather...

Alphabetizing Your  MLA Works Cited List

You finally have your research paper finished and your sources created into entries and now you can start putting it all together. You’re almost done. Alphabetizing your MLA Works Cited list is easy as it follows the letter by letter method. Read on to understand how this method works when you’re dealing with multiple authors, no author or other cases. List Items Alphabetically  The first step is...

Organizing a MLA Works Cited List

Unlike a bibliography, a Works Cited list is created to list only the sources you cited in your research paper. Every citation in your paper should match up to an entry in your Works Cited list, which means you need to review your paper to make sure the in-text citations are properly sourced at the end of your paper. If your instructor asks you to prepare a bibliography in MLA style, title it...

How to Cite Legal Sources in APA

If you’re using legal sources in your report and are trying to figure out how to fit them into your reference list, you’ll probably feel somewhat confused because, for the most part, APA follows The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation style. However, in some cases, you’ll still follow APA guidelines. Bluebook or APA APA recommends that references to legal materials, such as statutes, court...

How to Alphabetize Your APA Reference List

You’ve finished your paper and have your references organized and ready to place into your Reference List. You know it needs to be in alphabetical order so that’s pretty easy…a, b, c….  Or is it? But wait! You have three separate works written by the same author and two articles written by people with the same last name, different first names. Okay, so this isn’t as easy as it seems at first...

Using a DOI® Link

You’re gathering your resources together when suddenly you notice that several of your online journal articles aren’t linked to a web address (URL.) What is that mysterious notation at the end of the citation?  You’re used to seeing a link to an online article in this way:  ,when all of the sudden, this doi® number shows up: doi: What does this mean? The Difference Between...

Bibliography for a Research Paper

Research papers take a lot of different steps to format your outline and discuss where your sources came from. Every paper ends with a citation page or bibliography. The type of bibliography that you use will depend on your research. Bibliography Uncovered Before you can even get into the steps of creating your bibliography, you need to understand specifically what a bibliography is and the best...

How to Write a Bibliography for a School Project

Several school projects can include a research paper. Writing a paper for a school project can be a daunting task. Whether you are writing for college or high school, you need to keep track of the sources that you use and reference them at the end of your paper. The type of reference list or bibliography that you use will depend on you or your professor. What Is a Bibliography? The word...

Difference Between Citations and References

References and citations are the apples and oranges of the writing world. While it might seem like these two words are interchangeable. They are distinctly different within a scholarly writing piece. Learn what they are and how to use each one. Citations or References No matter what writing style that you use, you’ll come across the reference or citation dilemma, especially if you’re a...

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography in MLA Style

Is your professor asking you to write an annotated bibliography? Are you clueless? You’ve come to the right place. The world of bibliographies can be a difficult web to weave, especially when you are talking about annotated bibliographies. Take a deep breath and get ready. You’re going to learn everything you need to know to make an annotated bibliography in MLA. What Is an Annotated...

How to Write Footnotes in MLA, APA, and Chicago

The time has come. You need to use footnotes in your paper. The sweat is beading. You’re starting to wonder if there is a way around it. Formatting footnotes isn’t the end of the world, if you know what you’re doing.  When to Use Footnotes in APA Before you delve head first into the world of footnotes, it is important to realize that APA format doesn’t generally recommend using footnotes...

How to Cite the Bible in APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago

The bible is a formidable opponent when it comes to writing. How are you supposed to cite the different elements? How does it vary with each style? The list of questions goes on and on. However, don’t sweat it. Breaking down how to cite the Bible is as easy as A, B, C. First In-Text Citation or Parenthetical Reference There are different places that you might choose to cite the bible, and in-text...

How to Cite a PDF in MLA, APA and, Chicago

You’ve found the best source ever, but it is a PDF. Don’t overlook it just because you are unsure of how to cite it. Find out how to cite your PDF in your references, no matter which style you are using. Citing a One Author PDF Setting up the citation in your references for a PDF is similar to an e-Book or a digital document. However, depending on different variables, like number of authors, this...

How to Cite a Picture in MLA

Images add diversity and visual information that just sometimes isn’t possible with words. But how do you add it to your works cited? Learn the ins and outs of citing a picture in your work and a little about the legalities. Adding a Reproduced Image in Text Sometimes, it makes sense to visually reference images to prove a point. This is especially true if you are writing a paper about arts or...

How to Cite a Video Using MLA and APA

With the advent of YouTube, Vimeo and other great sites, you can find short videos and how-to-videos online from a wide range of experts. This means, you might find yourself using a video to create your essays. Make your video citations ‘fabulous’ by using a few simple tricks. Style Matters Of course style matters, this is professional writing after all. However, basically each style is looking...

How to Use APA Citation With No Author

Writing can be a fun and exciting time. Don’t let your head get all jumbled over styles. Especially, if you come across a difficult source like a blog or article with no author. Instead of losing your cool, follow these simple steps to citing sources with no author in APA. No Author, No Problem Style guides let you wrap everything up in a nice neat package. They even cover you in those sticky...