A high-quality bibliography or reference list is an essential part of any academic paper. So to help you out with your referencing, we’ve come up with a list of five top tips to follow when writing a bibliography.
1. Check Your Style Guide
Different schools, journals, and disciplines often use different referencing styles, so the most important thing you can do before putting together your bibliography is consult the relevant style guide. If you are not sure which system to use, try asking your lecturer, tutor, or supervisor.
2. Reference Lists vs. Bibliographies
Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there is sometimes an important difference. As a general rule:
A reference list is a list of every source cited in your essay.
A bibliography may include any text you have read during your research (even if you haven’t cited it in your work).
Make sure to check which style your institution prefers.
The easiest way to compose a bibliography is to note down the details for every text you read during your research.
Try creating a text file called “Bibliography” at the beginning of your project, then use it to keep a record of your sources.
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
When you finally write up your reference list, this will ensure you have access to all the information required.
4. Be Thorough
The information you include in your bibliography must be sufficient for your reader to quickly identify your sources. You therefore need to include full bibliographic detail for every text listed. This includes relevant page numbers if you’re citing journal articles or chapters from edited volumes.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is just as important as thoroughness when it comes to the clarity of your bibliography. As such, all sources of the same type (all books, all websites, etc.) should use the same format.
Bibliography and Reference List Proofreading
If you need help with any element of academic writing, we are there for you. Our expert proofreaders are available 24/7 and have experience of working with a range of referencing systems. Why not upload a trial document today and see how proofreading could help you?