MLA STYLE - UNDERSTANDING HOW TO WRITE A BIBLIOGRAPHY IN 9 EASY STEPS

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of all the works you have cited to get information about your topic. It can be a magazine, book, encyclopedia etc. If you have worked tediously on your topic and you want the reader to consider you legit, resourceful and honest, never forget to do this last bit of work and learn how to write a bibliography. It may sound boring because of its nature but on the contrary, writing a bibliography can be more fulfilling experience for you and for the reader to understand the nature of the text.


Following are the 9 easy steps on how to write an annotated bibliography;

1. ARRANGE THE CITATIONS ACCORDING TO THE SOURCE

There is a different format to cite different resources. Keep these formats in mind before you write and follow them to effectively construct the bibliography.

A) Books

Format:

Author's last name, first name. Book title. Additional information. City of publication: publishing Company, publication date.

B) Encyclopedia & Dictionary

Format:

Author's last name, first name. "Title of Article”. Title of Encyclopedia. Date.
Note: If the dictionary or encyclopedia organizes articles alphabetically, you may leave out volume and page numbers.

C) Magazine & Newspaper Articles
Format:

Author's last name, first name. "Article title". Periodical title Volume # Date: inclusive pages.

Note: If an edition is named on the masthead, add a comma after the date and specify the edition

D) Website or Webpage

Format:

Author's last name, first name (if available). "Title of work within a project or database." Title of site, project, or database. Editor (if available). Electronic publication data (Date of publication or of the latest updates, and name of any sponsoring institution or organization). Date of access and .

Note: If you cannot find some of this information, cite what is available.

2. ALWAYS KEEP THE RECORD

Don’t wait until the end of your research to write down your resources. Make it a work in progress and shape it while you are working on your research and look up. Always Keep track of where you got the sources from and make sure that you maintain a record file for all of them. This will save you time and a lot of extra workload in the end.

3. DON’T FORGET THE BASICS

Your list of works cited should begin at the end of the paper, on a new page with the title in the centre. Don’t overlook anything, include every source you have cited .Don’t ignore the aesthetics. Always use hanging indentations i.e. if two or more lines are to be used the second line should be indented 1/2” to the right side. Use lowercase abbreviations to identify the parts of a work (e.g., vol. for volume, ed. for editor)

4. NAMES OF THE AUTHORS

Always arrange the names of the authors alphabetically. If author name is not given, alphabetize by the title of the publication. For multiple writers write three names and use et al. (and all other) for the rest. Write the complete name of the author with any status like Junior or Senior, if applicable. You should never include the author's titles that refer to his or her job like MD, or PhD.

5. DATES

Always abbreviate the months except for May, June, July. Use either of these formats (DD/MM/YYYY) or (MM/DD/YYYY) and make sure you Choose one and use one. Be consistent. If you do not have the date of publication, you can use the abbreviation n.d (no date). If there are many dates, most recent date of publication should be used. If you are utilizing weekly publications as your resource, you should use the date/month/year format. For seasonal or quarterly publications, use the month and year format.

6. PAGE NUMBERS

Always assume the reader is going to verify your reference and include the page numbers for books if you have used only a part of the book. In case the page number is not available, you use the term n. page (no page). If the page numbers are not in sequence because of advertisements, then you should only use the first page number and add the plus (+) sign after that.

7. TITLES

Only use the title that is mentioned on the book or the research paper. Either you underline the titles and subtitles of all the publications or use italics. Again don’t ignore anything. Even include the name of the low scale newspaper if using it as a resource. The first letter of the title and subtitle should always be in capital letters.

8. PLACE OF PUBLICATION

Writing the country name is contract indicated. Only use the name of the city or the town. Name should be used only when you refer to books and not for any other publication. If you do not have the name of the city or town, abbreviations can be used n.p (no place). You should use names of cities along with the state, only if the name is confusing or the city is not renowned.

The city should be stated in square parenthesis [] after the name of the newspaper. Many papers use the name of the city, mention the name if it doesn't.

9. PUBLISHER NAMES

The name of the publisher should be shortened. For example, you should use McMahon and not McMahon Publishing Co. If there is more than one publisher, you have to mention all of them in a sequential order along with the year of each publication.

Learning how to write a bibliography might take its toll and writing as well bibliography but it is an important step that can’t be ignored. By following the above steps, you’ll be able to create a great bibliography that properly cites your sources!

The most important reason why you need to learn how to write annotated bibliography is that you have used information and research that someone else had put together and not giving them the credit, will be considered stealing. Obviously, you don’t want to be infamous but famous.

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