How to Complete an Academic Research Paper Bibliography Properly

A bibliography is a very important section of your research paper. In this section, you should indicate all the sources, like books, magazines, or websites that you used during your work. Many students don’t pay much attention to formatting a bibliography. This often results in them getting lower scores for their papers. If you don’t know how to complete your bibliography properly, read the tips below.

  1. Keep track of your sources.
  2. For your bibliography to be as accurate as possible, you should write down the necessary information about any source you use. Even if you used only one sentence from an entire book to support your argument, you should cite it in your references.

  3. Make sure that you used enough sources.
  4. Teachers and instructors often state a minimal number of sources you should use during your research. If the number of your sources is too small, consult your teacher to know where to find more helpful books and magazines.

  5. Write down the necessary information.
  6. To properly cite a source, you’ll need more than just a title of a book or a website’s name. The information that you’ll need for any printed source includes the author’s name, the title of a book or an article, the date of publication, the town or city where a book was published, the publishing company’s name, the volume number, and the number of pages. You may also use online sources, so here is the information that you’ll need to collect from each site: names of the author and editor, the title of the page, the company that posted the page, URL for the page, the last date that you looked at the page.

  7. Look carefully.
  8. It’s not always obvious where to find the necessary information listed above for your sources. However, the most common places to find the needed data are the title page of a book or a dictionary, the heading of an article, the front (sometimes, second or editorial) page of a newspaper, the contents page of a magazine, the header or footer of a website, the About or Contact page of a website.

  9. Choose your format.
  10. Research papers have different formats. The most popular are the APA and MLA styles. Consult your instructor to know what format your paper should have in order to structure your references properly.

  11. Create your list.
  12. The final step is to gather your sources into a list that should be organized in alphabetical order using last names of authors or using article titles if their authors are unknown.