How Do I Write A Bibliography For A Research Paper

  • 1

    Create a works cited page. Reserve a page at the end of your paper for the bibliography, referred to as "works cited" in MLA style. Write "Works Cited" at the top of the next page after the last page of your paper. This page should have the same header with your last name as the rest of your paper, and your page numbers should continue onto this page, too.[10]

  • 2

    Capitalize all words in titles except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. You should capitalize every word in the title of your sources, except for words like “an,” “the,” and “of.” If you’re unsure how to capitalize your title, you can use online capitalization generators, like Title Capitalization, to check your titles.[11]

  • 3

    Double space your citations page. All of the pages of your MLA bibliography should be double spaced. You don’t need to put extra spaces between each source, as long as everything is double-spaced.[12]

  • 4

    Indent each successive line for the same source. If your source takes up more than one line, indent the each successive line 0.5 inches (1.25 cm). Once you begin a new source, go back to the original margin.[13]

  • 5

    List your sources alphabetically by author’s last name. After the author’s last name, you should list their full first name and their middle name or initial, if they have one listed on the source.[14]
    • You shouldn’t use an author’s title or degrees when listing their names in your bibliography. This is true even if they are listed that way on the source.
  • 6

    Cite books. Include the author's last name and first name, separated by a comma and ending with a period. Then the book title comes in italics with a period at the end of the title. The place of publication and the name of the publishing company are separated by a colon, and then a comma and the publication date.[15]
    • For example, a book citation might look like this: Butler, Olivia. Parable of the Flower. Sacramento: Seed Press, 1996.
  • 7

    Cite articles. Start with the last name and first name of the author, followed by a period. Then the title of the article should be in quotes, with a period after the title (but still inside the last quotation mark). The name of the periodical or book should follow in italics, followed by a comma and then volume and issue numbers and date of publication, all separated by commas. Finally, a colon separates the date of publication the title of the article, the title of the publication, the volume and issue number, the date, and the pages of the source.[16]
    • For example, an article published in a scholarly journal might look like this: Green, Marsha. "Life in Costa Rica." Science Magazine vol. 1, no. 4, Mar 2013: 1-2.
    • If you’re citing an article in a newspaper, you only need the name of the newspaper, followed by the date it was published, and the page number. A citation for that might look like this: Smith, Jennifer. “Tiny Tim Wins Award.” New York Times, 24 Dec 2017, p. A7.
  • 8

    Cite websites. Start with the author's last and first name (if available) followed by a period. Then the title of the article or project in quotes, followed by the title of the website in quotes. Both titles should end in periods. Then the date of publication and the name of the sponsoring institution comes in parentheses, separated by commas. Finally, the date of access and the full web address ends the citation.
    • For example, a website citation might look like this: Jong, June. "How to Write an Essay." Writing Portal. 2 Aug. 2012. University of California. 23 Feb. 2013. <>
    • Some websites, particularly academic ones, will have what’s called a DOI (digital object identifier). Write “doi:” in front of this number in place of the website’s url if a DOI is available.
  • 9

    Use reliable sources to look for the citations rules for other types of sources. There are a lot of different types of sources you can use in a research paper. Use a reliable source to look up those citation rules. You can actually purchase a copy of the MLA style guide, or you can use a website like Purdue’s OWL (online writing lab) to look up your sources.

  • What is a bibliography?

                ·     A bibliography is as a works cited or reference list. It is a list of the sources that were used

                     in the research paper.

    Why is it needed?

                   ·     The list gives authority to the paper, indicating that the information that was collected is accurate.

    How to write a bibliography

                   ·     The bibliography should be at the end

                   ·     The first page of the bibliography must be titled, i.e. “Bibliography”, “References” or “Works Cited”

                   ·     Sources should be in alphabetical order by last name

                   ·     The first line should begin at the margin and the following lines should be indented.

    Make sure that the type of bibliography is known

                   ·     Annotated? (adding a summary of the source)

    What style does the bibliography need to be formatted?

                 ·     MLA

                   ·     APA

                   ·     Chicago/Turabian


    APA format (book)

    Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 2006.

    Annotated Bibliography:

    Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 2006.

    This book is about a girl who moves in with her father in Forks, Washington. While living there she, comes in contact with Edward Cullen, who is handsome and mysterious. She comes to learn that he is a vampire and trouble ensues.


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