How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

Learn how to easily write a bibliography by following the format outlined in this article.

This resource will help your students properly cite different resources in the bibliography of a research paper, and how to format those citations, for books, encyclopedias, films, websites, and people.

Grades:
9 |
10 |
11 |
Updated on: June 29, 2000

What is a bibliography?

According to Infoplease.com, A bibliography is a list of the sources you used to get information for your report. It is included at the end of your report, on the last page (or last few pages).

How to get started writing your bibliography

You will find it easier to prepare your final bibliography if you keep track of each book, encyclopedia, or article you use as you are reading and taking notes. Start a preliminary, or draft, bibliography by listing on a separate sheet of paper all your sources. Note down the full title, author, place of publication, publisher, and date of publication for each source.

Haven't started your paper yet and need an outline? These sample essay outlines include a research paper outline from an actual student paper.

General Guide to Formatting a Bibliography from Infoplease.com

For a book:

Author (last name first). Title of the book. City: Publisher, Date of publication.

EXAMPLE:

Dahl, Roald. The BFG. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982.


For an encyclopedia:

Encyclopedia Title, Edition Date. Volume Number, "Article Title," page numbers.

EXAMPLE:

The Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1997. Volume 7, "Gorillas," pp. 50-51.


For a magazine:

Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of magazine. Volume number, (Date): page numbers.

EXAMPLE:

Jordan, Jennifer, "Filming at the Top of the World." Museum of Science Magazine. Volume 47, No. 1, (Winter 1998): p. 11.


For a newspaper:

Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of newspaper, city, state of publication. (date): edition if available, section, page number(s).

EXAMPLE:

Powers, Ann, "New Tune for the Material Girl." The New York Times, New York, NY. (3/1/98): Atlantic Region, Section 2, p. 34.


For a person:

Full name (last name first). Occupation. Date of interview.

EXAMPLE:

Smeckleburg, Sweets. Bus driver. April 1, 1996.


For a film:

Title, Director, Distributor, Year.

EXAMPLE:

Braveheart, Dir. Mel Gibson, Icon Productions, 1995


CD-ROM:

Disc title: Version, Date. "Article title," pages if given. Publisher.

EXAMPLE:

Compton's Multimedia Encyclopedia: Macintosh version, 1995. "Civil rights movement," p.3. Compton's Newsmedia.


Magazine article:

Author (last name first). "Article title." Name of magazine (type of medium). Volume number, (Date): page numbers. If available: publisher of medium, version, date of issue.

EXAMPLE:

Rollins, Fred. "Snowboard Madness." Sports Stuff (CD-ROM). Number 15, (February 1997): pp. 15-19. SIRS, Mac version, Winter 1997.


Newspaper article:

Author (last name first). "Article title." Name of newspaper (Type of medium), city and state of publication. (Date): If available: Edition, section and page number(s). If available: publisher of medium, version, date of issue.

EXAMPLE:

Stevenson, Rhoda. "Nerve Sells." Community News (CD-ROM), Nassau, NY. (Feb 1996): pp. A4-5. SIRS, Mac. version, Spring 1996.


Online Resources

Internet:

Author of message, (Date). Subject of message. Electronic conference or bulletin board (Online). Available e-mail: LISTSERV@ e-mail address

EXAMPLE:

Ellen Block, (September 15, 1995). New Winners. Teen Booklist (Online). Helen Smith@wellington.com


World Wide Web:

URL (Uniform Resource Locator or WWW address). author (or item's name, if mentioned), date.

EXAMPLE: (Boston Globe's www address)

http://www.boston.com. Today's News, August 1, 1996.

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