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How To Write A Research Paper Bibliography: 6 Basic Tips


Writing a research paper bibliography does not need to be a chore. With these 6 basic tips you will be on your way to having a well referenced paper. So what is the significance of a bibliography? A bibliography is an organized listing of the reference list of the supporting material used in the research of your paper. Every piece of knowledge, regardless of your use of direct quotes or the paraphrasing of material should be referenced. The following will help ensure that you develop a comprehensive bibliography.

  1. Understand what format your academic institution requires. Formats such as MLA and APA are most frequently used. You will need to format your references in the required citation style.

  2. Maintain a list of research materials prior to developing your paper for ongoing reference. As you read, jot down the name of the book, article, and author for easy retrieval.

  3. Develop in text citations or footnote references. Depending on the required format, this may require the last name, year of publication, and page reference of the information.

  4. Check in text citations for the correct formatting. Formatting requirements differ, so make sure that you properly cite according to the requirements of your academic institution. Formatting varies greatly from footnoting with the use of a numeric assignment to details of the source immediately following the text.

  5. Add the references from your in text citations or footnotes to your reference list (bibliography). As you develop references within your text, make it a habit to write out the complete bibliographic reference on the bibliography page. This will help ensure that you do not miss adding reference items that were cited in text.

  6. Ensure the correct formatting of your bibliography references. Similar to the instructions provided for in text referencing, you must ensure that you are correctly formatting your bibliographic references as per your academic requirements. Most institutions take very seriously the proper referencing of materials, so make sure you follow the specific requirements of the required source reference formatting.

When you take a strategic approach to organizing and documented the source material used in the development of your research paper, you increase the rigor of your paper. Good organization of your material will help you ensure that you do not miss the proper citation of material, which could result in accusations of plagiarized material. Document as you go in the appropriate, required format, and you are sure to find success,


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