How to Write a Bibliography in Any Academic Writing Style (MLA, APA, etc.)

How to Write a Bibliography in Any Academic Writing Style (MLA, APA, etc.)

A bibliography is the best proof of your research skills. As you have noticed, teachers usually ask for various sources to be used throughout the paper. If the essay contains some direct quotations and properly cited references page, it only increases student’s chances to get the highest possible grade.

Referencing primary and secondary sources correctly is also an ethical decision. Plagiarism results in “F” and lots of troubles. No one wants his work to be stolen. Luckily, modern teachers are well aware of the special internet tools that may define whether the student copy-pasted the material or wrote the whole paper on his own. Using citations is a nice way to prove that you understand the topic, but it’s also too dangerous to insert quotations without knowing how to format your essay correctly. The ending page known as Bibliography has to be written in a right manner too. It must contain all sources that helped you with your research.

To do so, a student has to learn and differentiate several basic writing styles used in academic writing. Those are:

  1. MLA
  2. APA
  3. Turabian
  4. Vancouver
  5. Harvard
Each format is different from the rest. Basically, you should memorize these sources by heart in order to prepare an excellent annotated bibliography. The main difference between an annotated bibliography and a simple reference page is that students have to complete only this type of task along with adding summaries of each source in the first case; in the second case, bibliography figures as just part of the entire essay, and it is placed on the separate page at the end of the paper. Anyway, your paper may be completed with the speed of light – you may find a solution here.

If you have to write a bibliography, you might be first interested in studying corresponding writing guides and materials such as American Psychological Association for scientific papers, Modern Language Association for humanities papers, and Chicago Manual of Style for books and journals.

When you write your paper, you have to apply the following types of primary sources:
  • Textbook
  • Book
  • Academic article
  • Scientific journal
  • Newspaper
  • Official magazine
  • Documentary
  • Audio tape
  • Video
Each of these sources is cited in its own unique way, and you need to study the writing style manuals from cover to cover to master this art.

Even if we speak about your own book instead of school essay, a bibliography still has to be included. When you cite some credible sources, you attract a larger reading audience. You may even cite a website, but it has to be a reliable source. At the same time, college professors hate when students use Wikipedia as the credible source, so try to avoid encyclopedias like this one. Perhaps, it is connected with the fact that every internet user may edit its pages.

Your arguments should be supported by science. Only objective facts can serve as good evidence. Thus, only scientific sources should be applied in your task.

Mind these general rules of writing a bibliography:

  1. Each time you cite a particular author, develop a reference list. You may take notes and create a separate draft for all quotations. Don’t forget to dedicate at least one page of your essay to the bibliography. Mention ALL articles, books, web publications, and other sources you used to inform your work.
  2. Include every detail you know about the source in your bibliography. The most critical information should include:
  • Title
  • Author’s full name
  • Date of publication
  • Publisher
  • Volume, series, etc.
  • Page number (if available)
  • Link to the web page (for internet sources)
  1. Cite articles. The example of the format is given below:
Example: Hendrix, O. M. (2013). "The History of American Black Music." Savannah Quarterly, 3(1), 76.
  1. Citing books in your bibliography is pretty much the same with some nuances. Here is an example:
Liu, K. N. (2012). Riding with the Wind. New York, New York: One Two Press.
  1. Citing website is something completely different. It is not really recommended to use too many websites for your bibliography, but still, here is an example:
Quarry, R. R. (May 23, 2010). Wild Skies. Retrieved from
  1. Add in-text citations. Don’t forget to add each cited book or else to the bibliography list. Use quotation marks when you insert direct speech and quotes. Poems are created with the help of slashes.
  2. Try to stick to this format of citing a quote:
At the same she provides some warnings like “technical ability and skills aren’t always enough venture” (Torpey, p. 47).
  1. If you write in MLA style, your bibliography will be called Works Cited page. In case you prefer APA, your bibliography will appear under References name. In any case, this part always goes at the end of your essay, on a separate blank page. By recalling the previous example, your bibliography, or Works Cited page will look this way:
Work Cited
Torpey, Elka. “You’re a What? Online Seller.” Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring
2013, pp. 46-49.

As we can see, there is nothing complicated about composing a bibliography. Vice versa, it is one of the easiest parts. The most responsible thing is to choose credible and interesting sources that are no older than 5 years. If you experience some troubles with writing an academic paper, order a solution in the shape of custom essay online.