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What Is A Bibliography Page

Overview

A bibliography is a listing of the books, magazines, and Internet sources that you use in designing, carrying out, and understanding your science fair project. But, you develop a bibliography only after first preparing a background research plan — a road map of the research questions you need to answer. Before you compose your bibliography, you will need to develop your background research plan.

With your background research plan in hand, you will find sources of information that will help you with your science fair project. As you find this information it will be important for you to write down where the sources are from. You can use the Bibliography Worksheet to help you, just print out a few copies and take them with you to the library. As you find a source, write in all of the necessary information. This way, when you are typing your bibliography you won't need to go back to the library and find any missing information. The more information you write down about your source, the easier it will be for you to find if you want to read it again.

When you are writing your report, you will use the sources in your bibliography to remind you of different facts and background information you used for your science fair project. Each time you use some information from a source, you will need to cite the source that it came from. To cite a source, simply put the author's name and the date of the publication in parentheses (Author, date) in your text. If the person reading your report wants to find the information and read more about it, they can look up the reference in your bibliography for more detail about the source. That is why each source you use must be listed in a detailed bibliography with enough information for someone to go and find it by themselves.

Your bibliography should include a minimum of three written sources of information about your topic from books, encyclopedias, and periodicals. You may have additional information from the Web if appropriate.

Examples of Bibliography Formats

There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the author's name, the title, the date, and the source.

Different types of sources have different formatting in the bibliography. In American schools, the two most commonly used guidelines for this formatting are published by the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association).

The MLA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called Works Cited. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common MLA formats for your use: MLA Format Examples.

The APA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called the Reference List. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common APA formats for your use: APA Format Examples.

Your teacher will probably tell you which set of guidelines to use.

On the Science Buddies website we use the following guidelines:

  • APA format for online sources
  • MLA format for all other sources
  • APA (author, date, page) format for citations in our articles

Getting Started

Download and print the Science Buddies Bibliography Worksheet. Keep several copies with you and fill in the information as you do your research. When you are finished, type the information from the worksheet into a formatted bibliography using the examples listed above.

Sample Bibliographies

Sample Bibliography: MLA Works Cited Format
Sample Bibliography: APA Reference List Format

Bibliography Checklist

What Makes a Good Bibliography?For a Good Bibliography, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Have you included at least 3 sources of written information on your subject? (If you include Web pages, they should be in addition to the written sources.)Yes / No
Have you included complete information to identify each of your sources (author's name, the title, the date, and where it was published)?Yes / No
Have you used the proper format for each of your sources? Most teachers prefer the MLA or APA formats. Yes / No
Is your Bibliography in alphabetical order, by author's last name?Yes / No
Do you have sources of information to answer all of your research questions?Yes / No

 

Format of the MLA Works Cited Page in MLA 7

Quick facts:

  • The Works Cited list typically appears at the end of a paper.
  • Name the page “Works Cited.” While “Bibliography” and “Literature Cited” are sometimes used, Works Cited is often the most appropriate.
    • An Annotated Bibliography is different than a Works Cited list. An annotated bibliography includes brief summaries and evaluations of the sources. Check out our page on Annotated Bibliographies to learn more.
  • Make the Works Cited page the next consecutive page number. If the last page of your project is page 12, the Works Cited list will be page 13.

Format of the Paper:

  1. Use one-inch margins around the paper. Double-space the entire document.
  2. Place the title of the page (Works Cited) in the center of the page, an inch from the top.
  3. Create a double space between the title (Works Cited) and the first citation.
  4. Each citation should start on the left margin (one inch from the side of the paper).
  5. For longer citations, indent the second and any subsequent lines one half inch from the beginning of the citation. This is called a hanging citation.

Example of a hanging citation:

Kondō, Marie. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese

             Art of Decluttering and Organizing. New York: Ten Speed,

             2014. Print.

 

Format of Citations:

  1. Place citations in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If there are two works by the same author, alphabetize by the last name of the second author (if there is one). If there is only the single author, alphabetize by the title of the work.

Two or More Works by the Same Author

If there are two works by the same author, it is not necessary to type out their full name for each citation. Instead, type out the full name in the first citation only. For all subsequent citations, in place of the name, type three hyphens with a period at the end.

 

Example:

 

Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. New York: Warner, 1996. Print.

 

—. A Walk to Remember. New York, NY: Warner, 1999.
Print.

 

If the author is listed along with another author, type out the full name of each author, do not use the hyphens and periods.

 

Example:

 

Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. New York: Warner, 1996. Print.

 

—. A Walk to Remember. New York, NY: Warner, 1999.
              Print.

 

Sparks, Nicholas, and Micah Sparks. Three Weeks with My Brother.


              New York: Warner, 2004. Print.

 

Two or More Works by the Same Authors:

 

When there are two or more works by multiple authors, use hyphens and periods.

 

Example:

 

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse, and Tom Lichtenheld. Duck! Rabbit! San

             Francisco: Chronicle, 2009. Print.

—. Exclamation Mark.

             New York: Scholastic, 2013. Print.

 

Don’t forget, you can create your MLA citations quickly and easily on EasyBib.

For more information on creating your MLA Works Cited page, check out Writing Commons and Illinois Valley Community College’s website.

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