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Creating a Bibliography

A bibliography is a list, either indicative or comprehensive, of writings used or considered by an author in preparing a particular work.

Formats vary, but an entry for a book in a bibliography usually contains the following information about it:

  • author(s)
  • title
  • publisher
  • date of publication

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An entry for a journal or periodical article usually contains:

  • author(s)
  • article title
  • journal title
  • volume
  • pages
  • date of publication

A bibliography may be arranged by author, topic, or some other scheme.

Annotated bibliographies give descriptions about how each source is useful to an author in constructing a paper or argument. These descriptions, usually a few sentences long, provide a summary of the source and describe its relevance. Bibliographies differ from library catalogs by including all relevant items rather than all items that are actually in a particular library. However, some national libraries' catalogs also serve as national bibliographies, as they contain almost all their countries' publications.

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