To successfully accomplish any scholarly piece of writing like a dissertation, a thesis, or a research paper, all the citations and sources should be listed in the paper. Writing any academic paper or thesis is a work of art that requires the writer’s proficiency in the respective subject matter and his/her ability to comprehend it in an engaging manner. Most of the students and professionals, despite of possessing abundant knowledge in a particular matter, fail to produce an elucidate piece of writing.
This mostly results from the lack of creative writing and absence of presentation skills. Whenever there is an assignment of writing a scholarly document comes up, most of us restrict ourselves to making the document informative, often ignoring the fact that any form of writing cannot be justified if it fails to engage the reader or miss the main motive of conveying the message to the reader. Therefore, it becomes crucially important for any writer to maintain a perfect balance between informing the reader and bombarding the reader with irrelevant information.
The onus of making a document relevant, accurate and engrossing lies on the writer. The process of acing any writing assignment is multi-dimensional. Apart from the main text of the document, there are certain aspects and features that play a crucial role in bringing out the entire document as a whole. Most of the time, students limit themselves to the main body of the assignment, thereby ignoring to work on other features with equal zeal.
Any scholarly document is majorly a result of intensive research. Good research forms the basis of a good article. A student refers to a number of research, books, journals, etc. to gather relevant facts and figures for his/her assignment. And all this use of external sources makes it mandatory for the candidate to acknowledge the use of such sources in the document. And hence comes the role of a bibliography. If you are also stuck with creating a bibliography for your assignment or research paper or thesis, this article will help you out. Keep reading and you will find the solutions to all your problems related to bibliography.
A Bibliography in simple terms is a carefully curated list of all the resources that one might have used or referred to in the document either directly or indirectly. It is not an unknown fact that using any external source becomes inevitable while writing any scholarly article. In fact, the use of relevant and high-quality sources is encouraged to be included in one’s article. Strong references and appropriate data help one to strengthen an argument in a report or any form of assignment. Therefore, it becomes equally important to acknowledge the use of such sources in accomplishing the task successfully.
A bibliography, therefore, acts as a tool to keep a log of such resources used in the process of writing a dissertation, thesis or research paper. The resources used could be any research papers, books, encyclopaedias, interviews, films, journals, etc. It is important to note here that all these sources have a different format for inclusion in a bibliography. A bibliography though maybe is a list but it has a distinct format to include different references in a different manners. Many students find it difficult to create a bibliography perfectly. Therefore we have curated a list of the most commonly used sources to be included in the bibliography and their respective format.
Book is one of the most common resources referred to while writing any scholarly article. Take a look at its formatting in a bibliography –
Author of the book (Last Name, First Name). Title of the Book. Place of Publication: Name of Publisher of the book, Year of Publish.
Example: Keynes, John Maynard. A Treatise on Money. London: Macmillan and Co, Ltd., 1930.
The format is somewhat that of a book.
Author’s name (Last Name, First Name). “Title of the Article”. Name of the Magazine. Date of Publication: Page numbers used
Example: Talese Gay. “Frank Sinatra has a cold”. Esquire. April 1966: 122-35.
Follow the below format to include a newspaper article in your bibliography:
Author’s Name (Last Name, First Name). “Article Title”. Name of the Newspaper. City, Sate of Publication. Date of Publication: Page numbers.
Example: Hegghammer, Malfrid Braut. “Why North Korea succeeded at getting nuclear weapons — when Iraq and Libya failed”. The Washington Post. Washington DC. Jan 02, 2018: 07.
It is a simple one. Check out the following format:
Full Name of the Interviewee (Last Name first). Occupation. Date of Interview.
Example: Thatcher, Margaret. Politician. August 1971.
The above examples help us to understand the basic formatting technique required in a bibliography. The main point to remember here is that all the sources mentioned must be completely described with proper dates and names.
The most common styles used are APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Oxford, Vancouver, etc.
Creating a bibliography rather is a tedious job. It becomes quite difficult to keep a log of all the resources referred to while writing the entire document. Therefore, it is suggested that a student must keep on noting down all the references he/she might have used in any possible way. The use of any resource without giving prior acknowledgement might amount to plagiarism and that is something unacceptable. While you write an assignment a student must make a note of the references thus used. And this list then finally can be converted into a bibliography.
Another important point to remember while writing a bibliography is that all the resources must appear in alphabetical order. This helps the reader to refer to the references at any time and even gives an order to the entire list of bibliography. The bibliography must be having pointers. Lengthy sentences are to be avoided. Keep the bibliography short and crisp. Include this bibliography at the end of your document.
One of the most common hurdles that students face is the lack of clarity on various features of an assignment. Similarly, many students get confused between a reference list and a bibliography. To make things clear, remember that these two are somewhat similar however a bibliography is a more detailed list of references than a reference list. A bibliography is a more technical and professional aspect that includes details of a reference while a reference list is a normal list that just contains the name of references without any particular details.
If one is including a bibliography in a document then the reference list need not be included. A bibliography serves the purpose better and is considered more professional than a reference list.
Another major confusing point that troubles students are the similarities or differences between a bibliography and acknowledgements. Remember, these two serve completely different purposes. We now know about the relevance and purpose of a bibliography. So, let us discuss the acknowledgements. An acknowledgement is more of a personal account by an author. It is a space utilized by the author of a dissertation, a thesis or a research paper to say a few words of appreciation and acknowledgement for all the people who have helped him/her to accomplish the document.
An acknowledgement contains the inclusion of all the important people, professionals, friends, and acquaintances related to the author who has helped the author in some way or the other to make the document a success.
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