General Instruction For Creating A Research Paper Bibliography

When you are writing a research paper, your worry should not just be about the body of work only – you should also concern yourself with the bibliography. Whether you are writing in the MLA or APA style, there are standard formats you are expected to follow. Here are general instructions to help you create your academic paper’s bibliography. They are as follows:

  • Start On A New Page: Your bibliography should start on a new page which is at the end of your academic paper. The title should be centred.
  • Alphabetize Entries: This is a way of making it easier for your target readers to search for and locate authors of sources used in writing your research paper. In doing this, start with the authors’ last names, taking note to ignore spaces and any other type of punctuation. In a situation where the author’s name is unknown, the entry is represented by the title of the work, ignoring prefixes like The, An, or A.
  • Be Consistent With Date Format: When you are typing the dates, it is important that you remain consistent with any format being used. For example, if you are using the day-month-year format (23 May 2007), stick to it. If on the other hand, you are using the month-day-year format (May 23, 2007), continue with same. Apart from the months of May, June, and July, any other month can be abbreviated.
  • Italicize Publication Names: Unless otherwise stated by your instructor, the names of publications should be typed in italics. However, to be on the safer side, find out if your instructor prefers underlining to italicizing.
  • Use Of Hanging Indents: This is mainly applicable to MLA citations. While the first line of all your entries are expected to be flush with the left hand side of the paper, subsequent lines are to be indented at ½”.
  • Proper Use Of Capitalization: In typing the bibliography of your research paper, there should be proper use of capitalization and in this case, title case capitalization is advised.
  • Using Abbreviations Properly: In using abbreviations when referring to certain parts of the publication being cited, make use of lower case. For example, vol. for volume, and ed. for editor.
  • Using Punctuations Properly: When writing titles of the publications used in the course of writing your researchpaper, you should make proper use of punctuations. To separate a title and subtitle, you should make use of colon and a space.