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Harvard Style Bibliography | Format & Examples

Published on 1 May 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 7 November 2022.

In Harvard style , the bibliography or reference list provides full references for the sources you used in your writing.

  • A reference list consists of entries corresponding to your in-text citations .
  • A bibliography sometimes also lists sources that you consulted for background research, but did not cite in your text.

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. If in doubt about which to include, check with your instructor or department.

The information you include in a reference varies depending on the type of source, but it usually includes the author, date, and title of the work, followed by details of where it was published. You can automatically generate accurate references using our free reference generator:

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Table of contents

Formatting a harvard style bibliography, harvard reference examples, referencing sources with multiple authors, referencing sources with missing information, frequently asked questions about harvard bibliographies.

Sources are alphabetised by author last name. The heading ‘Reference list’ or ‘Bibliography’ appears at the top.

Each new source appears on a new line, and when an entry for a single source extends onto a second line, a hanging indent is used:

Harvard bibliography

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Reference list or bibliography entries always start with the author’s last name and initial, the publication date and the title of the source. The other information required varies depending on the source type. Formats and examples for the most common source types are given below.

  • Entire book
  • Book chapter
  • Translated book
  • Edition of a book

Journal articles

  • Print journal
  • Online-only journal with DOI
  • Online-only journal without DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Newspapers and magazines

  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

When a source has up to three authors, list all of them in the order their names appear on the source. If there are four or more, give only the first name followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sometimes a source won’t list all the information you need for your reference. Here’s what to do when you don’t know the publication date or author of a source.

Some online sources, as well as historical documents, may lack a clear publication date. In these cases, you can replace the date in the reference list entry with the words ‘no date’. With online sources, you still include an access date at the end:

When a source doesn’t list an author, you can often list a corporate source as an author instead, as with ‘Scribbr’ in the above example. When that’s not possible, begin the entry with the title instead of the author:

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning:

  • A reference list only includes sources cited in the text – every entry corresponds to an in-text citation .
  • A bibliography also includes other sources which were consulted during the research but not cited.

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’

In Harvard style referencing , to distinguish between two sources by the same author that were published in the same year, you add a different letter after the year for each source:

  • (Smith, 2019a)
  • (Smith, 2019b)

Add ‘a’ to the first one you cite, ‘b’ to the second, and so on. Do the same in your bibliography or reference list .

To create a hanging indent for your bibliography or reference list :

  • Highlight all the entries
  • Click on the arrow in the bottom-right corner of the ‘Paragraph’ tab in the top menu.
  • In the pop-up window, under ‘Special’ in the ‘Indentation’ section, use the drop-down menu to select ‘Hanging’.
  • Then close the window with ‘OK’.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, November 07). Harvard Style Bibliography | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 15 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/referencing/harvard-bibliography/

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How To Write a Bibliography (Three Styles, Plus Examples)

Give credit where credit is due.

Text that says Bibliography Writing Guide with WeAreTeachers logo on dark gray background as a tool to help students understand how to write a bibliography

Writing a research paper involves a lot of work. Students need to consult a variety of sources to gather reliable information and ensure their points are well supported. Research papers include a bibliography, which can be a little tricky for students. Learn how to write a bibliography in multiple styles and find basic examples below.

IMPORTANT: Each style guide has its own very specific rules, and they often conflict with one another. Additionally, each type of reference material has many possible formats, depending on a variety of factors. The overviews shown here are meant to guide students in writing basic bibliographies, but this information is by no means complete. Students should always refer directly to the preferred style guide to ensure they’re using the most up-to-date formats and styles.

What is a bibliography?

When you’re researching a paper, you’ll likely consult a wide variety of sources. You may quote some of these directly in your work, summarize some of the points they make, or simply use them to further the knowledge you need to write your paper. Since these ideas are not your own, it’s vital to give credit to the authors who originally wrote them. This list of sources, organized alphabetically, is called a bibliography.

A bibliography should include all the materials you consulted in your research, even if you don’t quote directly from them in your paper. These resources could include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Books and e-books
  • Periodicals like magazines or newspapers
  • Online articles or websites
  • Primary source documents like letters or official records

Bibliography vs. References

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. As noted above, a bibliography includes all the materials you used while researching your paper, whether or not you quote from them or refer to them directly in your writing.

A list of references only includes the materials you cite throughout your work. You might use direct quotes or summarize the information for the reader. Either way, you must ensure you give credit to the original author or document. This section can be titled “List of Works Cited” or simply “References.”

Your teacher may specify whether you should include a bibliography or a reference list. If they don’t, consider choosing a bibliography, to show all the works you used in researching your paper. This can help the reader see that your points are well supported, and allow them to do further reading on their own if they’re interested.

Bibliography vs. Citations

Citations refer to direct quotations from a text, woven into your own writing. There are a variety of ways to write citations, including footnotes and endnotes. These are generally shorter than the entries in a reference list or bibliography. Learn more about writing citations here.

What does a bibliography entry include?

Depending on the reference material, bibliography entries include a variety of information intended to help a reader locate the material if they want to refer to it themselves. These entries are listed in alphabetical order, and may include:

  • Author/s or creator/s
  • Publication date
  • Volume and issue numbers
  • Publisher and publication city
  • Website URL

These entries don’t generally need to include specific page numbers or locations within the work (except for print magazine or journal articles). That type of information is usually only needed in a footnote or endnote citation.

What are the different bibliography styles?

In most cases, writers use one of three major style guides: APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), or The Chicago Manual of Style . There are many others as well, but these three are the most common choices for K–12 students.

Many teachers will state their preference for one style guide over another. If they don’t, you can choose your own preferred style. However, you should also use that guide for your entire paper, following their recommendations for punctuation, grammar, and more. This will ensure you are consistent throughout.

Below, you’ll learn how to write a simple bibliography using each of the three major style guides. We’ve included details for books and e-books, periodicals, and electronic sources like websites and videos. If the reference material type you need to include isn’t shown here, refer directly to the style guide you’re using.

APA Style Bibliography and Examples

APA style example of a References bibliography page

Source: Verywell Mind

Technically, APA style calls for a list of references instead of a bibliography. If your teacher requires you to use the APA style guide , you can limit your reference list only to items you cite throughout your work.

How To Write a Bibliography (References) Using APA Style

Here are some general notes on writing an APA reference list:

  • Title your bibliography section “References” and center the title on the top line of the page.
  • Do not center your references; they should be left-aligned. For longer items, subsequent lines should use a hanging indent of 1/2 inch.
  • Include all types of resources in the same list.
  • Alphabetize your list by author or creator, last name first.
  • Do not spell out the author/creator’s first or middle name; only use their initials.
  • If there are multiple authors/creators, use an ampersand (&) before the final author/creator.
  • Place the date in parentheses.
  • Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle, unless the word would otherwise be capitalized (proper names, etc.).
  • Italicize the titles of books, periodicals, or videos.
  • For websites, include the full site information, including the http:// or https:// at the beginning.

Books and E-Books APA Bibliography Examples

For books, APA reference list entries use this format (only include the publisher’s website for e-books).

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Publication date). Title with only first word capitalized . Publisher. Publisher’s website

  • Wynn, S. (2020). City of London at war 1939–45 . Pen & Sword Military. https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/City-of-London-at-War-193945-Paperback/p/17299

Periodical APA Bibliography Examples

For journal or magazine articles, use this format. If you viewed the article online, include the URL at the end of the citation.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Publication date). Title of article. Magazine or Journal Title (Volume number) Issue number, page numbers. URL

  • Bell, A. (2009). Landscapes of fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945. Journal of British Studies (48) 1, 153–175. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25482966

Here’s the format for newspapers. For print editions, include the page number/s. For online articles, include the full URL.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date) Title of article. Newspaper title. Page number/s. URL

  • Blakemore, E. (2022, November 12) Researchers track down two copies of fossil destroyed by the Nazis.  The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/

Electronic APA Bibliography Examples

For articles with a specific author on a website, use this format.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title . Site name. URL

  • Wukovits, J. (2023, January 30). A World War II survivor recalls the London Blitz . British Heritage . https://britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz

When an online article doesn’t include a specific author or date, list it like this:

Title . (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL

  • Growing up in the Second World War . (n.d.). Imperial War Museums. Retrieved May 12, 2023, from https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war

When you need to list a YouTube video, use the name of the account that uploaded the video, and format it like this:

Name of Account. (Upload year, month day). Title [Video]. YouTube. URL

  • War Stories. (2023, January 15). How did London survive the Blitz during WW2? | Cities at war: London | War stories [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc

For more information on writing APA bibliographies, see the APA Style Guide website.

APA Bibliography (Reference List) Example Pages

An APA-style Reference List bibliography example page

Source: Simply Psychology

More APA example pages:

  • Western Australia Library Services APA References Example Page
  • Ancilla College APA References Page Example
  • Scribbr APA References Page Example

MLA Style Bibliography Examples

Diagram of MLA style bibliography entries

Source: PressBooks

MLA style calls for a Works Cited section, which includes all materials quoted or referred to in your paper. You may also include a Works Consulted section, including other reference sources you reviewed but didn’t directly cite. Together, these constitute a bibliography. If your teacher requests an MLA Style Guide bibliography, ask if you should include Works Consulted as well as Works Cited.

How To Write a Bibliography (Works Cited and Works Consulted) in MLA Style

For both MLA Works Cited and Works Consulted sections, use these general guidelines:

  • Start your Works Cited list on a new page. If you include a Works Consulted list, start that on its own new page after the Works Cited section.
  • Center the title (Works Cited or Works Consulted) in the middle of the line at the top of the page.
  • Align the start of each source to the left margin, and use a hanging indent (1/2 inch) for the following lines of each source.
  • Alphabetize your sources using the first word of the citation, usually the author’s last name.
  • Include the author’s full name as listed, last name first.
  • Capitalize titles using the standard MLA format.
  • Leave off the http:// or https:// at the beginning of a URL.

Books and E-Books MLA Bibliography Examples

For books, MLA reference list entries use this format. Add the URL at the end for e-books.

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. Title . Publisher, Date. URL

  • Wynn, Stephen. City of London at War 1939–45 . Pen & Sword Military, 2020. www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/City-of-London-at-War-193945-Paperback/p/17299

Periodical MLA Bibliography Examples

Here’s the style format for magazines, journals, and newspapers. For online articles, add the URL at the end of the listing.

For magazines and journals:

Last Name, First Name. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Journal , volume number, issue number, Date of Publication, First Page Number–Last Page Number.

  • Bell, Amy. “Landscapes of Fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945.” Journal of British Studies , vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 153–175. www.jstor.org/stable/25482966

When citing newspapers, include the page number/s for print editions or the URL for online articles.

Last Name, First Name. “Title of article.” Newspaper title. Page number/s. Year, month day. Page number or URL

  • Blakemore, Erin. “Researchers Track Down Two Copies of Fossil Destroyed by the Nazis.” The Washington Post. 2022, Nov. 12. www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/

Electronic MLA Bibliography Examples

Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Month Day, Year published. URL

  • Wukovits, John. 2023. “A World War II Survivor Recalls the London Blitz.” January 30,   2023. https://britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz

Website. n.d. “Title.” Accessed Day Month Year. URL.

  • Imperial War Museum. n.d. “Growing Up in the Second World War.” Accessed May 9, 2023. https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war.

Here’s how to list YouTube and other online videos.

Creator, if available. “Title of Video.” Website. Uploaded by Username, Day Month Year. URL.

  • “How did London survive the Blitz during WW2? | Cities at war: London | War stories.” YouTube . Uploaded by War Stories, 15 Jan. 2023. youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc.

For more information on writing MLA style bibliographies, see the MLA Style website.

MLA Bibliography (Works Cited) Example Pages

A bibliography example page with notes, written in MLA style

Source: The Visual Communication Guy

More MLA example pages:

  • Writing Commons Sample Works Cited Page
  • Scribbr MLA Works Cited Sample Page
  • Montana State University MLA Works Cited Page

Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

The Chicago Manual of Style (sometimes called “Turabian”) actually has two options for citing reference material : Notes and Bibliography and Author-Date. Regardless of which you use, you’ll need a complete detailed list of reference items at the end of your paper. The examples below demonstrate how to write that list.

How To Write a Bibliography Using The Chicago Manual of Style

A diagram of a book bibliography entry for the Chicago Manual of Style

Source: South Texas College

Here are some general notes on writing a Chicago -style bibliography:

  • You may title it “Bibliography” or “References.” Center this title at the top of the page and add two blank lines before the first entry.
  • Left-align each entry, with a hanging half-inch indent for subsequent lines of each entry.
  • Single-space each entry, with a blank line between entries.
  • Include the “http://” or “https://” at the beginning of URLs.

Books and E-Books Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

For books, Chicago -style reference list entries use this format. (For print books, leave off the information about how the book was accessed.)

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. Title . City of Publication: Publisher, Date. How e-book was accessed.

  • Wynn, Stephen. City of London at War 1939–45 . Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2020. Kindle edition.

Periodical Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

For journal and magazine articles, use this format.

Last Name, First Name. Year of Publication. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Journal , Volume Number, issue number, First Page Number–Last Page Number. URL.

  • Bell, Amy. 2009. “Landscapes of Fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945.” Journal of British Studies, 48 no. 1, 153–175. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25482966.

When citing newspapers, include the URL for online articles.

Last Name, First Name. Year of Publication. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Newspaper , Month day, year. URL.

  • Blakemore, Erin. 2022. “Researchers Track Down Two Copies of Fossil Destroyed by the Nazis.” The Washington Post , November 12, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/.

Electronic Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. “Title.” Site Name . Year, Month Day. URL.

  • Wukovits, John. “A World War II Survivor Recalls the London Blitz.” British Heritage. 2023, Jan. 30. britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz.

“Title.” Site Name . URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

  • “Growing Up in the Second World War.” Imperial War Museums . www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war. Accessed May 9, 2023.

Creator or Username. “Title of Video.” Website video, length. Month Day, Year. URL.

  • War Stories. “How Did London Survive the Blitz During WW2? | Cities at War: London | War Stories.” YouTube video, 51:25. January 15, 2023. https://youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc.

For more information on writing Chicago -style bibliographies, see the Chicago Manual of Style website.

Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Example Pages

A page showing an example of a bibliography using the Chicago Manual of Style

Source: Chicago Manual of Style

More Chicago example pages:

  • Scribbr Chicago Style Bibliography Example
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab CMOS Bibliography Page
  • Bibcitation Sample Chicago Bibliography

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Learn how to write a bibliography using MLA, ALA, and Chicago Manual of Style, plus see examples for each style and more.

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How to Write a Bibliography (MLA, APA Examples)

TeacherVision Staff

Learn how to easily write a bibliography by following the format outlined in this article.

This resource will help your students properly cite different resources in the bibliography of a research paper, and how to format those citations, for books, encyclopedias, films, websites, and people.

What is a bibliography?

According to Infoplease.com, A bibliography is a list of the types of sources you used to get information for your report. It is included at the end of your report, on the last page (or last few pages).

What are the types of bibliography styles (MLA, APA, etc.)?

The 3 most common bibliography/citation styles are:

  • MLA Style: The Modern Language Association works cited page style
  • APA Style: The American Psychological Association style
  • Chicago Style: The bibliography style defined by the Chicago Manual of Style

We’ll give examples of how to create bibliography entries in various styles further down in this article. 

What sources do you put in a bibliography?

An annotated bibliography should include a reference list of any sources you use in writing a research paper. Any printed sources from which you use a text citation, including books, websites, newspaper articles, journal articles, academic writing, online sources (such as PDFs), and magazines should be included in a reference list. In some cases, you may need or want to cite conversations or interviews, works of art, visual works such as movies, television shows, or documentaries - these (and many others) can also be included in a reference list.

How to get started writing your bibliography

You will find it easier to prepare your MLA, APA, or Chicago annotated bibliography if you keep track of each book, encyclopedia, journal article, webpage or online source you use as you are reading and taking notes. Start a preliminary, or draft, bibliography by listing on a separate sheet of paper all your sources. Note down the full title, author’s last name, place of publication, web address, publisher, and date of publication for each source.

Haven't started your paper yet and need an outline? These sample essay outlines include a research paper outline from an actual student paper.

How to write a bibliography step-by-step (with examples)

General Format: Author (last name first). Title of the book. Publisher, Date of publication.

MLA Style: Sibley, David Allen. What It’s Like to Be a Bird. From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing, What Birds Are Doing, and Why. Alfred A. Knopf, 2020.

APA Style: Sibley, D.A. (2020). What It’s Like to Be a Bird. From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing, What Birds Are Doing, and Why . Alfred A. Knopf.

Notes: Use periods, not commas, to separate the data in the entry. Use a hanging indent if the entry is longer than one line. For APA style, do not use the full author’s first name.

Websites or webpages:

  MLA Style: The SB Nation Family of Sites. Pension Plan Puppets: A Toronto Maple Leafs Blog, 2022, www.pensionplanpuppets.com. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.

APA Style: American Heart Association. (2022, April 11). How to keep your dog’s heart healthy. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2022/04/11/how-to-keep-your-dogs-heart-healthy

Online news article from a newspaper site:

APA Style: Duehren, A. (2022, April 9). Janet Yellen faces challenge to keep pressure on Russia. Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/janet-yellen-faces-challenge-to-keep-pressure-on-russia-while-addressing-global-consequences-11650366000

Print journal articles:

MLA Style: Booch, Grady. "Patterns in Object-Oriented Design." IEEE Software Engineering, vol. 6, no. 6, 2006, pp. 31-50.

APA Style: Booch, G. (2006). Patterns in object-oriented design. IEEE Software Engineering, 6(6), 31–50.

Note: It is suggested that you include a DOI and a webpage address when referencing either a printed journal article, and electronic journal article, or an journal article that appears in both formats. 

MLA Style: Gamma, Eric, and Peter A. Coad. “Exceptions to the Unified Modeling Language in Python Patterns.” IEEE Software Engineering, vol. 2, no. 6, 8 Mar. 2006, pp. 190-194. O’Reilly Software Engineering Library, https://doi.org/10.1006/se.20061. Accessed 26 May 2009.

APA Style: Masters, H., Barron, J., & Chanda, L. (2017). Motivational interviewing techniques for adolescent populations in substance abuse counseling. NAADAC Notes, 7(8), 7–13. https://www.naadac.com/notes/adolescent-techniques

ML:A Style: @Grady_Booch. “That’s a bold leap over plain old battery power cars.” Twitter, 13 Mar. 2013, 12:06 p.m., https://twitter.com/Grady_Booch/status/1516379006727188483.

APA Style: Westborough Library [@WestboroughLib]. (2022, April 12). Calling all 3rd through 5th grade kids! Join us for the Epic Writing Showdown! Winner receives a prize! Space is limited so register, today. loom.ly/ypaTG9Q [Tweet; thumbnail link to article]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/WestboroughLib/status/1516373550415896588.

Print magazine articles:

General format: Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of magazine. Volume number, (Date): page numbers.

MLA Style: Stiteler, Sharon. "Tracking Red-Breasted Grosbeak Migration." Minnesota Bird Journal, 7 Sept. 2019, pp. 7-11.

APA Style: Jordan, Jennifer, "Filming at the Top of the World." Museum of Science Magazine. Volume 47, No. 1, (Winter 1998): p. 11.

Print newspaper articles:

General format: Author (last name first), "Article Title." Name of newspaper, city, state of publication. (date): edition if available, section, page number(s).

MLA Style: Adelman, Martin. "Augustus Announces Departure from City Manager Post." New York Times, late ed., 15 February 2020, p. A1

APA Style: Adelman, M. (2020, February 15). Augustus announced departure from city manager post. New York Times, A1.

Encyclopedias:

General Format: Encyclopedia Title, Edition Date. Volume Number, "Article Title," page numbers.

MLA Style: “Gorillas.” The Encyclopedia Brittanica. 15th ed. 2010.

APA Style: Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc. (1997.) Gorillas. In The Encyclopedia Brittanica (15th ed., pp. 50-51). Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc.

Personal interviews:

General format: Full name (last name first). Personal Interview. (Occupation.) Date of interview.

MLA Style: Smithfield, Joseph. Personal interview. 19 May 2014.

APA Style: APA does not require a formal citation for a personal interview. Published interviews from other sources should be cited accordingly.

Films and movies:

General format: Title, Director, Distributor, Year.

MLA Style: Fury. Directed by David Ayer, performances by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Sony Pictures, 2014.

APA Style: Ayer, D. (Director). (2014). Fury [Film]. Sony Pictures.

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How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

Academic Writing Service

Do not try to “wow” your instructor with a long bibliography when your instructor requests only a works cited page. It is tempting, after doing a lot of work to research a paper, to try to include summaries on each source as you write your paper so that your instructor appreciates how much work you did. That is a trap you want to avoid. MLA style, the one that is most commonly followed in high schools and university writing courses, dictates that you include only the works you actually cited in your paper—not all those that you used.

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Get 10% off with 24start discount code, assembling bibliographies and works cited.

  • If your assignment calls for a bibliography, list all the sources you consulted in your research.
  • If your assignment calls for a works cited or references page, include only the sources you quote, summarize, paraphrase, or mention in your paper.
  • If your works cited page includes a source that you did not cite in your paper, delete it.
  • All in-text citations that you used at the end of quotations, summaries, and paraphrases to credit others for their ideas,words, and work must be accompanied by a cited reference in the bibliography or works cited. These references must include specific information about the source so that your readers can identify precisely where the information came from.The citation entries on a works cited page typically include the author’s name, the name of the article, the name of the publication, the name of the publisher (for books), where it was published (for books), and when it was published.

The good news is that you do not have to memorize all the many ways the works cited entries should be written. Numerous helpful style guides are available to show you the information that should be included, in what order it should appear, and how to format it. The format often differs according to the style guide you are using. The Modern Language Association (MLA) follows a particular style that is a bit different from APA (American Psychological Association) style, and both are somewhat different from the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Always ask your teacher which style you should use.

A bibliography usually appears at the end of a paper on its own separate page. All bibliography entries—books, periodicals, Web sites, and nontext sources such radio broadcasts—are listed together in alphabetical order. Books and articles are alphabetized by the author’s last name.

Most teachers suggest that you follow a standard style for listing different types of sources. If your teacher asks you to use a different form, however, follow his or her instructions. Take pride in your bibliography. It represents some of the most important work you’ve done for your research paper—and using proper form shows that you are a serious and careful researcher.

Bibliography Entry for a Book

A bibliography entry for a book begins with the author’s name, which is written in this order: last name, comma, first name, period. After the author’s name comes the title of the book. If you are handwriting your bibliography, underline each title. If you are working on a computer, put the book title in italicized type. Be sure to capitalize the words in the title correctly, exactly as they are written in the book itself. Following the title is the city where the book was published, followed by a colon, the name of the publisher, a comma, the date published, and a period. Here is an example:

Format : Author’s last name, first name. Book Title. Place of publication: publisher, date of publication.

  • A book with one author : Hartz, Paula.  Abortion: A Doctor’s Perspective, a Woman’s Dilemma . New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1992.
  • A book with two or more authors : Landis, Jean M. and Rita J. Simon.  Intelligence: Nature or Nurture?  New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Bibliography Entry for a Periodical

A bibliography entry for a periodical differs slightly in form from a bibliography entry for a book. For a magazine article, start with the author’s last name first, followed by a comma, then the first name and a period. Next, write the title of the article in quotation marks, and include a period (or other closing punctuation) inside the closing quotation mark. The title of the magazine is next, underlined or in italic type, depending on whether you are handwriting or using a computer, followed by a period. The date and year, followed by a colon and the pages on which the article appeared, come last. Here is an example:

Format:  Author’s last name, first name. “Title of the Article.” Magazine. Month and year of publication: page numbers.

  • Article in a monthly magazine : Crowley, J.E.,T.E. Levitan and R.P. Quinn.“Seven Deadly Half-Truths About Women.”  Psychology Today  March 1978: 94–106.
  • Article in a weekly magazine : Schwartz, Felice N.“Management,Women, and the New Facts of Life.”  Newsweek  20 July 2006: 21–22.
  • Signed newspaper article : Ferraro, Susan. “In-law and Order: Finding Relative Calm.”  The Daily News  30 June 1998: 73.
  • Unsigned newspaper article : “Beanie Babies May Be a Rotten Nest Egg.”  Chicago Tribune  21 June 2004: 12.

Bibliography Entry for a Web Site

For sources such as Web sites include the information a reader needs to find the source or to know where and when you found it. Always begin with the last name of the author, broadcaster, person you interviewed, and so on. Here is an example of a bibliography for a Web site:

Format : Author.“Document Title.” Publication or Web site title. Date of publication. Date of access.

Example : Dodman, Dr. Nicholas. “Dog-Human Communication.”  Pet Place . 10 November 2006.  23 January 2014 < http://www.petplace.com/dogs/dog-human-communication-2/page1.aspx >

After completing the bibliography you can breathe a huge sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back. You probably plan to turn in your work in printed or handwritten form, but you also may be making an oral presentation. However you plan to present your paper, do your best to show it in its best light. You’ve put a great deal of work and thought into this assignment, so you want your paper to look and sound its best. You’ve completed your research paper!

Back to  How To Write A Research Paper .

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bibliography essay examples

English: Bibliographic Essay

  • Web Resources
  • Bibliographic Essay

Bibliographic Essay Explanation

What is a Bibliographic Essay?

A bibliographic essay is a critical essay in which the writer identifies and evaluates the core works of research within a discipline or sub-discipline.

What is the purpose of a Bibliographic Essay?

A bibliographic essay is written to summarize and compare a number of sources on a single topic. The goal of this essay is not to prove anything about a subject, but rather to provide a general overview of the field. By looking through multiple books and articles, you can provide your reader with context for the subject you are studying, and recommend a few reputable sources on the topic.

Example of a Bibliographic Essay

  • http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/goldman/pdfs/EG-AGuideToHerLife_BiographicalEssay-TheWorldofEmmaGoldman.pdf

Steps to Creating a Bibliographic Essay

  • Start by searching our databases.  Think about your topic and brainstorm search terms before beginning. 
  • Skim and review articles to determine whether they fit your topic.
  • Evaluate your sources. 
  • Statement summarizing the focus of your bibliographic essay.
  • Give the title of each source following citation guidelines.
  • Name the author of each source.
  • Give important background information about authors, texts to be summarized, and the general topic from which the texts are drawn.
  • Information from more than one source
  • Use citations to indicate which material comes from which source. (Be careful not to plagiarize!)
  • Show similarities and differences between the different sources.
  • Represent texts fairly.
  • Write a conclusion reminding the reader of the most significant themes you found and the ways they connect to the overall topic.
  • << Previous: Citations
  • Last Updated: Jan 17, 2023 1:03 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.lipscomb.edu/english

Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Citation Basics / Annotated Bibliography Format & Examples

Annotated Bibliography Format & Examples

A complete guide to the mla & apa annotated bibliography.

If you’ve just received an assignment that requires an MLA or APA annotated bibliography, you may be wondering where to start. This guide will help answer all of your questions and includes step-by-step instructions on how to do an annotated bibliography in MLA style, as well as an APA annotated bibliography. You will also find sample annotated bibliographies, real-life examples, and opportunities to practice what you have learned.

The MLA ( Modern Language Association ) and APA (American Psychological Association) are not associated with this guide. All of the information provided here, however, offers direction for students and researchers who use these citation styles in their work.

The structures and annotated bibliography templates on this page were created by the in-house librarians at EasyBib.com.

If you’re simply looking for an example of an annotated bibliography (both in MLA format and APA format), scroll down toward the bottom of the page. We’ve included links to visuals for those of you who need help with the structure and styling of an annotated bibliography. If you’re looking for a variety of annotated bibliography topics, and you’re truly searching for the answer to, “What is an annotated bibliography?” then continue reading!

Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:

Table of contents

What is an annotated bibliography, annotations vs. abstract, why include annotations.

  • Step 1: Analyze your sources

Step 2: Write the descriptions

  • Step 3a: Formatting an MLA style annotated bibliography
  • Step 3b: Formatting an APA style annotated bibliography

Annotated Bibliography Templates

Using the easybib annotation tool.

A bibliography is a complete list of the sources that were used to complete a research paper or project.

Depending on the style guide you follow, you may also see this called a Works Cited (also called an MLA bibliography) or Reference List (APA format). Each listed source, or citation , shares information about the author, title, publishing year, and other details that serve to credit the original authors whose work informed your research. These details also help other students and researchers find and read the source materials.

When your research is related to a scholastic assignment, you should always verify your instructor’s requirements for the types and number of sources to include, as well as the style you should adhere to when formatting your paper and bibliography.

An MLA annotated bibliography and an APA format annotated bibliography are bibliographies that include a concise explanation, or annotation , of each listed source. Depending on the assignment, this annotation may be solely descriptive, or analytical.

An abstract and annotation should not be confused; they differ in both their substance as well as their placement in a paper.

Annotations: 

  • Usually found in bibliographies at the end of a paper
  • Are subjective
  • Purpose is to summarize and evaluate . It should briefly communicate the work’s main point, but also discuss the background of the author or study, and the strengths/weaknesses of the work.

Abstracts: 

  • Usually found in journal databases or the beginning of a paper
  • Are objective
  • Purpose is to summarize . It should provide a short overview of the article and communicate the main points and themes.

If you would like to learn more , this link further explores the difference between an abstract and an annotation.

This resource provides additional information on how to write a bibliography with annotations in other formats. You can also take advantage of the plagiarism checker and bibliography tools that come with EasyBib Plus to help you create your reference lists.

Before you learn how to make an annotated bibliography, you may be wondering why you need to.

Sometimes instructors want you to create and include annotations in your bibliography, either as part of an assignment or as an assignment unto itself. Understanding the purpose of this approach to your reference list can help to ensure that you gain all of the benefits that the annotated bibliography process provides.

As a student, this method will help you develop or hone your research skills, providing you with practice not only in locating sources but also in analyzing and evaluating them for relevance and quality.

Your instructor will gain insight into your research abilities, as well, allowing them to assess your work more thoroughly. If you plan to publish your research, this comprehensive approach to detailing your sources will provide readers and other researchers with a substantial directory of resources to evaluate for their own work.

Whether you’re publishing or submitting your annotated bibliography, make sure your spelling and wording is correct! If you need to brush up on any parts of speech topics, check out our interjection , determiner , and adverb pages!

Step 1: Analyze your sources 

Each annotation should be a summarization or analysis of your source. If you have been tasked with writing annotations as part of a research paper or project, begin to create both the citation and notes on the source while you identify and analyze your sources.

Not only will this approach help you to hone your research skills and identify sources that are relevant and useful for your topic, but you will also save time. When done in this manner, both your citations and annotations will be nearly complete before you begin to write the body of your paper.

Analyzing your potential sources requires a two-pronged approach that first evaluates the author, publication, and date, and then examines the content.

When conducting your initial assessment of the source, consider some of the following questions to guide your appraisal:

  • What qualifies the author to write on this subject?
  • Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution in this field?
  • Is the author credentialed or otherwise considered an expert in this field?
  • Is this source current?
  • Is this the most recent edition?
  • Is the publisher reputable?
  • Is the journal reputable?

Once your primary evaluation is complete, you will move on the assessing the content itself. Consider some of these elements as you review each source:

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the author presenting her opinion or interpretation as the truth, or stating facts?
  • What supporting evidence does the author provide?
  • Did the author perform the research, or curate and present the research of others?
  • If the author used the research of others, are the sources the author cites credible?
  • Are there errors or omissions of fact?
  • Is the author writing objectively and without bias?

Also, consider the value each source provides to you:

  • Is the information helpful for your particular assignment?
  • Does it help answer your research question(s)?
  • Is this source different from your other sources, or does it repeat information you already have?
  • Is the source providing you with a different perspective on your topic, or changing your beliefs or thinking about your subject?

To make it easier for you to create your reference page, write your notes in the format you will be using when you construct this part of the assignment (for instance, as short phrases or complete sentences). Once you have identified all of the sources you wish to include, you will merely need to insert what you have already written on the page and write your citation, which is explained in the next section.

Click here for additional information and a supplementary annotated bibliography sample. For an MLA bibliography example (with annotations),  check out our visual example of an MLA annotated bibliography .

An annotated bibliography entry may be written either as short phrases or complete sentences. Your instructor will advise you of which approach you are required to take.

Annotations should include either:

  • The main points from the source, as well as the topics covered, the approach used, and any findings.
  • Or your critical evaluation.
  • A standard annotation is approximately one paragraph.
  • Take care not to include any unnecessary details, as the goal is to summarize each source as succinctly as possible and, in some cases, evaluate them.
  • Your field of study or instructor will determine what format your annotated bibliography will use. In this guide, you’ll find examples of an MLA and an APA annotated bibliography.

Here is an annotated bibliography example MLA annotation for the book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by UK author and blogger Mark Forsyth:

The author, Mark Forsyth, examines the rhetorical devices used in the English language, analyzing the patterns and formats that create memorable quotes. He traces the history of rhetoric to the Ancient Greeks, and provides an abridged timeline, following their use and evolution through to modern day. The author also explores the broader subject of persuasion and maps out the role that the figures of rhetoric play in it. In all, he examines over thirty devices, dissecting notable passages and phrases from pop music, the plays of William Shakespeare, the Bible, and more to explore the figures of rhetoric at work within each of them. Thorough definitions accompany this examination of structure to demonstrate how these formulas have been used to generate famously memorable expressions as well as how to reproduce their effects.

Notice how the annotated bibliography MLA entry above is descriptive enough so the reader has an idea of what the source is about with just a single paragraph. For more information on annotations, check out this informative site . If you’re looking to strengthen your writing in general, reading these grammar guides could be a good start.

For guidance on creating entries in MLA format , APA format , and more styles , check out the EasyBib library of resources or try the EasyBib annotation tool—we talk about it below!

Step 3a: MLA annotated bibliography format

The MLA Style Center and the current edition of the MLA Handbook provide the following guidance for formatting an MLA annotated bibliography:

  • Title your reference page as “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
  • Place each annotation after its reference.
  • Annotations should typically not exceed a single paragraph.
  • Annotations should be indented one inch from the start of your citation.
  • Double-space all text on the page.
  • 1-inch margins around the page.

Sources in an annotated bibliography can be organized alphabetically by the first word in each reference (as with a normal Works Cited page), by publication date, or by subject.

For a visual example of an annotated bibliography, as well as specific annotation examples, visit the MLA annotated bibliography guide .

MLA annotated bibliography

If you are required to share your references in a manner other than in MLA bibliography format, the EasyBib style guides can help you with many common styles. While you’re at it, check out their conjunction , preposition , and pronoun pages to help keep your paper in mint condition!

Step 3b: APA annotated bibliography format

The American Psychological Association states that your instructor should set the guidelines for your annotated bibliography, but asks that the bibliography be formatted according to their standard reference page rules (see Section 9.51 of the Publication Manual ). If your teacher has requested an APA formatted annotated bibliography, first ask them for guidelines. Otherwise, here are some quick rules for you to follow:

  • Double space all text on the page.  
  • Title your page “Annotated Bibliogra phy”. Bold and center the title.  
  • Organize references alphabetically by the first word of each reference.  
  • Only the first line of a ref erence is flush with the left margin. Any other lines after the first line should be indented ½ inch from the left.  
  • Add annotations on the next line after their paired reference.   
  • Fully indent annotations by a ½ inch from the left.  
  • Keep annotations short. No more than one paragraph.  

For examples of a  properly formatted APA annotation, visit this guide on APA annotated bibliographies .  

In comparison to the sample annotated bibliography MLA, the APA sample formats its page elements and references differently.

bibliography essay examples

Students and researchers who type their research notes can save time by using an annotated bibliography template in MLA format while reviewing and analyzing sources. By adding the relevant information into a pre-formatted template, you’ll create a resource that helps you when you begin writing your paper in addition to saving time by completing your references and summaries alongside your research.

Students who prefer to take notes by hand can employ a modified version of this approach, with an additional step required to transfer your handwritten and formatted references from your notebook to populate your reference page.

Bibliography Template for MLA

To create an annotated bibliography MLA template, copy the following details into the program in which you will take notes or hand write it on the top margin of a page in your notebook. For each source, use this template to guide you as you identify the necessary details and insert them into your notes:

  • Author (Last name, First name).
  • Title of source.
  • Title of the container ,
  • Other contributors (names and roles),
  • Publication Date,
  • Location of the source (such as URL or page range).
  • Summary or Analysis.

The MLA 9 model for MLA works cited entries offers a single format for all source type, and a great deal of flexibility to include the information most relevant to your topic and omit that which isn’t.

Hopefully our visual annotated bibliography example in MLA above has helped. If you still have lingering questions, visit the MLA Style Center online ( linked here ). Also, here’s a guide if you’re looking for more on the related topic of MLA in-text & parenthetical citations .

Bibliography Template for APA

Students and researchers who are still asking themselves how to piece together an annotated bibliography, or still questioning what is an annotated bibliography, could probably benefit from a template, similar to the one above. This one, however, is for those of you who are tasked with creating an annotated bibliography in the style created by the American Psychological Association.

The tricky thing about this specific style though, is that every reference is styled differently. Books, websites, journal articles, newspaper articles, and many others each have their own reference structure.

For most sources though, you should look for the following, basic information:

  • Type of source
  • Author (last name, first name)
  • Title of source/article/web page, etc.
  • Title of where source was found (e.g., database name, website name, etc.)
  • Other contributors (names and roles)
  • Location of the source (such as URL, DOI, or page range)
  • Summary or Analysis

We understand it can get tricky, and it’s very different from the Modern Language Association’s structure for references. Take a moment to either use the other handy guides on EasyBib.com or use our automatic generator to form your references in just a few clicks. Our tools help take the pain away from having to rack your brain to form references properly. Capitals, lowercase letters, italics, quotation marks, punctuation in the appropriate places, it can all be quite overwhelming. Do yourself a favor, and use the EasyBib automatic citation generator.

Even though there are a lot of different variations, here’s a commonly used structure for sources:

Author’s Last Name, First initial, Middle initial. (Year the source was published). Title of the source . Retrieved from (insert the website address here)

Underneath the reference, include your summary or analysis paragraph.

Hopefully, this page helped answer all of your “What is an annotated bibliography?” questions. If you’re seeking out an annotated bibliography generator, follow the steps above the annotated bibliography examples.

Looking for additional help with other related topics? Don’t forget about the various beneficial guides on EasyBib.com! Our APA in-text citation guide and our APA parenthetical citation guide are two of our most popular pages. Learn the ins and outs of referencing your work in the body of your paper with our thorough, complete, and reader-friendly guides.

If you are creating a bibliography in MLA format, the EasyBib MLA bibliography generator can help save you time formatting your citations and annotations correctly. You can create entries for websites, books, videos, databases, dictionary articles, and many other types of sources.

In addition to forming the citations, you can also enter your annotation text to produce the complete entry for each source. The process for this is simple. You can follow along below to practice creating one:

  • First, select your source type from among the 50+ available options. For this example, we will use the acting career of Keanu Reeves as our research topic and use the movie Point Break from 1991 as our first source. To cite this film, you would select the option for “Film/Online Video.” As you follow along, pick the option that is suitable for your source if you are using a different example.
  • Enter the title of your source or, if you are citing a website, you may enter the URL. (Now would be a great time to peek at how to cite websites in MLA ). After you enter the title or URL for your reference, the EasyBib citation tool will scan for titles that match it and provide you with a list of results. Select “Cite this” next to the listing that matches your source.
  • You will see a citation form. This gives you the option to add additional relevant or necessary information. For our sample topic, we will specifically cite Keanu Reeves as the performer and Kathryn Bigelow as the director.
  • After entering any additional details, you have the option to expand your entry and include an annotation. To do so, select “Add annotation” at the bottom of the page, and a text box will open up.

Then, type your summary or analysis into the text box. If you took notes during the research stage using the format of your paper, this might be as simple as copying and pasting your already written summary or critique. Once you have entered all of the necessary information, select “Create citation” to generate the complete entry. You can then copy and paste this into your MLA bibliography.

Here’s what it’ll look like:

Point Break . Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, performance by Keanu Reeves, 20th Century Fox, 1991.

Reeves’ role as rookie FBI Agent Johnny Utah in Point Break marks the turning point in his Hollywood film career. While he’d risen to fame due to the success of the Bill and Ted franchise, his status today as an action star began when Point Break provided him with the material to establish himself as capable of portraying more than the lovable but unserious characters of his previous starring roles. In a parallel arc, director Kathryn Bigelow’s career also sees a shift beginning with Point Break , establishing her within the traditional action genre as a serious director capable of creating high-action and visually memorable films. While Point Break leaves plenty to be desired in terms of dialogue, it afforded Bigelow and Reeves the opportunities to showcase themselves and their talent in new ways that still echo in their work today.

  • Works Cited

Harner, James L.  On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography . 2nd ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2000.

MLA Handbook . 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 7th ed., American Psychological Association, 2020.

“What Guidance Should I Give My Students for Preparing an Annotated Bibliography?” The MLA Style Center , The Modern Language Association, 4 Nov. 2016, style.mla.org/annotated-bibliographies/.

Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.

Published October 18, 2015. Updated July 25, 2021.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and is the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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An annotated bibliography is a list containing complete information of sources, such as journals, books, and reports, cited in the text. In addition, it provides a brief description of each source in about 100–150 words. The annotation can explain the topics covered in the source or evaluate the source. The main objective of giving the annotation is to provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source.

An example of an annotated bibliography in APA style is given below.

Lim, L. (2014). Ideology, rationality and reproduction in education: A critical discourse analysis. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35 (1), 61–76. https://doi:10.1080/01596306.2012.739467

Lim (2014) focuses on issues of power and ideology dominant in curricular discourses of rationality to study a discourse analysis of the goals of one of the most important curricula in the teaching of thinking. He proves that political and class commitments are reproduced in the forms of thinking that are valued in societies. Through his research, Lim asserts that such curricula engage in making our understanding of what thinking and rationality are. It must facilitate the social reproduction of a specific proportion of the middle class.

If you want to evaluate or provide a description of a source you are citing, you can create an annotated bibliography. Write your annotation in 100–150 words and add it below the source for which you are providing your annotation. Remember, your annotation should provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source. Below are the guidelines and rules to be followed while writing an annotated bibliography for APA style:

Order your reference entries in alphabetical order, similar to how you would order entries in the reference list.

If you want to add an annotation to an entry, add it as a fresh paragraph below the reference entry. The annotation is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin. However, the first line of the annotation is not indented.

To format the annotated bibliography, follow the recommendations given below:

Set the left, right, top, and bottom margins to 1 inch.

Give double-line spacing.

Title the page “Annotated Bibliography.” Set it in bold.

The title should be aligned to the center of the page.

As you format reference entries, left-align all references in the annotated bibliography section. If any entry runs over more than a line, indent the subsequent lines 0.5 inch from the left margin.

Arrange all reference entries alphabetically according to the surname of the authors.

Provide your annotations below the reference entry for which you want to give your annotation. Indent annotations 0.5 inches from the left margin.

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Annotated Bibliography Samples

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This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.

Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.

As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations.

Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.

Sample MLA Annotation

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . Anchor Books, 1995.

Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic.

In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.

Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.

In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.

For information on formatting MLA citations, see our MLA 9th Edition (2021) Formatting and Style Guide .

Sample APA Annotation

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America . Henry Holt and Company.

In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.

An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.

For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide .

Sample Chicago Manual of Style Annotation

Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess . London: Routledge, 1998.

Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.

This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.

For information on formatting Chicago Style citations, see our Chicago Manual of Style resources.

Go to Index

Notes and Bibliography: Sample Citations

Go to Author-Date: Sample Citations

The following examples illustrate the notes and bibliography system. Sample notes show full citations followed by shortened citations for the same sources. Sample bibliography entries follow the notes. For more details and many more examples, see chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style . For examples of the same citations using the author-date system, follow the Author-Date link above.

1. Zadie Smith, Swing Time   (New York: Penguin Press, 2016), 315–16.

2. Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 12.

Shortened notes

3. Smith, Swing Time , 320.

4. Grazer and Fishman, Curious Mind , 37.

Bibliography entries (in alphabetical order)

Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life . New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015.

Smith, Zadie. Swing Time . New York: Penguin Press, 2016.

For many more examples, covering virtually every type of book, see 14.100–163 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Chapter or other part of an edited book

In a note, cite specific pages. In the bibliography, include the page range for the chapter or part.

1. Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” in The Making of the American Essay , ed. John D’Agata (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016), 177–78.

Shortened note

2. Thoreau, “Walking,” 182.

Bibliography entry

Thoreau, Henry David. “Walking.” In The Making of the American Essay , edited by John D’Agata, 167–95. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

In some cases, you may want to cite the collection as a whole instead.

1. John D’Agata, ed., The Making of the American Essay (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016), 177–78.

2. D’Agata, American Essay , 182.

D’Agata, John, ed. The Making of the American Essay . Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

For more examples, see 14.103–5 and 14.106–12 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Translated book

1. Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words , trans. Ann Goldstein (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016), 146.

2. Lahiri, In Other Words , 184.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words . Translated by Ann Goldstein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.

For books consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database. For other types of e-books, name the format. If no fixed page numbers are available, cite a section title or a chapter or other number in the notes, if any (or simply omit).

1. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), 627, http://mel.hofstra.edu/moby-dick-the-whale-proofs.html.

2. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), chap. 10, doc. 19, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.

3. Brooke Borel, The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 92, ProQuest Ebrary.

4. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (New York: Penguin Classics, 2007), chap. 3, Kindle.

5. Melville, Moby-Dick , 722–23.

6. Kurland and Lerner, Founder s ’ Constitution , chap. 4, doc. 29.

7. Borel, Fact-Checking , 104–5.

8. Austen, Pride and Prejudice , chap. 14.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice . New York: Penguin Classics, 2007. Kindle.

Borel, Brooke. The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. ProQuest Ebrary.

Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. The Founders’ Constitution . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale . New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851. http://mel.hofstra.edu/moby-dick-the-whale-proofs.html.

For more examples, see 14.1 59 –63 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Journal article

In a note, cite specific page numbers. In the bibliography, include the page range for the whole article. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins https://doi.org/. This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

1. Susan Satterfield, “Livy and the Pax Deum ,” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 170.

2. Shao-Hsun Keng, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem, “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality,” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 9–10, https://doi.org/10.1086/690235.

3. Peter LaSalle, “Conundrum: A Story about Reading,” New England Review 38, no. 1 (2017): 95, Project MUSE.

4. Satterfield, “Livy,” 172–73.

5. Keng, Lin, and Orazem, “Expanding College Access,” 23.

6. LaSalle, “Conundrum,” 101.

Keng, Shao-Hsun, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem. “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality.” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 1–34. https://doi.org/10.1086/690235.

LaSalle, Peter. “Conundrum: A Story about Reading.” New England Review 38, no. 1 (2017): 95–109. Project MUSE.

Satterfield, Susan. “Livy and the Pax Deum .” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 165–76.

Journal articles often list many authors, especially in the sciences. If there are four or more authors, list up to ten in the bibliography; in a note, list only the first, followed by et al . (“and others”). For more than ten authors (not shown here), list the first seven in the bibliography, followed by et al .

7. Rachel A. Bay et al., “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures,” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May 2017): 465, https://doi.org/10.1086/691233.

8. Bay et al., “Predicting Responses,” 466.

Bay, Rachael A., Noah Rose, Rowan Barrett, Louis Bernatchez, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Jesse R. Lasky, Rachel B. Brem, Stephen R. Palumbi, and Peter Ralph. “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures.” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May 2017): 463–73. https://doi.org/10.1086/691233.

For more examples, see 14.1 68 – 87 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

News or magazine article

Articles from newspapers or news sites, magazines, blogs, and the like are cited similarly. Page numbers, if any, can be cited in a note but are omitted from a bibliography entry. If you consulted the article online, include a URL or the name of the database.

1. Rebecca Mead, “The Prophet of Dystopia,” New Yorker , April 17, 2017, 43.

2. Farhad Manjoo, “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera,” New York Times , March 8, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html.

3. Rob Pegoraro, “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple,” Washington Post , July 5, 2007, LexisNexis Academic.

4. Tanya Pai, “The Squishy, Sugary History of Peeps,” Vox , April 11, 2017, http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/11/15209084/peeps-easter.

5. Mead, “Dystopia,” 47.

6. Manjoo, “Snap.”

7. Pegoraro, “Apple’s iPhone.”

8. Pai, “History of Peeps.”

Manjoo, Farhad. “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera.” New York Times , March 8, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html.

Mead, Rebecca. “The Prophet of Dystopia.” New Yorker , April 17, 2017.

Pai, Tanya. “The Squishy, Sugary History of Peeps.” Vox , April 11, 2017. http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/11/15209084/peeps-easter.

Pegoraro, Rob. “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple.” Washington Post , July 5, 2007. LexisNexis Academic.

Readers’ comments are cited in the text or in a note but omitted from a bibliography.

9. Eduardo B (Los Angeles), March 9, 2017, comment on Manjoo, “Snap.”

For more examples, see 14.1 88 – 90 (magazines), 14.191–200 (newspapers), and 14.208 (blogs) in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Book review

1. Michiko Kakutani, “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges,” review of Swing Time , by Zadie Smith, New York Times , November 7, 2016.

2. Kakutani, “Friendship.”

Kakutani, Michiko. “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges.” Review of Swing Time , by Zadie Smith. New York Times , November 7, 2016.

1. Kory Stamper, “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English,” interview by Terry Gross, Fresh Air , NPR, April 19, 2017, audio, 35:25, http://www.npr.org/2017/04/19/524618639/from-f-bomb-to-photobomb-how-the-dictionary-keeps-up-with-english.

2. Stamper, interview.

Stamper, Kory. “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English.” Interview by Terry Gross. Fresh Air , NPR, April 19, 2017. Audio, 35:25. http://www.npr.org/2017/04/19/524618639/from-f-bomb-to-photobomb-how-the-dictionary-keeps-up-with-english.

Thesis or dissertation

1. Cynthia Lillian Rutz, “ King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2013), 99–100.

2. Rutz, “ King Lear ,” 158.

Rutz, Cynthia Lillian. “ King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues.” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2013.

Website content

It is often sufficient simply to describe web pages and other website content in the text (“As of May 1, 2017, Yale’s home page listed . . .”). If a more formal citation is needed, it may be styled like the examples below. For a source that does not list a date of publication or revision, include an access date (as in example note 2).

1. “Privacy Policy,” Privacy & Terms, Google, last modified April 17, 2017, https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

2. “About Yale: Yale Facts,” Yale University, accessed May 1, 2017, https://www.yale.edu/about-yale/yale-facts.

3. Katie Bouman, “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole,” filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA, video, 12:51, https://www.ted.com/talks/katie_bouman_what_does_a_black_hole_look_like.

4. Google, “Privacy Policy.”

5. “Yale Facts.”

6. Bouman, “Black Hole.”

Bouman, Katie. “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole.” Filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA. Video, 12:51. https://www.ted.com/talks/katie_bouman_what_does_a_black_hole_look_like.

Google. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified April 17, 2017. https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

Yale University. “About Yale: Yale Facts.” Accessed May 1, 2017. https://www.yale.edu/about-yale/yale-facts.

For more examples, see 14. 20 5–10 in The Chicago Manual of Style . For multimedia, including live performances, see 14. 261–68 .

Social media content

Citations of content shared through social media can usually be limited to the text (as in the first example below). A note may be added if a more formal citation is needed. In rare cases, a bibliography entry may also be appropriate. In place of a title, quote up to the first 160 characters of the post. Comments are cited in reference to the original post.

Conan O’Brien’s tweet was characteristically deadpan: “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets” (@ConanOBrien, April 22, 2015).

1. Pete Souza (@petesouza), “President Obama bids farewell to President Xi of China at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit,” Instagram photo, April 1, 2016, https://www.instagram.com/p/BDrmfXTtNCt/.

2. Chicago Manual of Style, “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993,” Facebook, April 17, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

3. Souza, “President Obama.”

4. Michele Truty, April 17, 2015, 1:09 p.m., comment on Chicago Manual of Style, “singular they.”

Chicago Manual of Style. “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993.” Facebook, April 17, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

Personal communication

Personal communications, including email and text messages and direct messages sent through social media, are usually cited in the text or in a note only; they are rarely included in a bibliography.

1. Sam Gomez, Facebook message to author, August 1, 2017.

bibliography essay examples

Developing a Working Bibliography

A working bibliography is a tool that can aid in keeping an ongoing and detailed list of sources for a specific project. These sources can include any source that may potentially be useful or relevant to the project. The sources may also narrow to a specific idea as the focus for the piece narrows. A working bibliography has two main purposes:

  • To keep a record of the sources a writer has already examined or plans to examine.
  • To record the publishing details of each source a writer utilizes or cites so that the sources can be properly referenced in a Works Cited or References List at the end of the document.

Creating a Working Bibliography

Having a working bibliography can help keep the sources more organized while examining and collecting sources. A working bibliography can also allow the writer to organize and reorganize the sources in different ways throughout the writing of the piece. There are multiple ways a writer could organize a working bibliography. A few examples of this are by the author, the source type, or by the usability of the source for the writer’s purpose. The organization should be aligned with what would best serve the writer for that specific project.

Having a working bibliography can also save time later in a project. This is due to the writer already having the information they may need available. When creating a working bibliography, using the citation format required by the instructor or head researcher is another good way to be able to save time. When in doubt about which citation format is being used, it is best to ask the instructor or the head researcher. Generally, writing the source information as a citation can be useful. Otherwise, arranging the necessary information in a list for each source can also work.

Information in a Working Bibliography

Collecting the following information on each source, no matter what kind of source it is, will help with creating a citation for a Works Cited  or  References List .  This information can also help the writer find and access the source. Some types of sources, like books or periodical journals, have specific information that is recommended for them in a citation. For any type of source, some information about the source that can be useful are:

  • The author's full name
  • The editor's full name (if available)
  • Title of the source
  • Name of the publication and publication information on the source
  • The date the source was created (or last updated)
  • The date you viewed/ accessed this source

Examples of a Working Bibliography

Below are two examples for a working bibliography. One example is in a citation format. The citation style used is MLA. The other example is in a list format for the information about the sources. Both are organized by authors last names (a-z).

Working Bibliography for Modern and Contemporary Poetry Essay (Citation format)

Kindley, Evan. “To Err Is Poetic.” The New York Review of Books.  Feb. 2021 issue. February 11, 2021.  https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/02/11/to-err-is-poetic/.

Sellers, Bridget. “Millennial Poetics: A Study of Contemporary Poetry and Its Developing Trends.” Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee. pp. 189-97. https://trace.tennessee.edu/pursuit/vol7/iss1/21.

Vuong, Ocean. “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.” Poetry Foundation. 2014. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/57586/on-earth-were-briefly-gorgeous .

Working Bibliography for Modern and Contemporary Poetry Essay (List Format)

Source #1: “To Err Is Poetic”

  • Author: Evan Kindley
  • Publication: (website) The New York Review of Books
  • Publication date: Feb. 11, 2021
  • Issue: Feb. 2021
  • Link: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/02/11/to-err-is-poetic/

Source #2: “Millennial Poetics: A Study of Contemporary Poetry and Its Developing Trends”

  • Author: Bridget Sellers
  • Publication: (found on Ebsco) Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee
  • Page numbers: pp. 189-97
  • Link: https://trace.tennessee.edu/pursuit/vol7/iss1/21

Source #3: “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.” (poem)

  • Author: Ocean Vuong
  • Publication: (found on) Poetry Foundation , (original publisher) Poetry Magazine
  • Original Publication date: 2014
  • Link: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/57586/on-earth-were-briefly-gorgeous 

Norway, Despina, Mike Palmquist, & Peter Connor. (2022). Developing a Working Bibliography. Writing@CSU . Colorado State University. https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=26

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Extended Essay: Create an Annotated Bibliography

  • Extended Essay- The Basics
  • Step 1. Choose a Subject
  • Step 2. Educate yourself!
  • Using Brainstorming and Mind Maps
  • Identify Keywords
  • Do Background Reading
  • Define Your Topic
  • Conduct Research in a Specific Discipline
  • Step 5. Draft a Research Question
  • Step 6. Create a Timeline
  • Find Articles
  • Find Primary Sources
  • Get Help from Experts
  • Search Engines, Repositories, & Directories
  • Databases and Websites by Subject Area
  • Create an Annotated Bibliography
  • Advice (and Warnings) from the IB
  • Chicago Citation Syle
  • MLA Works Cited & In-Text Citations
  • Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay
  • Evaluate & Select: the CRAAP Test
  • Conducting Secondary Research
  • Conducting Primary Research
  • Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Presentation Requirements
  • Evaluating Your Work

Using an Annotated Bibliography

List on clipboard - Britannica ImageQuest

  • What was in the source?
  • How was the source useful?
  • [and sometimes] How has the source changed your thinking?

It is excellent preparation for carrying out independent research.This page has information on using an annotated bibliography for your Extended Essay:

What Is an Annotated Bibliography - and Why Write it at the Beginning of Your Research? How Can a Good Annotated Bibliography Help With My EE? What Should an Annotation Include? How Do I Write an Annotation? What Do Sample Annotations Look Like?

For other resources, see:

bibliography essay examples

What Is an Annotated Bibliography - and Why Write it at the Beginning of Your Research?

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Each citation is followed by a brief note – or annotation – that describes various aspects of the source such as a summary, an evaluation of the content, and applicability to your topic.

Why should an annotated bibliography come at the BEGINNING of your research assignment?   A researcher can use an annotated bibliography to do a critical summary of each source: its importance, its strengths and weaknesses, and the ways in which the source will fit into your research. When doing an annotated bibliography, researchers analyze and don't summarize.

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography . Narrated by Melissa Wehler, 2020.        YouTube , youtu.be/rUax6rIiwgA. Accessed 4 Sept. 2021.

How Can a Good Annotated Bibliography Help Me With My EE?

The process is not just a matter of listing possible sources. It also requires you to think critically. Consider your sources in terms of:

  • what has already been written about their chosen topic and
  • how your own research will fit into this.

As you examine each source, you will need to identify the issues and different perspectives of others. This will help you to develop a reasoned argument.

Clock face of wall clock - Britannica ImageQuest

  • allow you to keep track of your reading
  • encourage you to think critically about the sources you are using in relation to your research area
  • allow you, quite early on in the process, to become aware of possible concerns about using certain sources
  • help you determine whether a source is of use to you in your research
  • help you to justify your use of particular sources, both to your supervisor and to the IB examiner who will be reading your essay
  • help you with the planning of your research, and ultimately save you time
  • enable you to develop critical-thinking skills in selecting and evaluating source material.

What Should an Annotation Include?

Books and papers - Britannica ImageQuest

  • the bibliographic information
  • the annotations (a concise summary of the source).

The annotations will vary in length depending on whether you are writing a summary of the source or analyzing it.

A summary should include:         

  • a concise summary of the content and theme(s) of the source
  • a comment on the authority of the author
  • a comment on the purpose of the source
  • a comment on how this source might be useful.         

What Do Sample Annotations Look Like?

The following are examples of annotations in several IB disciplines.

Social and cultural anthropology

What Should the Annotation Include?

This video tutorial from Champlain College Library explains what an annotated bibliography is and what each annotation should include.  The short paragraphs describing each source on the list should summarize the source, evaluate it, and discuss how it would fit into your topic.

Champlain College Library, prod. What's an Annotated Bibliography? YouTube.       Champlain College Lib., 2 Feb. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.       <https://youtu.be/RZoIXuRyTgI>. 

How Do I Write an Annotation?

The Cornell University Library has defined an annotated bibliography as: a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief  (usually about 150 words)  descriptive and evaluative paragraph. This means you are creating a paragraph that others may read to get a general idea of what your sources are about. The hardest part is being concise with your information. Annotations take practice but once you get the hang of it they are easy. Here are the steps to follow:   Step 1: Talk about the author. (1 sentence) Is this a professor? Maybe this is a professional in the field? Or is this person a hobbyist? Tell the audience about the author in the first part of the annotation. Step 2: Explain what the article is about. (1-3 sentences) Tell the audience what is in the article. This is the most difficult part of the annotation because it requires you to be very succinct. Don’t rewrite the article; just write the base facts and important notes about the article here. Step 3: Explain how this article illuminates your bibliography topic. (1-2 sentences) What about this article makes it relevant to your topic? Why did you select it? What pertinent bit of information makes this article stand out among the others? Step 4: Compare or contrast this work with another you have cited. (1-2 sentences) How does this specific article relate to another article in your annotated bibliography? Do they agree or not? Why not? What makes them unique?  

See the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University for Annotated Bibliography Samples.

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Bibliographic Essay Guidelines

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General Information

Choice bibliographic essays are intended to identify core books, journals, and digital resources that meet the needs of undergraduates, faculty, and librarians serving these users. Essays address new curricular or interdisciplinary areas; subjects that have garnered significant recent interest; or important new literature on a traditional subject. When the subject and due date of the essay are agreed on, the editor will send the author a copyright agreement to sign and return (by mail or as a scanned PDF file).

Essays are not introductions to a topic, but rather informative discussions of important literature on a topic. Accordingly, essays * take a position * in subjectively selecting and discussing the most important resources for the topic. The author's point of view sets the framework for the essay and provides its raison d’être. Rather than listing and describing resources, the author should evaluate each of the titles in a way that proves its worth to the body of literature about the topic and, thus, why it is in the essay. The author should also discuss the relationships between the resources discussed, providing a narrative thread throughout that explains how the resources are the same or different; if/how one picks up where another leaves off; how changes over time and/or historical context impact the research; and how the titles relate and create a well-defined body of work about the topic. Seminal works should be identified as such; particular journal articles should be included only if they are essential to the topic.

Organization, Length & Format

Essays should begin with an introduction and conclude with one or two summary paragraphs. The introduction should set the stage by describing the topic and the general state of the scholarly literature supporting it. It should also describe the characteristics of the body of selected resources, presenting a brief “thesis”—explaining the selection and why it succeeds as a core literature for that particular field of study. The introduction should then briefly describe the organization of the essay and explain the reason for that organization. The text should be prepared in MS Word with minimal to no formatting (Word templates should not be used). Reference materials—bibliographies, dictionaries, etc.—are typically discussed together, as are digital resources. But this is not a hard rule. Essays should discuss 50-75 titles and should top out at about 5,000 words. (Sample essays are available at http://ala-choice.libguides.com/ .)

Editing & Style

Essays are edited for clarity and Choice house style. The editor will send the author a copy of the edited essay, with queries and comments, if any, before the essay goes to the copy editor. The editor will send the author page proofs before the essay goes to production.

Works Cited

Every title mentioned in the essay should be in the works cited list, and all titles in the works cited should be discussed in the essay. Citations should be arranged alphabetically by author (or by title, for edited works and digital resources). Information should include author(s)/editor(s), title, publisher, date of original publication, and (if applicable) preferred edition. URLs for internet resources should be formatted without embedded hyperlinks.

Additional Material

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  • How to Cite a Book | APA, MLA, & Chicago Examples

How to Cite a Book | APA, MLA, & Chicago Examples

Published on February 26, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024.

To cite a book, you need a brief in-text citation and a corresponding reference listing the author’s name, the title, the year of publication, and the publisher. The order and format of information depends on the citation style you’re using. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago style .

Use the interactive example generator to explore the format of book citations in MLA and APA.

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Table of contents

Citing a book in mla style, citing a book in apa style, citing a book in chicago style, where to find source information in a book, frequently asked questions about citations.

An MLA book citation includes the author’s name , the book title (in italics, capitalized headline-style), the edition (if specified), the publisher, and the year of publication. If it’s an e-book , write “e-book” (or a more specific description, e.g. “Kindle ed.”) before the publisher name.

The corresponding in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the page number of the passage cited.

You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to create your book citations.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

Citing a book chapter in mla.

To cite a book chapter , first give the author and title (in quotation marks) of the chapter cited, then information about the book as a whole and the page range of the specific chapter.

The in-text citation lists the author of the chapter and the page number of the relevant passage.

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bibliography essay examples

An APA Style book citation lists the author’s last name and initials, the year of publication, the title and any subtitle (in italics, capitalizing only the first word), the edition (if specified), and the publisher. Add a DOI or URL to the end of the entry if available (e.g. for e-books or books accessed online ).

In an in-text citation, state the author’s last name and the publication year, and a page number if you need to show the location of a specific quote or paraphrase .

You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to automatically generate your book citations. Search for a title, DOI, or ISBN to retrieve the details.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

Citing a book chapter in apa.

To cite a book chapter , list information about the chapter first, followed by information about the book, including the book’s editor(s) and the chapter’s page range within the book.

The author of the chapter, not the editor of the book, is listed in the in-text citation.

Chicago notes and bibliography style uses footnotes to cite sources instead of parenthetical citations. These notes refer to a bibliography at the end giving full source details.

A Chicago bibliography entry for a book includes the author’s name, the book title and subtitle, the edition (if stated), the location and name of the publisher, and the year of publication. For an e-book , add the e-book format (e.g. “Kindle”) at the end.

Chicago also has an alternative style, Chicago author-date . You can see examples of book citations in this style here .

Citing a book chapter in Chicago

To cite a book chapter , start with the author and the title of the chapter (in quotation marks), then give the title (in italics) and editor of the book, the page range of the chapter, the location and name of the publisher, and the year of publication.

All the information you need for a book citation can usually be found on the book’s title page and copyright page. The main things you’re looking for are:

  • the title (and subtitle if present)
  • name(s) of the author(s)
  • year of publication
  • place of publication

You should also check if the book specifies an edition (e.g. 2nd edition, revised edition) and if any other contributors are named (e.g. editor, translator).

The image below shows where to find the relevant information on the title and copyright pages of a typical book.

APA book source info

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The main elements included in all book citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the title, the year of publication, and the name of the publisher. A page number is also included in in-text citations to highlight the specific passage cited.

In Chicago style and in the 6th edition of APA Style , the location of the publisher is also included, e.g. London: Penguin.

When a book’s chapters are written by different authors, you should cite the specific chapter you are referring to.

When all the chapters are written by the same author (or group of authors), you should usually cite the entire book, but some styles include exceptions to this.

  • In APA Style , single-author books should always be cited as a whole, even if you only quote or paraphrase from one chapter.
  • In MLA Style , if a single-author book is a collection of stand-alone works (e.g. short stories ), you should cite the individual work.
  • In Chicago Style , you may choose to cite a single chapter of a single-author book if you feel it is more appropriate than citing the whole book.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

The abbreviation “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”) is used to shorten citations of sources with multiple authors.

“Et al.” is used in APA in-text citations of sources with 3+ authors, e.g. (Smith et al., 2019). It is not used in APA reference entries .

Use “et al.” for 3+ authors in MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Use “et al.” for 4+ authors in a Chicago in-text citation , and for 10+ authors in a Chicago bibliography entry.

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

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Essays on Bibliography

175 samples on this topic

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IMAGES

  1. Bibliography Examples for Students

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  2. MLA Annotated Bibliography Examples and Writing Guide

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  4. How to write an annotated bibliography step-by-step with examples

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Bibliography, With Examples

    Writing Product Company How to Write a Bibliography, With Examples Lindsay Kramer Updated on June 2, 2022 Students You spent the past six hours grinding out your latest paper, but finally, it's finished. It's late, you're exhausted, and all you want to do is click "Submit Assignment" and then get some sleep. Not so fast.

  2. Harvard Style Bibliography

    Revised on 7 November 2022. In Harvard style, the bibliography or reference list provides full references for the sources you used in your writing. A reference list consists of entries corresponding to your in-text citations. A bibliography sometimes also lists sources that you consulted for background research, but did not cite in your text.

  3. Bibliography Examples for Students

    4 Min read You've finished writing your essay. Now, it's time to make an alphabetized list of all the books, periodicals and websites you used. Some writing styles call this list the bibliography. Since a bibliography example can speak louder than words, get a sample of bibliographies in MLA, APA and Chicago styles.

  4. Creating a Chicago Style Bibliography

    Chicago style bibliography examples. Bibliography entries vary in format depending on the type of source. Templates and examples for the most common source types are shown below. Book. Book chapter. Journal article. Website. Template. Author Last Name, First Name.

  5. How To Write a Bibliography Plus Examples

    High School Middle School How To Write a Bibliography (Three Styles, Plus Examples) Give credit where credit is due. By Jill Staake May 15, 2023 Writing a research paper involves a lot of work. Students need to consult a variety of sources to gather reliable information and ensure their points are well supported.

  6. How to Write a Bibliography (MLA, APA Examples)

    The 3 most common bibliography/citation styles are: MLA Style: The Modern Language Association works cited page style APA Style: The American Psychological Association style Chicago Style: The bibliography style defined by the Chicago Manual of Style

  7. Creating an MLA Bibliography

    2.9 ( 169) Citation Generator Source Type Search If you write a research paper in MLA format, then you will need to include a Works Cited page according to the current 9th edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines.

  8. How to Write a Bibliography in APA and MLA styles With Examples

    Made possible with support from: What is a Bibliography? 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.

  9. Writing a Bibliography

    A bibliography is a list of sources reviewed when writing the essay; this can include references cited in the body of the paper and sources from general information. ... This bibliography sample ...

  10. How to Write a Bibliography for a Research Paper

    A bibliography entry for a book begins with the author's name, which is written in this order: last name, comma, first name, period. After the author's name comes the title of the book. If you are handwriting your bibliography, underline each title. If you are working on a computer, put the book title in italicized type.

  11. Bibliography Definition and Examples

    A bibliography is an alphabetized list of all the sources used in an academic paper. You should compile a bibliography when writing an essay, article or research paper that relies heavily on source material.

  12. Library Research Guides: English: Bibliographic Essay

    Example of a Bibliographic Essay http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/goldman/pdfs/EG-AGuideToHerLife_BiographicalEssay-TheWorldofEmmaGoldman.pdf Steps to Creating a Bibliographic Essay Start by searching our databases. Think about your topic and brainstorm search terms before beginning. Skim and review articles to determine whether they fit your topic.

  13. What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

    An example of an annotated source is shown below: Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes. Table of contents Annotated bibliography format: APA, MLA, Chicago How to write an annotated bibliography Descriptive annotation example

  14. Annotated Bibliography Examples for MLA & APA

    Here is an annotated bibliography example MLA annotation for the book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by UK author and blogger Mark Forsyth: The author, Mark Forsyth, examines the rhetorical devices used in the English language, analyzing the patterns and formats that create memorable quotes.

  15. Annotated Bibliography Examples & Step-by-Step Writing Guide

    9 Min read An annotated bibliography is a unique form of bibliography providing a short summary or analysis of sources. While creating an annotated bibliography shouldn't be stressful, many students might find the process hard. Keep it simple by using this step-by-step annotated bibliography guide for perfect annotations in any style.

  16. Annotated Bibliography Samples

    Annotated Bibliography Samples Overview Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.

  17. Notes and Bibliography Style

    Citations of content shared through social media can usually be limited to the text (as in the first example below). A note may be added if a more formal citation is needed. In rare cases, a bibliography entry may also be appropriate. In place of a title, quote up to the first 160 characters of the post.

  18. Guide: Developing a Working Bibliography

    Examples of a Working Bibliography. Below are two examples for a working bibliography. One example is in a citation format. The citation style used is MLA. The other example is in a list format for the information about the sources. Both are organized by authors last names (a-z). Working Bibliography for Modern and Contemporary Poetry Essay ...

  19. Extended Essay: Create an Annotated Bibliography

    Provided by the Purdue Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. Creating an annotated bibliography. Discusses the purpose and function of an annotated bibliography and provides instruction on compiling one, and gives examples of annotated bibliographic entries. Adapted from 'Extended Essay Guide', International Baccalaureate Organization, 2016.

  20. Bibliographic Essay Guidelines

    General Information Choice bibliographic essays are intended to identify core books, journals, and digital resources that meet the needs of undergraduates, faculty, and librarians serving these users. Essays address new curricular or interdisciplinary areas; subjects that have garnered significant recent interest; or important new literature on a traditional subject. When the subject and due ...

  21. How to Cite a Book

    Where to find source information in a book Frequently asked questions about citations Citing a book in MLA style An MLA book citation includes the author's name, the book title (in italics, capitalized headline-style), the edition (if specified), the publisher, and the year of publication.

  22. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography, With Examples

    Matt Ellis Updated on March 24, 2023 Students An annotated bibliography is a type of bibliography that includes a comment by the author about the source in addition to the source's publishing information.

  23. Bibliography Essay Examples

    Essays on Bibliography 175 samples on this topic Crafting gobs of Bibliography papers is an inherent part of present-day studying, be it in high-school, college, or university. If you can do that single-handedly, that's just awesome; yet, other students might not be that skilled, as Bibliography writing can be quite troublesome.