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How To Write A Bibliography Essay

3192 words - 13 pages

ACADEMIC STYLE GUIDE When you write essays, you must include a bibliography at the end showing what you
have read, and in the body of the essay you must indicate the precise source of any information and ideas not your own, even if you are paraphrasing them. Such referencing enables the reader to engage with your argument fully and also protects you from an accusation of plagiarism.
The required information must be presented in a consistent and precise form. Entries must be consistent, so that the reader can understand what kind of source you are using and can find it if they want to consult it too. Entries must also be precise, so that the reader can understand exactly where the dividing line is between your ideas and those of your sources. For these reasons, in-text citations must always give page references whenever you are using other people's words or ideas, while your bibliography should always list all the pages that an article or a chapter covers, not just those pages from which you have quoted or taken ideas.
Many different styles of referencing have been developed to meet the needs of specific disciplines. The Department requires students to use the Modern Language Association referencing system, commonly known as MLA, which is the one most widely used in the arts and humanities. It is very important that you follow the standard format for each kind of entry, which makes it easy for the reader both to assess the nature of your sources and to access them. Just imagine if you opened a telephone directory to find some entries with the name first, some with the phone number first, some with the address first - and some information, such as house numbers or area codes, missing altogether. That is what it is like to provide non-standard documentation in an essay. MLA documentation style acknowledges sources by giving, in parentheses in the body of your essay, the author's surname and the page(s) to which you are referring; full bibliographical details are included in a List of Works Cited, or bibliography, at the end of the essay. Bibliographies are presented in alphabetical order of authors' surnames. Below are examples, both generic and specific, of the way to reference the most commonly cited types of material in your bibliography. A book by a single author: Last name, First name. Title Underlined. City of publication: Publisher, Year. Wiles, David. A Short History of Western Performance Space. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2003. (Tip: in Word, you can create the hanging indent necessary for bibliographical entries by pressing control and t anywhere within the entry; this automatically indents the second and subsequent lines.) (Note: if a book is part of a series, the series title, without underlining or quotation marks, should be placed between the book title and city of publication. See sample bibliography for examples.) A book by two or more authors: Last name, First name, and First name Last name. Title Underlined. City of...

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