What is the Bibliography? Ha! That’s Simple!

BibliographyScholars and students have to participate in writing academic assignments on constant occasions, making them more than likely to encounter the question of what is the bibliography, on their trail of educational development, sooner or later. A bibliography, while being similar to, however, different from, a reference list, is an important part of an academic work’s structure. Whether it is an essay, and article, a journal review, a case study, or a scientific report, a bibliography is an essential part of an academic paper, as it allows to keep track of the sources used in the process. As an academic paper is bound to teach the student to analyze and organize new knowledge in set academic criteria, a bibliography plays a significant role in organizing its content in logical form. Thus, it would be more than reasonable for a scholar to analyze what is the bibliography, and how to write it accordingly.

Defining the Bibliography

A bibliography is an essential part of the structure of an academic paper. In most cases, it is situated either in the beginning, or at the end of the paper; and includes the main sources that were used by the author to conduct the research; and, respectively, write the paper. Depending on the amount of information analyzed, a bibliography can form a whole, or a number of, pages. Similar to a reference page, in most cases, a bibliography includes the following elements:

  • name of the author of the source;
  • name of the book, article, report, or any other kind of source;
  • name and year of publication.

What Differentiates a Bibliography from a References Page?

While a references page and a bibliography have a lot in common, since they both resemble the collection of used sources, there is a difference between them. A references or “works cited” pages are located at the end of the written work and includes the names of sources and their authors. However, the difference is that the reference page only includes the sources that were directly cited in the paper and the corresponding pages, while a bibliography includes any source that contributed to the author’s study. In other words, the bibliography serves as a list of sources that were collected in the process of research.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

While the format of a bibliography may differ from school to school, depending on academic standards, such as APA, MLA, and others, certain written works may require its extended variation – an annotated bibliography. This type of bibliography features not only a list of names and publications, but also includes brief summaries of the used sources and the information that was collected from them. It is designed in order to trace back the roots of the study and reveal a logical chain of knowledge that led to the paper’s further development. An annotated bibliography allows to take a brief look at the sources that were found and analyzed by the writer, and thus, increase the overall academic credibility of the paper.