Bibliography, Citations & References

A Style Guide contains a set of rules indicating how you should present your work, in terms of structure and layout. In particular, the information in style guides pertains to referencing sources - footnotes, endnotes, etc. - and compiling a bibliographical record of those sources.

The most important thing you can do while working on your essay or thesis (dissertation) is to keep track of every source you cite or refer to. Trust me, no matter the length of your essay, you do not want to wait until you reach the end to do this!

This is a summary of the information you will need to gather as you go:

FOR BOOKS

FOR ARTICLES

FOR WEBPAGES/E-DOCS

  • Author’s Full Name

  • Title

  • Year of Publication

  • Place of Publication

  • Name of Publishing House

  • Author’s Full Name

  • Title

  • Name of Journal in which the Article features + Issue and/or Volume Number + Pages of Journal in which Article is featured

  • Year of Publication

  • Name of Publishing House

  • Author’s Full Name

  • Title

  • Name of website on which the article/document features

  • The paragraph in which your referenced information can be found. (This is not required with MLA style)

  • Date you (last) accessed the article/document

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There are some tools out there to help you build a bibliography or reference library as you work on your thesis, but if you cannot use them or don’t have access to any, here is some introductory advice for laying out and structuring your citations and building a bibliography. There is a lot more information to be found in the respective style guides.

CITATIONS & REFERENCES

1. IN-LINE CITATIONS

As you write your essay, you will invariably refer to the work or words of another scholar (never make unequivocal statements without backing them up with evidence or references), and there are numerous ways you can do so. The Style Guide you adhere to will dictate which approach you take to this endeavour, but here are some quick options:

CHICAGO STYLE GUIDE

MLA STYLE GUIDE

APA STYLE GUIDE

BOOKS

  • Single Page

The Chicago style is very straightforward in its approach (Jones 2018, 23).*

Jones argues that the Chicago style is “very straightforward in its approach” (2018, 23).

  • Multiple Pages

The Chicago style is very straightforward in its approach (Jones 2018, 23-25).**

  • Single Page

MLA style makes it easy to “quote authors directly” (Smith 2006, 108).

Smith states that the MLA style makes it easy to “quote authors directly” (2006, 108).***

  • Multiple Pages

Smith argues that the MLA style makes it easy to “quote authors directly” and “reference titles conveniently” (2006, 108-109).

  • Single Page

With APA, you don’t need the page number if you’re just paraphrasing (Hayes, 2010).

You can also “quote directly”, but you need the page number for this (Hayes, 2020, p. 85).

Hayes (2020) says that “APA is great for quoting directly like this” (p. 85) in your essays.

  • Multiple Pages

If you’re quoting from “multiple pages”, you have to “cite them like this” (Hayes, 2020, pp. 85-87).

JOURNALS/PERIODICALS

The Chicago style is very straightforward in its approach (Jones 2018, 24).

OR

Jones (2018, 24) stated that the Chicago style is very straightforward in its approach.

+

Multiple pages as above

Quoting a journal in MLA style is “comparatively easy” (Smith 18).

OR

Quoting a journal in MLA style has been described by John Smith as “comparatively easy” (18).

+

Multiple pages as above

Paraphrasing from an article in a journal or periodical with APA follows the same rules as a book (Hayes, 2010).

OR

So, you can also “quote directly”, and you need the page number (Hayes, 2020, p. 85).

OR

Hayes (2020) says that “APA is great for quoting directly like this” (p. 85) in your essays.

+

Multiple pages as above

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS

Because there are no page numbers, state the paragraph in which the pertinent reference can be found:

The Chicago style is very straightforward in its approach (Jones 2018, par. 5).

MLA guidance is that you do not use paragraph or page numbers based on browser settings. Instead, show first item in the Bibliography entry:

Here, I am referring to an online document (Smith, CNN.com).****

In APA, the approach to E-docs (in this case, webpages) is much the same as citing a book or article in-line:

The same approach was taken in his article published on Medium webzine (Hayes, 2011).

OR

Hayes stated the same in his article for Medium webzine (2011).

NOTES

*Always make sure the punctuation mark (in this case, full stop) comes after the closing bracket (parenthesis).

**If the statement is backed up on a single page, just indicate that page. If the discussion unfolds across a number of pages, indicate the page group. The Harvard and APA style (above) includes the 'p.' for a single page (e.g. Smith 1998, p. 132); and ‘pp.' for multiple pages (e.g. Smith 1998, pp. 131-133).

***If Smith, for example, has more than one publication in your bibliography that was published in the same year, you would use a letter after the year to distinguish them; e.g. 2006a, 2006b

****The website name is optional; e.g. if there is a specific need for it, such as multiple bibliographical entries with the same author name and website.

  • Note that long quotations should be indented in a separate paragraph

  • Note that multiple authors are cited as follows: 2 authors: (Jones & Smith 2020, 23-25) or (Jones & Smith 2020, pp. 23-25); 3+ authors: (Jones et al. 1986, 82)

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2. FOOTNOTES

Footnotes appear at the end (foot) of each page on which the corresponding reference is made. They are linked to this corresponding reference by the number of the note, which should be positioned (in superscript) after the full stop (period) at the end of the sentence in question. Footnotes allow you to expand upon the citation or reference, as well to supplement the statement(s) you have made.

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3. ENDNOTES

Endnotes appear at the end of the academic work and are sometimes favoured over footnotes due to the amount of space the latter might take up on any given page (they are also indicated using superscript). Remember that endnotes do not replace a bibliography, as they can be used for multiple citations and regularly feature tangential thoughts or references on the part of the author. In this regard, MLA favours endnotes and discourages digression; in fact, MLA prefers that the focus of endnotes - apart from citing explicit references - be limited to directing the reader to a small number of other relevant titles.

With MLA, you should title your endnotes section ‘Notes’ and format them as instructed (e.g. centered on the page).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

A bibliography or list of references (or ‘works cited’) should be arranged alphabetically by author surname. So, straight away it should be clear that the preferred style is SURNAME, FIRST NAME for listing titles. Where you are listing multiple titles by the same author, make sure you list them by publication date (see below for example). Here are some options for laying out your bibliography:

CHICAGO STYLE GUIDE

MLA STYLE GUIDE

APA STYLE GUIDE

Titled ‘Bibliography’

Titled ‘Cited Works’

Titled ‘Reference List’

BOOKS

Jones, Henry. 2021. The Best Book in The World. Dublin: Big House Publishing

Jones, Henry. 2020.* The Second Best Book in The World. London: Small House Publishing

Smith, Jack. I Wrote The Most Wonderful Book. Publishing House Alpha, 2015

Smith, Jack. I Wrote The Second Most Wonderful Book. Publishing House Beta, 2014

Hayes, L. (2010). This used to be my favourite book: Great books from the past. Best Publishing Press

OR

Hayes, L. (Ed.). (2011). This is the book I edited for all my friends. Worst Publishing Press***

JOURNALS/PERIODICALS

Jones, Henry. 2019. “The Name of The Article Goes Here.” Articles About Things 6, no. 2 (January): 19-28

Smith, Jack. “The Article I Wrote About Me.” The Best Articles You Can Read. Issue 2, Vol. 3, 2013, 11-23

Hayes, L. (2009). The article before the book. Big Articles Journal, 17(2), 21-35

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS

Jones, Henry. 2018. How to Structure Your Bibliography: Being the Best Academic You Can Be. https://www.templedarkbooks.com. Last accessed 20th August 2021**

Smith, Jack. The Article I Found Online. Website Name, https://www.templedarkbooks.com . Accessed 20 August 2021.

Hayes, L. (2010, January 6). Referencing a Webpage in Your Essay. Website Name. URL.

*Indicating multiple titles by the same author.

**It’s important to state when you last accessed the document/webpage, as it may have been edited or updated since that time.

***Note that ‘(Ed.)’ for an edited work - or ‘(Eds.)’ for works with multiple editors - can be positioned after the author name across all styles.

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