Creating A Research Paper References Page: What Is The Correct Format?

While your references page (also called a bibliography) may seem to be a rather insignificant part of your research paper, it’s actually extremely important. It allows your lecturer to check your sources and it allows other people to consult those resources if they want more material. This is why it’s so important that you get your bibliography right. If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to format it, read this handy guide on the subject.

It depends on a few things

The way you arrange your bibliography for your research paper actually depends on the formatting style that you use for your paper. And that style depends on a few different things. Firstly, it depends on the subject of the paper you’re composing. For example, if your paper falls under the social sciences, you will need to use the APA style. Secondly, it depends on what guidelines your lecturer has set for the assignment. And thirdly, it may also depend on which style you prefer.

A few different styles

As mentioned above, there are a number of different styles that you can use, so we’ve included a basic explanation of how to complete a references page using the three most commonly employed styles.

The American Psychological Association (APA) style

The APA style is primarily used in the social sciences. This style requires you to call your bibliography a “References” section. The entries are arranged in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname. You should check online for the exact format of each different type of source that you include.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style

The MLA style is mostly used in the humanities, such as English literature. This style requires that you call your bibliography a “Works Cited” section. As with the APA style, the entries are arranged in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname. Here too, you need to check online for the exact format of each different type of source that you cite.

The Chicago style

The Chicago style is actually from The Chicago Manual of Style, and is another very popular style. It’s used for many different academic subjects, especially the humanities. Here you are expected to call your bibliography a “Bibliography”. Like the others, the entries are arranged in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname. Again, you should go online to find out exactly how to format each of the different sources you use.

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