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Bibliographies are an essential part of a student's life. They count for points that can otherwise make or break your projects. Just like your projects themselves they should be neatly put together, organized, and checked over for errors. See the
for guidelines on formatting the MLA citation for your sources. Below you will find guidelines for the bibliography as a whole and the directions for making an annotated bibliography. When in doubt, you can always consult the MLA handbook or online citation guides such as this one at
for any formatting or bibliography content questions.
is highly recommended for constructing your bibliography. It is far more accurate than other online citation generators.
Here are the guidelines for formatting a bibliography page:
Entries are in alphabetical order
Hanging indent for all entries (the second line of the entry is indented 1/2 inch or 5 spaces) which looks like this:
Can be titled either Bibliography or Works Cited (if sources are cited in-text)
The title of the bibliography is centered
Margins of 1" on top and bottom and on both sides of the text
Do not number a bibliography
Times New Roman font
If you have done parenthetical or in-text citation those must match up with an entry on your bibliography
Entries start with either an individual author's name (ex: John Smith) or the title of the article,webpage, book, etc. Do not start an entry with a corporatename
For alphabetic purposes ignore the words A, An, The, etc when they start a source's title
Here is a sample works cited page
Annotated bibliographies follow the same rules as above but with the addition of a paragraph long annotation. The annotation is a justification of why you chose that particular source.If you keep in mind the
criteria for selecting quality sources you can also use some of those same factors for generating an annotation. Here are some suggestions for what you can include in your annotations:
Typically 150 words in length
•Start with the book/source’s citation information
•The annotation informs the reader of the quality of the information found in this source and the accuracy of that information on your topic
•An annotation can include your opinion. It takes a critical look rather just a descriptive summary.
•Usually the annotations include comments on the background/qualifications of the author of the work
•Elaborate on the central theme of the work as a whole.
•Identify the intended audience.
•A statement comparing/contrasting various sources on the same bibliography is also acceptable.
•Any exceptional features of the source (index, appendices, glossary, maps, photos etc)
•It is acceptable to use phrases rather than complete sentences or a combination of both. However, it still must be readable!
Here are two examples:
Shatzkin, Mike, ed.
The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference
. New York: Arbor House/William Morrow, 1990.
Although Shatzkin's The Ballplayers is more comprehensive in biographical content than Porter's Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Baseball, Porter provides somewhat lengthier entries, focusing on better known individuals. Both are excellent sources, particularly for information about individuals who lack book-length biographies. Both include citations for further research.
Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51 (1986): 541- 554.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
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