Tips for Creating Bibliographies

When working on a research project, an integral component is the research that is done to not only validate the findings of the project, but to also validate the reason for your research to exist at all. Have these questions been answered? Is there enough information to lead to this question or hypothesis? Is the information available from authentic, primary sources? Most importantly for validation purposes, have you documented all of your references in your research notebook?

If you don’t have your references documented in your research notebook, they may as well not exist. Your bibliography should contain enough resources to validate the need for your research, but can be complicated to put together. In your notebook, try labeling each source with a simple character, like one letter or number. Then, list related resources that can be compared or may demonstrate a cause and effect association. This makes it much easier for you to do your paper work, without worrying about the citations and references until you are putting the finishing touches on your final document.

After listing your references in groups, write up your bibliography, using the characters in place of the references. This will save you a lot of time and help you concentrate on the topic of the research rather than on the formatting of it. Once the written work is complete, use your “find and replace feature” to replace each character with the correct citation. Go over the paper when the references are complete, and make sure spacing and other formatting is correct, such as the hanging indents necessary for APA reference pages.