7. The Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of the sources used in preparing a research paper; it is sometimes called “end notes.”

The bibliography is presented at the end of the research paper, beginning on a page titled “References.” Each source used in the paper is listed, with entries alphabetized.

Note: APA requires that the reference list be double-spaced — I do not. I prefer the entries to be single-spaced with a double-space in-between entries. However, I do not penalize students for adhering to the letter of the APA style book in page design!

Italicize the titles of books, periodicals, volume numbers. Use a hanging indent for sources prepared using a word processor; for any sources presented in your blog, ignore this presentation requirement.

The general format for an APA citation follows:

Last Name, First Initial. (date). Article title in lower case. Publication information. Retrieval date and link/database for electronic resources.

Here are two different examples for the same work, depending on which retrieval method was used:

Gill, K.E. (2004). The race of the web sites 2004. ACM Interactions, 11(6), 36-43. Retrieved October 1, 2007 from ACM Digital Library.

OR

Gill, K.E. (2004). The race of the web sites 2004. ACM Interactions, 11(6), 36-43. Retrieved October 1, 2007 from http://faculty.washington.edu/kegill/pub/gill_ACM_2004.pdf.

More from Purdue and APA as well as a PDF of an APA handout from the University of Washington (printed copies available in the library). UW Healthlinks has examples as well.

Examples from my students:
Article from organization website:

Madden, M. & Rainie, L. (2003, December 22). America’s online pursuits: the changing picture of who’s online and what they do. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved November 6, 2005 from http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/106/report_display.asp

Blog entry

Catone, J. (2007, November 27). Brightcove gives up on consumer video. ReadWriteWeb. Retreived December 1, 2007 from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/brightcove_gives_up_on_consumer_video.php

Wikipedia

Cartoon. (2007, October 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cartoon&oldid=187270777

Annotations

An annotated bibliography (a stand-alone document in my classes) also includes a brief (100-150 words) evaluation of the source. An annotation differs from an abstract: an abstract is an objective summary whereas the annotation is a critical observation that explains how the source is relevant to the paper. Thus, writing a good annotation requires critical thinking and leads to a deeper understanding of the topic.

Annotation Examples

(note: APA requires annotated bibliographies be double-spaced — I do not)

(1) From the Cornell University Library:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 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.

(2) From the University of North Carolina Writing Center, a contrast between ‘summary’ and ‘evaluative’ annotations:

Schechter, H. (1971). Death and resurrection of the king: Elements of primitive mythology and ritual in “Roger Malvin’s Burial.” English Language Notes, 8, 201-05.
Though Schechter reorganizes the material in an interesting format, basically his study is a reiteration of Cassier’s seminal argument in The Sacred and the Profane: Modern Myth Studies. Schechter’s major contribution to the debate is his recognition that Reuben sacrifices Cyrus so that the curse of death-in-life can be removed. Schechter’s attempt to put Cassier’s argument in a Jungian context is intriguing but not quite successful, since he must ignore important elements in the story to do so.
Schechter, H. (1971). Death and resurrection of the king: Elements of primitive mythology and ritual in “Roger Malvin’s Burial.” English Language Notes, 8, 201-05.
Working with Frazer’s paradigm of the death and resurrection of the King motif in myth and ritual, Schechter sees Malvin as the dying king in Hawthorne’s short story and Reuben as his successor. Reuben sacrifices Cyrus so that the curse of death-in-life can be removed. Thus, the tale becomes the imaginary fulfillment of the blessing of fertility (204).

(3) University of California, Santa Cruz

Goulart, R. (1989). The Great Comic Book Artists, Volume 2. New York: St Martin’s Press.
The alphabetically arranged entries include one page each for the artist biography and black-and-white reprinted art. The subjective choices for inclusion reflect a pronounced American, corporate bias. This slant and the blurry comic-book reproductions render the title a cut below Goulart’s usual high standards.

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