by Jeff Hume-Pratuch
Did you know that there’s no such thing as a bibliography in APA Style? It’s a fact! APA Style uses text citations and a reference list, rather than footnotes and a bibliography, to document sources.
A reference list and a bibliography look a lot alike: They’re both composed of entries arranged alphabetically by author, for example, and they include the same basic information. The difference lies not so much in how they look as in what they contain.
A bibliography usually contains all the works cited in a paper, but it may also include other works that the author consulted, even if they are not mentioned in the text. Some bibliographies contain only the sources that the author feels are most significant or useful to readers.
In APA Style, however, each reference cited in text must appear in the reference list, and each entry in the reference list must be cited in text. If you cite only three sources in your paper, your reference list will be very short—even if you had to read 50 sources to find those three gems! (Hopefully, that hard work will pay off on your next assignment.)
The APA Style Experts are often asked to provide the “official APA-approved format” for annotated bibliographies (i.e., bibliographies that contain the author’s comments on each source). As you may have guessed, there isn’t one; APA Style doesn’t use bibliographies of any sort. In addition, though, the reference list in APA Style contains only the information that is necessary to help the reader uniquely identify and access each source. That’s why there is no format for an annotated bibliography in the Publication Manual.
The main styles used at AU are as follows - if you need to use another style click here. Those with large research projects should strongly consider a citation manager like Zotero or Endnote. Students can use citation generators like BibMe, Citation Machine, or EasyBib, but you must ALWAYS check your citations using the resources below:
- Easy Writer (in the reference collection, PE1408 .L852 2016) by Andrea Lunsford has excellent guides and sample citations/papers for MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian Styles.
APA (American Psychological Association) - used in the social sciences
- Recommended - Purdue OWL APA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in APA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
- Recommended - Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. - (Call number: Reference PN 147.A4 2010.)
- Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style - Official APA style site containing tutorials and other FAQ's.
- APA style blog - Need help citing a odd source or a sample paper? Check out the official APA style blog.
Chicago Manual of Style - used in the humanites and social sciences
- Recommended - Chicago Manual of Style - Official online version of the Chicago manual 17th edition.
- Recommended - Purdue OWL Chicago Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in Chicago style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
- Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition - (Call number: Reference Z253 .U69 2010.)
MLA (Modern Language Association) - used in literature and the humanities
- Recommended - Purdue OWL MLA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in MLA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
- Recommended - The MLA Style Center - Official MLA style site, containing tutorials and other FAQ's. Updated for MLA 8th edition.
- MLA Handbook - 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB2369 .M52 2016.)
Turabian Style - a variation of the Chicago style used in many disciplines in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences
- Recommended - Turabian Quick Guide - From the publisher, University of Chicago Press.
- Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB 2369 .T8 2013.)