write dissertation bibliography

How to write dissertation bibliography

Most academic writings like a book, research report, a thesis or a dissertation require a bibliography section. If you are undergraduate this term might seem an alien to you. Writing a bibliography isn’t as intimidating as it seems.

What is bibliography?

For your understanding, you can think of bibliography section as same as a “reference list”. It lists all the books, articles, research papers or dissertations you have cited in your work.

Why do you need to write a bibliography?

It has following significance’s:

• It makes easy for the reader of your dissertation to track all the sources you took assistance from.

• It makes you free from the accusation of the copyright infringements and plagiarisms.

bibliography definition and examples


How to write a bibliography?

You can structure your bibliography according to any one of the three formats: APA, MLA, CMS. APA is a standard format for scientific papers.

How to start?

Check General methodology for structuring your dissertation. You can make a simple word document of the source along with the full title, authors, publishers, and place of publication.

 APA Format:

Start with the new page having a centered heading “references”.

Format is:

Author’s last name, first initial. (publication date). title. city of publication: publisher


Max, A. M., & Pexman. (1999). Presenting findings: A practical guide for tabulation.                                                                                                

Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

The format is valid for reference books.


Author’s name: start with the last name of the author followed by a comma. If first and second names are known then, only use capitalized initial alphabets separated by a period. If there are two authors, then the same format will be followed and both the author’s name will be separated by a comma and ampersand. If the source doesn’t’ t have a definite author, then start with the title source.

Publication dates: go with the month-day-year format. You have to abbreviate the month except for May, June, and July. Don’t forget to place a comma after day. Put the publication date in parenthesis, parenthesis should be followed by a period. If you are using multiple articles from the same author, then arrange them chronologically.

Title: the title of the source should be in italics.

Indentation: the first line of every point should be on the top left. Every following should be written after leaving a ½” space from the left.

Other sources:

Encyclopedia and dictionary:


Author’s last name, first initial. (Date). Title of Article. Title of Encyclopedia (Volume, pages). City of publication: Publishing company.


Pettingill, O. S., Jr. (1980). Falcon and Falconry. World book encyclopedia. (pp. 150-155). Chicago: World Book.

Newspaper and magazine article:


Author’s last name, first initial. (Publication date). Article title. The periodical title, volume number, pages include


Trillin, C. (1993, February 15). Culture shopping. New Yorker, pp. 48-51.