How to make a bibliography?

24 Nov 2023

All academic work must be well documented and, for this reason, we must nourish our work based on existing information in books, web pages, etc. Whether in Undergraduate studies, such as the Undergraduate Degree in Design and Innovation or the Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering, in Masters and Postgraduate studies or in any other academic field, the bibliography allows the identification of the documents used as a source of information for any research.

When we use external sources, it is mandatory to cite the references we have used. This citation of sources is called bibliography and it is essential that it is correctly elaborated, following the established recommendations. Whether in undergraduate degrees, master’s and postgraduate studies or in any other academic field, the bibliography makes it possible to identify the documents used as a source of information for any research. In addition, it represents an acknowledgement of the rights of the author of the source and is a way of showing transparency and reliability in any research.

Having clear its importance, here are some basic concepts on how to make a bibliography.

How to make a bibliography of an assignment?

In order to make a bibliography of an assignment correctly, it is important to maintain a discipline and methodology that helps us to compile all the sources we use in an orderly way. A bibliography is a complete list of all the materials used in a work and always appears at the end of the document in alphabetical order. Among the different materials used to carry out a given work, bibliographical references are one of the fundamental tools and, therefore, the bibliography must include the bibliographical references used in the text.

Some general recommendations on how to make a bibliography:

  • Write down all the sources you have used during the research process.
  • Keep organised notes on your sources.
  • Use the appropriate format for each reference.
  • Include all the sources you cited in your work.

How to cite bibliography

How to cite sources correctly during the paper is the other important part you need to keep in mind when talking about how to make a bibliography. One way to cite bibliographical sources during the exposition of the paper can be to paraphrase. By paraphrasing you express in your own words the ideas of other authors. In addition, you should cite the source from which you have extracted the original idea.

When quoting a concept from another author, you should put it in inverted commas and add the reference of the document you are quoting. Citations included in the text can also be linked to the corresponding references in the bibliography by adding numbers after the concept or author cited. The numbers are placed in brackets, square brackets or as superscripts. If specific parts of a document are cited, volume numbers, page numbers, etc. they can be given after the citation number.

Bibliography formats

As we have already mentioned, bibliographic citations are a form of short reference that we insert in parentheses in the text, or as a footnote, and they identify the source from which we have extracted the information.

Bibliographic references, on the other hand, are longer descriptions, arranged alphabetically at the end of the document. They include essential elements to identify the exact document cited: author, title, date, publisher, etc.

Among all the reference styles or bibliography formats, we highlight the two most commonly used: the APA bibliography and the Vancouver bibliography. Choosing one bibliography format or another will depend mainly on the type of work.

APA Bibliography

The APA style uses the Harvard author-date system for in-text citations and at the end of the document the bibliographical references are inserted in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author of each work.

In contrast, in the APA format, the bibliographic citation may contain the same information, but the structure is different. The APA Bibliography also specifies the rules for how to cite a web page in a bibliography.

  • To cite a book reference, use this scheme:

Author’s last name, Initial capital letter of first name. (Year of publication). Title of the book in italics. City and country. Publisher.

  • How to cite a web page in an APA bibliography

Name of the article. (Date of publication or place without date “w.d.”). Name of the website in italics. Author’s name (if it is the same publisher of the web site, this should be omitted) Retrieved from: URL of the site

  • Cite social networks

Name of the person or group [@user]. (Day month and year). Content of the entry in italics limited to the first twenty words including hashtags [Audio-visual description]. Name of the Social Network. https://direccion.donde/encontrar-la-entrada

Vancouver Bibliography

The Vancouver Bibliography Style has its origin in a set of rules concerning the publication of manuscripts in the field of Health Sciences. It is also known by the same name as the subset of these standards that refers to the way bibliographic references are made. These are the Vancouver Bibliography standards:

  • To cite a complete book

Author/s. Title of the book. Edition. Place of publication (locality): Publisher; year.

  • To cite papers

Author/s of the communication/paper. Title of the communication/paper. In: Title of the Congress. Place of publication (locality): Publisher; Year. aaa (initial page) – bbb (final page).

  • Web Page Article

Author(s). Title of the work [Internet]. Place of publication (locality): Publisher; Date of publication [revised/consulted (date)]. Available at: (link).

Now that you have some notions about how to make a bibliography you can start your next work. If you need more information, you can consult our library.