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Writing A Bibliography For Your Dissertation: A Complete Guide

  • 7 Sep
  • 2022

A bibliography is a list of the sources you used in writing your dissertation. It’s not just a list of books, though—you should also include journal articles and other types of sources. Writing a bibliography is not a difficult task but requires a lot of attention.

In this article, we’ll show you how to write an APA and Chicago bibliography for your dissertation by explaining what one is, how to make sure it’s correct (especially important if it will be graded), and how to format it correctly.

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What is a Bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of sources that you have used for your research. It’s usually presented at the end of a dissertation, article or thesis, and it lists all sources you have used and cited in your text. It should be written in alphabetical order by author’s surname or title (depending on what style guide you follow). The bibliography should be included on pages following the main text but before any appendices or notes.

The purpose of writing a bibliography is to facilitate others’ ability to find additional information about resources discussed in your work. When writing a dissertation, it may seem difficult to know where to start when referencing other people’s work – but don’t worry! We’ve got some helpful tips below:

What to Include in Your Bibliography?

What to Include in Your Bibliography -

The bibliography of your dissertation should include all the sources you have used to write it, whether they are books, journal articles or internet sources.

The main components of a book reference are: title, author’s name(s), publisher and year of publication. If you can find them, you should also include page numbers for each source (this will help if someone wants to look up something specific in one of your references). Additionally, if there are other relevant pieces of information about the book (such as who translated it from another language), make sure these get included too.

For example: Smith, J., & Jones, A., 2012a. The effects of music on humans’ moods. In J Smith & A Jones (eds.), Effects Of Music On Humans’ Moods And Behaviors: An Overview Of Research Studies From 1700 To Today And Prospects For Future Research; pp 28-32

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How to Write a Bibliography (APA Style)?

If you’re writing a bibliography in APA style, you need to include the following information:

Author and Year of Publication.

You should list the author’s name first, followed by the year of publication, both in parenthesis. APA uses different punctuation from other styles when it comes to citation order.

Title of the Book (Italicised).

The title should be italicized (or underlined if handwritten), with no quotation marks around it. If there are multiple authors or editors listed on your reference, they should be separated by ampersands (&) instead of commas between citations within one work (e.g., Smith & Jones, 2012; Smith & Jones, 2013).

Published Name

Publisher and city of publication or location where retrieved or accessed on a web page if available but not published by an academic publisher since these are generally considered self-published sources which do not require authorship credit.

Page Number(s).

Include both inclusive numbers (i.e., pp 1-20) as well as specific page numbers from where you took information from each source referenced in this section if necessary


  Type Reference Entry Intext
1 Book Blythe, J., & Martin, J. (2019). Essentials of marketing. Pearson UK. (Blythe & Martin, 2019)
2 Journal Išoraitė, M. (2016). Marketing mix theoretical aspects. International Journal of Research-Granthaalayah4(6), 25-37. (Išoraitė, 2016)


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How to Write a Bibliography (Chicago style)?

The Chicago style of writing bibliographies has long been the most commonly used method in scientific writing. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name, then chronologically by publication date. There are a few ways you can format your bibliography entry, but most important is that the information is accurate and consistent throughout the document:

  • Include a title and page number for each source cited
  • Include an indication that this was published within two years of your research (for example, “Published online June 2017”)
  • If there are multiple works by one author listed in your bibliography, use their full name in the first instance only; thereafter refer to them as “Author,” followed by their surname without any additional punctuation or formatting


  Type Reference Entry Intext
1 Book Blythe, Jim, and Jane Martin. Essentials of marketing. Pearson UK, 2019. (Blythe)
2 Journal Išoraitė, Margarita. “Marketing mix theoretical aspects.” International Journal of Research-Granthaalayah 4, no. 6 (2016): 25-37. (Išoraitė)

If you face any trouble while formatting your references or even complete dissertation, then contact Cheap dissertation Writing UK. Their experts are well equipped with latest referencing and formatting styles.

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Tips on Writing a Bibliography for your Dissertation

Don’t Forget to Proofread Your Bibliography

When you’ve finished writing your bibliography, it’s time to proofread it. This is when you check for spelling and grammar mistakes, consistency, accuracy, and formatting.

You should also make sure that:

  • The length of your bibliography matches the word count of your dissertation
  • You have included any references that were not used in the body of your dissertation

Be Consistent With How You Structure References.

  • Be consistent with how you structure references.
  • Use a referencing guide to ensure that all of your references are correctly formatted and structured according to the agreed upon conventions within your field.
  • Include all the details you need for a reference, such as authors’ names, publication year and title, in order to help readers, find the source themselves if they wish to do so later on (this is especially important for longer references). If you are using multiple sources by one author, mention this at first use of each source; then use “et al.” (and others) after each subsequent reference from this author until another primary work from another author is used. This helps avoid confusion about whom it was who wrote what in a series of citations throughout your dissertation or thesis paper.

Use a Referencing Guide and Include All the Details you Need for a Reference.

This tip is perhaps the most important. When writing a bibliography, use a referencing guide and include all the details you need for a reference. The style of referencing depends on your institution’s guidelines, but most will require you to use either APA or Chicago/Turabian styles and include at least some elements of the reference (such as author name and year).

The following items should be included:

  • Author name(s)
  • Title of work (italicized)
  • Volume number if there are multiple volumes
  • Page numbers if available

These items should ideally be arranged in this order: author surname, initials; title of work (italicized); volume number or issue number, if applicable; page numbers that correspond with those given in this article.

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Be Thorough.

Your bibliography should be comprehensive. You need to include every source that you have used as a reference in your dissertation. Be sure not to forget any important details such as the author’s name, the title of the work, publisher, year of publication, and so on.

In addition to being thorough with your bibliography, it is also important that it is well-written and formatted correctly. The best way to make sure this happens is by proofreading it before submission. It may sound simple, but many students overlook this step when they are writing their dissertations at the last minute or do not take time out for proofreading at all!


As you can see, writing a bibliography is not as hard as it seems and it’s important to be thorough when referencing your sources. If you have any questions about the process or need some help with your own dissertation, don’t hesitate to contact us at our website.


How Many Bibliographies Should be in a Dissertation?

The number of references you need depends on the length and complexity of your research, as well as what kind of work it is. A dissertation that’s 50 pages or longer is expected to have between 80 and 120 references.

Where Does the Bibliography go in a Dissertation?

The bibliography goes at the end of your dissertation. It should be formatted according to whatever style guide you’re using (APA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.)

How do you write a Bibliography in Harvard style?

The best way to learn how to write a bibliography is by reading examples. Here’s an example of a bibliography written in Harvard style:

  • Thabit, T. and Raewf, M., 2018. The evaluation of marketing mix elements: A case study. International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies4(4).

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