Why a bibliography page?
You need a bibliography page when . . .
When you look up stuff in preparation for writing something, you should
acknowledge and report the use of those sources even if you do not use any direct quotes from
I do not like getting papers without a bibliography page. Such papers make me wonder if the
author has concocted something out of thin air or (worse) has copied from a printed source and
does not want me to know the source of the copied material. [ SNUs statement on plagiarism ]
A bibliography page enhances and strengthens your writing (That means it can improve your
Use a bibliography page to tell me . . .
- 1. You actually did some research.
- A bibliography page helps your work pass the baloney detector test. It says
that you did not make up key facts and supporting quotes.
- 2. You checked more than one source.
- Can what you wrote be corroborated? That is, did you consult more than one source?
Confirmability is an important test of truth. Length is not the only test of a good bibliography.
Still, a bibliography listing several sources likely indicates that you have
triangulated your information (at least two other sources that support your data).
- 3. Who wrote your sources.
- What about the authors' credentials? Are they trustworthy names? Will I see the names of
people known for engaging the subject thoughtfully? Will I recognize them as people concerned
- 4. Who published your sources.
- Is the publisher a more believable source than supermarket tabloids (as exciting as those can
- 5. When your sources were published.
- How old is your information? Information changes. So, those copyright dates in
bibliography entries have a certain importance. Is it likely to be correct today? Old is not bad.
Old does not mean it is not valuable. Original source documents can be very important.
However, a classic text on Biblical archeology written in 1895 will not have information on the
discoveries of the last 100 years. Balance the use of older sources with some new ones.
You can tell me all these things by giving me a proper bibliography page. A paper
lacking a bibliography page may lead me to think one of two things (neither of which is good for
- You made up everything
- You copied from one source and do not want to tell me what it was.
Want to know how to make a bibliography page?
If you did any research at all, give me a listing of your sources on a separate bibliography
page. Use MLA format for those listings. [ sample bibliography
Additional writing help
Want to see some sample bibliography entries?
bibliography page right. Follow some models of the proper style. [ read more ]|
SNU missions course materials and syllabi
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Updated: February 4, 2019
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