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  • 2. Cite Your Research

    This will help you find books at the Long Beach City College Libraries.

    Building Bibliographies

    Build the Page Step by Step

    When creating a bibliography you need to

    1. Start a separate page (CTRL+ENTER) at the end of your paper.
    2. Title the new page "Bibliography" or “Works Cited” in center alignment
    3. Double-space throughout the page.
    4. Begin the first line of the citation at the left margin and use hanging indent (one TAB) for all subsequent lines.
      1. How to create a hanging indent:
        1. Select the text where you want to add a hanging indent.
        2. Go to Home > Paragraph dialog launcher. > Indents and Spacing.
        3. Under Special, select Hanging. You can adjust the depth of the indent using the By field.
        4. Select OK.
    5. Arrange all of the cited sources in alphabetical order by the first word of each entry. Ignore the beginning articles such as: "the," "a," and "an."

    Cite the Sources Step by Step

    1. If you were able to grab a pre-formatted citation from OneSearch or the academic databases, great! You need to copy and paste the plain text of the citation into your bibliography.
    • How to Copy Plain Text:
      • if you want to paste the text without formatting, you have to use the Ctrl + Shift + V key combinations. But, if you want to paste the text without pressing Ctrl + V keys, you have to use the right-click of your mouse and select" Paste Keep text only"
    1. If you were not able to grab a pre-formatted citation from OneSearch or the academic databases then you will need to build your citation by hand. When building your citations by hand:
    • First, determine what type of resource your are citing (e.g., book, newspaper article, magazine article, journal article, web site).
      • This is important because the citation format for different sources are all unique! 
    • Once you determined which type of resource your are citing, then follow the instructions for that specific type of resource below.

    Commons Elements of a Bibliography

    "Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or, as a last resort, a descriptive phrase may be used."

    All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information.

    • Author Names
      • The author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with a comma; for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John.
    • Titles
      • Titles of books and journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks.
    • Publication Information
      • The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name.
    • Punctuation
      • In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.

    Annotated Bibliographies

    Annotated Bibliographies

    In a number of courses, your professor may ask you to create an annotated bibliography. If we break this term down, a bibliography is the works cited for a research paper. It is the collection of citations that you are presenting to your audience. This bibliography is like the trail of bread crumbs that show your audience where you found your sources and how they can find them too. Bibliographies follow a citation style guide according to the rules of an organization like the MLA or the APA.

    “The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to describe the cited material, whether a book, article or other type of source. It is a brief, descriptive note that should provide sufficient information so that a determination can be made as to whether the source should be examined further for use. Annotations help to clarify each source, and they will often provide evaluative information as well” (UIUC Library, 2020).

    An annotation is simply a brief description of something. In the case of an annotated bibliography, you will be briefly describing the sources that you have found. Your descriptions might include pointing out the search strategy used to discover the source, a description of the scholarly journal that it appears within, and a synopsis of how the source contributes to your research.

    Types of Annotations
    • Informative
      • Written in the tone of the book or article, an informative annotation presents the original material in a shorter form.
    • Descriptive
      • Provides a description of the text, avoiding the addition of any evaluative commentary on its quality.
    • Evaluative
      • In addition to the information included in the previous annotation types, includes an evaluative judgment of the material as well.

    Even if your professor is not requiring you to complete an annotated bibliography, you can make an annotated bibliography as you conduct your research. “Preparing an annotated bibliography is often the first step in writing a research paper. Sometimes it is a stand-alone assignment” (UCLA Library, 2017).

    The act of summarizing the sources and information helps you to better understand where the study’s evidence belongs in your paper. Your ability to synthesize the sources will be supercharged when you have a running list of each source including a summary and synthesis of how you will use them.

    An efficient way to conduct research is to “use bibliographies to find sources! Once you've found one scholarly article or book that's useful, look at the end to see which sources that author cited. Then, look in the catalog or databases for those sources” (UCLA Library, 2017). Bibliographies enable students to understand who is citing who, what the foundational studies are, and where the gaps are in the field’s knowledge.

    Annotated bibliographies are 'works cited' with descriptions of your sources.

    Being able to write an abstract is a valuable research skill. You certainly can use it in your classes when you are required to inform yourself about a topic by reading books and articles. This skill will also be essential when you write a research paper, if your instructor asks you to prepare an "annotated bibliography"—a list of your research sources that includes a summary of each source. Sometime in the future, an employer may ask you to "abstract" the key points from a reading if he or she does not have time to read it thoroughly. You may also be part of a problem-solving team that will require you to research the literature in a particular field. Abstracts or careful summaries will help you to keep track of what information you found and where you found it.

    Here is a simple strategy for writing an abstract or summary:

    1. Make sure you have your own photostated copy or printout of the article so that you can read and mark up this material.
    2. Read the entire article carefully, but do not take notes. Just read it.
    3. Now reread the article and, with the use of marking, underlining, circling, and labeling, divide the article into major sections or stages of thought. Clearly mark and label what you understand to be its different major parts. It may have three major points or divisions; it may have nine. How many stages of thought the reading has depends upon its purpose and complexity.

    "Summarizing an Article." Issues & Controversies, Infobase, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.