What is a  Bibliography?

Basically it is a list of all the sources you used in creating your document, project, or image. There are certain guidelines about how to create this list, but it might include information about such resources as books, magazines, images, movies, interviews, and so on.

What is the difference between a  Bibliography, Works Cited, Works Consulted, and Reference List?

Not much. All of these refer to a list of references you used in creating your document, project, image. Most teachers refer to them as a Bibliography or Works Cited and require you to provide it with your assignment or project.

Why do I need one?

You must credit other people’s work! If you are borrowing ideas, images, and wording from others, you must give credit to them otherwise it’s plagiarizing… that, and your teacher may not accept your assignment without one.

What is the difference between MLA and APA formats? Which one do I use?

The majority of your teachers want it done in MLA (Modern Languages Association) format which is the most used and straightforward of the styles though a few may request it in  APA (American Psychological Association).   If you are unsure of which to use, choose MLA.

Where do I learn how to make one?

Go to the SFU Library links below for more information:

MLA formatting and style guide 

APA formatting and style guide 

Chicago formatting and style guide

Is there a helpful shortcut I can use to create a good bibliography?

The following online citation-maker will help you pull your bibliographic details together in the proper format. Follow the instructions provided by the actual pages.


  • Use MLA citation style unless your teacher tells you to use another one.
  • Organize citations in alphabetical order by first word. 
  • If you are citing a database (e.g., Science in Context) or online encyclopedia, you can find the citation at the end of the article.  Just copy and paste. For the encyclopedia, choose the MLA version.
  • Citing websites:
    • Online citation-makers will help you cite websites, but you might need to check back to the website to find all the necessary details.  
    • Be sure to include a publisher in your citation. (“Np” means “no publisher.”)  If you can’t find one, think twice about using the site.
    • To find out who the owner/publisher of a website is, go to and enter the domain name.  Example:  (Don’t enter the “www” part.)  The “Registrant” is the owner/publisher.
    • Complete the CRAAP Detection checklist to verify your resource’s validity and credibility.

VIDEOS: 3-minute guides on plagiarismparaphrasingcitations and in-text citations for your bibliography.  Also, getting started on a research project (hint: choose something that interests you).