3.2 Filtering and organising

3.2.4 Building a bibliography

Although the bibliography comes at the end of your essay, it is actually a starting point for writing your essay. Page 3.2.3 stresses the importance of making notes and documenting your development. As you gather, filter and organise notes, you will need to keep track of your sources. Many cases of plagiarism stem from sloppy organisational skills, where students lose track of their sources and paraphrase without citing their sources. Here is a quick guide to creating a 'working' bibliography. 

About online referencing generators

There are online tools that help you catalogue and record your bibliographical information, such as:

There are advantages to using such systems. First of all, these generators format your information according to the style guide that you select, so that the commas and semicolons appear in the correct places. Secondly, if you create an account, you can keep an on-going bibliography. And finally, the information is easy to export to MS Word. 

However, please be careful when filling in the fields of these generators. It is not enough to enter the URL of a website, click 'cite' and export. Many fields need to be filled in manually (see 'tips' box), or else the generator will not know what to generate.

Figure 3.2.4c - Screen shot from EasyBib.com

Figure 3.2.4b - Index cards
You may find it useful to keep track of your sources with colour-coded index cards.

Tips

What to record (where applicable):
  • title
  • name of author(s)
  • publisher
  • date of publication
  • place of publication
  • date of access (web)
  • name and number of journal or edition