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Referencing & Bibliography

Structuring a bibliography

Entries in a bibliography are given by alphabetical order according to the author's last name, or by the first word of the title if the author is not known, omitting 'The' or 'A/An' .

A bibliography for a postgraduate dissertation might have the following subsections:

1. Primary sources: documents and materials which are the immediate subject of your research; they can be divided into:

printed texts
visual records
material artefacts
audio and video recordings
online resources

When your dissertation is based mainly on archival material, entries can be subdivided by indicating the different archives.

2. Secondary sources: documents and materials that deal with the subject of your research.

What to include

You should include any work that you quote or refer to in your research and any work that has contributed to your research. A bibliography should also include any type of material that you have used, including visual records, films, interviews, etc.

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias are usually not included in the bibliography; an exception is made when they are key tools for research, for instance when the research discusses some entries of an encyclopaedia, or employs a dictionary of the nineteenth century to study how some terms were used in that time.

For further help look at the Macrostructure: organizing your bibliography section of the PORT tutorial.

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