Compiling a Preliminary Bibliography
A Biblio is not a bio…
A biography is the history of someone's life, whereas a bibliography is the history of someone's paper. Specifically, a
bibliography provides an organized list of sources that a writer has investigated while researching for a paper.
What's the point?
A bibliography gives you a means to keep your sources organized and ensures that you have all necessary
information for your Works Cited page. You format a bibliography exactly like a works cited page, which is
something all research papers require. The only difference between the two is that the works cited page only lists
sources actually used within the paper. When you've finished a paper, if you already have a bibliography, you can
simply delete any sources not used in your paper, change the title and your works cited page is already done!
Compiling a preliminary bibliography can also help you take stock of the breadth and depth of the research you’ve
done. When you assemble all of the resources you’ve consulted into a bibliography, you are better able to answer
some important questions about the scope of your research: Are there areas of your research question that you
haven’t fully explored yet? Ate there certain kinds of sources that you haven’t consulted that might hold new or
different information about that question? Have you consulted enough recent sources on the question to provide
Note: For further information on the works cited page, we recommend the Documenting & Works Cited
Listed below are correctly formatted MLA citations for some of the most commonly used sources.
For citations not listed here, consult the MLA Handbook, your text, the Joyner library virtual reference desk Style
Manual and Citation Guide for MLA at http://www.lib.ecu.edu/Reference/refdesk/toc.html or the following web-
site from Capital Community College: http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/index.shtml .
When listing a book in your bibliography or works cited page, you must first decide what type of book you have
consulted. For instance, was the book written by one or more authors? Have you consulted more than one book by
the same author? Does the book have an editor as do collections or anthologies? Below we have listed the correct
citations for the most common types of books you will need to cite.
A book by a single author
Author’s last name, author’s fist name. Book title. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Townsend, Robert M. The Medieval Village Economy. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.
A book by multiple authors
Author’s last names, author’s first name, author’s first name author’s last name, and author’s first name
author’s last name. Book title. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Marquart, James W., Sheldon Ekland Olson, and Jonathan R. Sorenson. The Rope, the Chair, and the Needle:
Capital Punishment in Texas,1923-1990. Austin: U of Texas P, 1994.
A book by more than three authors
Gilman, Sander, et al. Hysteria beyond Freud. Berkeley: U of California P, 1993.
Note: The Latin abbreviation “et al.” means “and others”.
Two or More books by the same author
Author’s last name, author’s first name. Book Title. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
---. Book Title. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Scholes, Robert. Protocols of Reading. New Haven: Yale UP, 1989.
---. Textual Power: Literary Theory and the Teaching of English. New Haven: Yale UP, 1985.
An edited book or anthology (collection of shorter works by multiple authors)
Editor’s last name, editor’s first name, ed. Title of collection. City of Publication: Place of Publication, Year of
Feldman, Paula R., ed. British Women Poets of the Romantic Era. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
Note: You may also need to reference the types of books listed below which require additional information
in their citation. For these special cases, please refer to the MLA Handbook, your textbook, or the website
o A book in a later edition (a second or subsequent publication of a book, may be revised or abridged,
and usually includes an editor)
o A book in a series (a book that is part a larger collection of books)
o A multi-volume book (A book from a collection that has more than one volume)
o A book with a translator (a book written in one language which had been translated into another)
o A book published before 1900
o A book by a corporate author (a book whose written by a commission, an association, a committee,
or any other group whose individual members are not identified)
o A paperback or other reprinted book)
o A book or document written by a group or government agency (if no author is given, cite using the
group or government agency that issued the book)
o An On-line or e-book
o A book with multiple publishers
o A book with no author
o A work form a CD-ROM or Diskette
o A pamphlet
Likewise, when you list or cite an article that you have referenced, you need to know where the article came from in
order to document it correctly. Was it taken from a book collection or anthology? Was it read from a newspaper,
popular magazine, scholarly journal, an encyclopedia? Was it published only on-line or is it also available in print?
Was the article accessed through an on-line database such as Proquest or Infotrac?
An article or other short work in an edited collection
Author’s last name, author’s first name. “Title of Article or Essay.” Book title. Ed. editor’s first name editor’s
last name. City of Publication: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication. Page numbers.
Booth, Wayne C. “The Scholar in Society.” Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures.
Ed. Joseph Gibaldi. New York: MLA, 1981. 116-43.
Note: If the work was published elsewhere before its inclusion in the collection, give full information for the
original publication and then for the collection. Use the abbreviation “Rpt. in” before the citation of the
Frye, Northrop. “Literary and Linguistic Scholarship in a Postliterate Age.” PMLA 99 (1984) : 990-95.
Rpt. in Myth and Metaphor: Selected Essays, 1974-88. Ed. Robert D. Denham. Charlottesville: UP
of Virginia, 1990. 18-27.
An introduction, preface, foreword, or afterward (material added in addition to a text by either the original
author, an editor, or a reader)
Preface Author’s last name, first name. Introduction or Preface or Foreword, or Afterward. Title of Work. By
author’s first name author’s last name. Ed. editor’s first name editor’s last name. Place of Publication:
Publisher, Year of Publication. Page numbers.
Borges, Jorge Luis. Foreward. Selected Poems, 1923-1967. By Borges. Ed. Norman Thomas Di Giovanni.
New York: Delta-Dell, 1973. xv-xvi.
Editor’s last name, first name. Introduction. Book title. By author’s first name author’s last name. Trans.
translator’s last name. City of Publication: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication.
Penman, Bruce. Introduction. The Betrothed. By Alessandro Manzoni. Trans. Penman. New York: Penguin,
An article in an encyclopedia or other reference book
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Name of Encyclopedia or Reference Work. Edition number ed.
Year of Publication.
Benet, William. "Courtly Love." The Reader's Encyclopedia. 5th ed. 1965.
Note: If the edition is catalogued according to years, you can simply state the year and ed. after the reference title.
Benet, William. "Courtly Love." The Reader's Encyclopedia. 1965 ed.
Also, if the article has no author, begin the citation with the “Title of the Article”.
An article from a scholarly journal (Unlike a popular magazine, a scholarly journal has a serious look, publishes
articles for an audience with at least some knowledge of its discipline, reports on original experimentation in
the discipline, and is usually peer reviewed. In addition, authors published in scholarly journals are scholars in
their field and cite their own sources.)
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Journal Title Volume Number. Issue (Year of Publication) :
Page numbers of article.
Scotto, Peter. "Censorship, Reading, and Interpretation: A Case Study from The Soviet Union." PMLA 109.1
(1994) : 61-70.
A newspaper article/editorial
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper Issue date, edition (if provided): page
number or numbers.
Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. “What's in a Movie Soundtrack? Catchy Tunes and Big Business." Wall Street Journal
1 Apr. 1994, eastern ed. : B1.
Format II- If the author is not known
"Title of article/editorial." [Add the word "Editorial." if applicable] Newspaper Title Issue date, edition (if
provided): page number(s).
"Back to the Future: The Nation's Cities." Editorial. Los Angeles Times 3 May 1992, LA ed. : M4.
Note: If the city of publication is not included in the name of the newspaper, add the city in square brackets after
the name of the newspaper. However, for nationally published newspaper (USA Today, Wall Street Journal,
etc.), the city of publication is not required.
Fain, Travis. "Pitt County EMS, hospital stress care over costs." Daily Reflector [Greenville] 2 Aug. 1999:
Manning, Anita. "Curriculum Battles from Left and Right." USA Today 2 Mar. 1994: 5D.
An article in a magazine/periodical
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Issue Date: Page numbers.
Nimmons, David. "Sex and the Brain." Discover Mar. 1994: 64-71.
A printed journal article reproduced on-line (previously published in print medium)
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Journal Title Volume. Issue (Year of Publication): page,
paragraph or section numbers if available. Access date <URL>.
Singh, Leland. “Wearing your personality.” Journal of advertising and Marketing 15.2 (1999): 15-20. 20 Jul.
A printed article accessed from a database such as EBSCohost or ProQuest
Author’s last name, first name. "Title of Article." Magazine Title Date: page numbers . ProQuest. Name and
location of the library in which you accessed the article (if applicable). Access date.
Johnson, Daryl. "Envisioning the Milky Way." Scientific Studies Mar. 2001: 2-8. ProQuest.. Joyner Library,
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. 16 Jul. 2002.
A journal article published on-line (not previously published in print medium)
Author’s last name, first name. “Title of Article.” Journal Title Volume. Issue (Year of Publication). Access date
Koehn, Daryl. “The Ethics of Handwriting Analysis in Pre-Employment Screening.” The Online Journal of Ethics
1.1 (1995). 2 June 1996 <http://condor.depaul.edu/ethics/hand.html>.
Note: The following sources also require special documentation. Should you need to cite them, please refer to the
MLA Handbook, your textbook, or the website listed above.
o An article in a scholarly journal that pages each issue separately
o An article in a scholarly journal that uses only issue numbers
o An article in a scholarly journal with more than one series
o A review (a book, play, movie, or other original work commented upon by a reviewer)
o An abstract (summary of an article, not the full article)
o An anonymous article
o A letter to the Editor
o An article in a micoform/fiche collection
Miscellaneous and non-print sources
Remember when researching (unless your instructor tells you otherwise), that you are not limited to just books and
periodicals. Many multi-media and electronic sources such as those listed below can help you to gain a new
perspective on your topic.
Title. Director's first name last name. Lead actors. The distributor, date of showing.
Children of a Lesser God. Dir. Randa Haines. Perf. William Hurt and Marlee Matlin. Paramount, 1986.
Note: If you need to document a videocassette, DVD, laser disc, slide program, or filmstrip, cite as you would a
film, but include the original release date before the name of the distributor.
Suspicion. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Perf. Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. 1941. Laser disc. Turner, 1995.
Artist’s last name, first name. "Song Title." Title of Album. Manufacturer, Catalog number, year of issue (if not
known, write "n.d.").
Simon, Paul. "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard." Concert in the Park. Warner Bros., 1991.
A painting, sculpture, or photograph
Artist’s last name, first name. Title of Work. Date. Institution, Collection, or Individual Owner, City.
Bearden, Romare. The Train. 1974. Carole and Alex Rosenburg Collection, New York.
Format I- interview conducted by yourself
Subject's last name, first name. Type of Interview (personal, telephone, e-mail, etc.). Date of Interview.
Hussein, Sadaam. Telephone interview. June 6, 1990.
Format II- interview conducted by someone else
Subject's last name, first name. Interview. Title of source (book, magazine, etc.). By Author’s first name last
name. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Bugs Bunny. Interview. Loonies I Have Loved. By Elmer Fudd. Acme City: Warner Bros, 1963.
Note: Please refer to the MLA Handbook, your text, or the website given above to cite the following non-print
o A television or radio program
o A performance
o A musical composition
o A map or chart
o A cartoon
o An advertisement
o A lecture, speech, address, or reading
o A manuscript
o A letter or a memo
o A legal source
A web page
Author/editor (if provided). Title of page. Copyright date (if provided). Publisher (if provided). Access Date
ExamplePartenheimer, David. Exercise Helps Keep Your Psyche Fit. 13 June 1999. Amer. Psychological Assn. 21
Nov. 2000 <http://www.apa.org/releases/exercise.html>.
Personal Electronic Communication (E-mail)
Sender. "Subject of Message." E-mail to recipient. Message date.
Omar, Bill W. "Excellent Web Sites for Job Seekers." E-mail to Mary Ellen Guffey. 5 June 1996.
Note: Many other types of electronic resources, such as those listed below, can be good resources and should be
documented according to the MLA Handbook, your text, or the web site listed above.
o An Online Posting
o A listserv
o A synchronous communication (using software such as AOL’s Instant Messenger or Blackboard)
o Computer Software
o An on-line video clip
o An on-line audio clip
Example of a Bibliography
Bibliographies and Works Cited pages do not contain any text or pictures other than the title “Bibliography”
or “Works Cited”, a page number, and the citations themselves. If you are handing in the Bibliography or
the Works Cited page as part of a larger project, start them on a clean page.
All margins are one inch.
All lines (even in-between entries) are double-spaced. If a source entry goes over one line, indent the next
line (and all following) five spaces.
The font size and type should remain constant from title throughout entries
All entries are alphabetized by the first letter of the first word in the citation.
Belanoff, Pat, and Marcia Dickson, eds. Portfolios, Process and Product.
Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1991.
Daiker, Donald A., and Max Morenberg, eds. The Writing Teacher as Researcher.
Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1990.
“Dubious Venture.” Time 3 Jan. 1994: 64-65.
Ford, Blair W. “Dramatic Analysis.” Gilbert 137-154.
Gilbert, Alvin B., ed. Modern Shakespearean Criticism. New York: Harcourt,
Johnson, Nan.. Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric in North America. Carbondale:
Southern Illinois UP, 1991.
Newkirk, Thomas, ed. Nuts and Bolts: A Practical Guide to Teaching College
Composition. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1993.
White, Edward M. Assigning, Responding, Evaluating: A Writing Teacher’s Guide.
2nd ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
Determine whether the following bibliographic citations are formatted correctly. If they are not correct, rewrite the
citation making the necessary changes.
1. Johnson, James E. (email@example.com). "Historical Web Sites" E-mail to Richard Sedgewick (firstname.lastname@example.org).
13 April 1997.
2. Feder, Barnaby J. For Job Seekers, A Toll-Free Gift of Expert Advice "New York Times" late ed.: D1.
3. Franklin, Benjamin. "Emigration to America." Ed. Christopher Ricks and William L. Vance. The Faber Book of
America. Boston: Faber, 1992. 24-26.
4. Murphy, Cullen. "Women and the Bible." Atlantic Monthly Aug. 1993: 36-64.
5. "Always Coca-Cola." Online. Coca-Cola Company, Inc. Available: 15 April 1998. http://www.cocacola.com.
6. Taves, Brian. The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure Movies. Jackson: UP of
7. Craner, Paul M. "New Tool for an Ancient Art: The Computer and Music." Computers and the Humanities