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Pathfinder: Creating a Bibliography     Printable PDF Version

This is a suggested format for students in grades 5-12. It is based primarily on the following website:
Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

You can find this document on our website www.santacruzpl.org: under Kids (santacruzpl.org/kids/learn/) and Teens (santacruzpl.org/teens/homework/bibs/) pages.

Search in the Santa Cruz Public Library's online catalog using the keywords "report writing" for more titles.

MOST IMPORTANT: Check with your school first before writing your bibliography to find out the correct citation and format style your teacher will accept. This information is generally found on the school website or you can ask your teacher. Most schools in Santa Cruz County use MLA (Modern Language Association).

Print Sources

Books with one author

Author last name, first name. Title. Location: Publisher, Year published. Medium of publication.

EXAMPLE: Goodall, J. The chimpanzees I love: saving their world and ours. New York: Scholastic Press, 2001. Print.

Books with two authors

Author(s) last name, first name, Second author first name, last name. Title. Location: Publisher, Year published. Medium of publication.

NOTE: For more than three authors you may want to use the phrase "et al" ("and others") after the first author.

EXAMPLE: Frank, Anne, et al. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1995. Print.

Encyclopedia Article

Last Name, first name (if no author then start with Title of article). "Title of article." Title of encyclopedia. Year of publication. Medium.

EXAMPLE: "Norway." World Book Encyclopedia. 2011. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.

Magazine or Newspaper Articles

Author last name, first name. "Title of article." Title of periodical date of publication (abbreviate month): pages. Medium of publication.

EXAMPLE: Sunshine, Mary. "Why the sky is blue," Sky & Telescope Mar 2011: 21-23. Print.

Author last name, first name. "Title of article." Title of newspaper date of publication (abbreviate month), note if earlier/late edition (i.e. 4 July 2014, late ed): note section and page number(s). Medium of publication.

EXAMPLE: Busbee, Sally. "Going for broke in Vegas." New York Times 10 Nov 2011: C4. Print.

Non-Print Sources

Personal Interview

Last name, first name of person interviewed. Personal Interview. Location of interview. Date of interview.

EXAMPLE: Lightyear, Buzz. Personal Interview. Burbank, CA. November 22, 1995.


Author/editor names if available. "Title of article if available." Title of Web site. Publisher information including publisher name and date. Page numbers if available. Medium of publication. Date information was retrieved. URL (if required, MLA does not require URL).

NOTE: Remember to include the date when you visited the web site.

EXAMPLE: Noman, Ivan. "Nevada Project." Area51. Web. July 4, 2014.

The UC Berkeley Library has written a guide that you may find helpful when doing research online:

Article from an Online Database (EBSCOHost, ProQuest, InfoTrac, etc.)

Author's last name, first name. "Title of article." Name of online magazine day month year : page(s). Online database name. Medium of publication. Date visited the web site.

NOTE: Most online databases have their own citation tool to produce chosen citation.

EXAMPLES: Wolinsky, Cary, and Nina Hyde. "Wool—Fabric of History." National Geographic Magazine May 1988: [552]+. National Geographic Virtual Library. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.

Kozinn, Allan. "'Lord of the Rings' at Lincoln Center." New York Times. , Late Edition (East Coast) ed.Sep 02 2014. ProQuest. Web. 9 Oct. 2014 .

Arrangment of Items in a Bibliography

  1. If the author is unknown, start your citation with the title.
  2. Arrange the citations in alphabetical order by the first words, ignoring "A", "An", and "The" when they are the first word of the title.
  3. The first line of each citation is not indented. The second line is indented (usually 1/2"). This is known as a hanging indent.