The research paper bibliography refers to a section of a paper where all the sources used by the researcher shall be stated. The number of sources to be included may vary, depending on how many were used to produce the research paper. However, the standard minimum is to at least have five mentioned.
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Writing the research paper bibliography requires the student to gather the title of the source, the author or authors, the date of publication, the publisher, etc. Different sources demand a different set of information to include. A resource could be a periodical, journal, a website, online database, books, personal interviews and the list goes on. Each one will have a different format to follow.
The formats to be used will depend on what the professor specifies; otherwise, the student has full reign on which one to employ. The common formats used in writing the research paper bibliography are MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian. For instance, the MLA format starts with the author’s last name, first name and then followed by the name of the publication; then the publisher, the date of publication and the pages that were used have to be stated as well. But then, a journal will have a different set of information required and might not have the same order as stated above. The referencing of the student will vary as he or she uses various kinds of sources for the research paper. Usually though, the professors provide the format to be used and they give a copy of how various references should be written.
Constructing the research paper bibliography can be nitty-gritty work because the student has to be conscious of the resources that were actually cited in the paper. One has to be aware of the references used because the professor might require not just the citations, but the reference materials to be included in the bibliography. The citations are those that were quoted in the paper. These have to be stated in the bibliography with a direct link to the section of the paper where it was used. The references can be books or research paper which were not cited in the paper but were used by the student as basis in writing the paper.
Constructed properly, the bibliography will ensure that the student has in no way plagiarized the paper from other documents and that the references used are all stated with due recognition. This is why a research paper bibliography is important; it composes the integrity of the researcher and the paper. It also serves as a reference guide to those who will read the paper and who might want to look into the citations. Furthermore, the bibliography has to be the first-hand resources. For example, if a student uses a dissertation for reference, he or she should not copy the resources listed there; these are the secondhand resources which can only be used if the student finds the actual resource and uses it for the paper as well.