List of references in the research paper

A research paper is a secondary work in its essence. The author of the research paper summarizes information from various sources, supplementing them with his conclusions. A mandatory requirement is the formation of a list of sources used, on which the research paper is based.

Why is the bibliography written in the research paper

Teachers require a research paper with a list of used literature. This requirement has a logical rationale:

  • From the point of view of scientific ethics, it is correct to indicate the list of literature in the research paper so as not to give out other people’s thoughts and developments as their own. To list the authors and their works is a kind of tribute to their achievements.
  • From the point of view of achieving the educational goals of writing a research paper, the list of references at the end of the research paper gives the teacher the opportunity to assess how authoritative and relevant sources were used.
  • The number of sources used in the research paper also matters.

Example 1

For example, if the list of references contains 1-2 points, it is doubtful that the topic will be considered multilaterally. For small essays on non-debatable topics, it is enough to use 5-7 sources, for more voluminous (or on topics that cause heated debate among scientists) – 10-20 sources.

How to write a list of references in the research paper

General provisions regarding how to properly drawn up the list of references in the research paper:

  • The list of references is placed at the end of the research paper, after the conclusion. If the research paper has applications, then applications follow the list.
  • The list starts on a new page. At the top of the page is the heading – “List of references” (sometimes the teacher requires that this section be titled differently – “Literature”, “List of references”, “List of references”).
  • The list lists all sources used in writing the work – both printed on paper and electronic.
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Example 2

A common mistake is the inclusion in the list of sources to which there are no references in the work (the student looked at the book, did not find anything useful in it for his research, but included it in the list of references).

  • Sorting the list of references in the research paper is carried out according to the model provided by the teacher. Different options are allowed. The most common is a mixed scheme, when legislative acts are allocated to the first category being placed, and then they are followed by other sources in alphabetical order. Another popular sorting scheme is in the order in which the sources are mentioned in the text.
  • Each source in the list has its own number (1, 2, 3 …). These numbers can be used in links that are made according to the text of the work in square brackets – for example, [5, p. 16] means that the quote is taken from the fifth source, from page 16.

How to draw up literature in the research paper

For different types of sources (law, book, part of a book, an article in a periodical, an electronic resource, an archival document), their own description templates are provided that include different details. This is understandable: for the book, you can specify the year of publication and the publisher, but the site does not have such information.

You can draw up elements of the list of references in the research paper according to samples. But in educational works, simplification is usually allowed (some details are not indicated).

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How to make a bibliography for research paper in MS Word

For a long time no one writes essays by hand, preferring to use text editors. The list of references provides for a similar design – print. In MS Word, on the “Links” tab, there is a special tool – “Links and References”. If you add used sources (filling is done by fields – author, title, year, etc.), then the editor will generate a list of references (moreover, there is a possibility to choose the way of designing this list).

A more familiar approach is to make a list of references in the research paper in manual mode. Then you just need to use a numbered list, and type the text (the description of the sources itself) yourself. Moreover, the use of a numbered list allows you to make automatically updated cross-references in the text to the specified sources.