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Tools for Effective Writing

Everything you need to become successful in your academic writing.

Citing Sources - References vs Bibliography

References and Bibliographies - What's the difference?

When you write academic papers, you will need to include a list of sources you used to write the paper. There are two main ways to list your sources, with a reference list or a bibliography.

References include sources that have been directly cited in your paper. For each source, you will have at least one in-text citation in the body of your paper. The citation styles that use reference lists include APA citations, AMA citations, and MLA citations.

Bibliographies, on the other hand, contain all the sources that you have used for your paper, whether they are directly cited or not. In a bibliography, you should include all of the materials you consulted in preparing your paper. Chicago citations and Oxford citations are two citation styles that use bibliographies.

Both reference lists and bibliographies appear at the end of a written work and are usually organized alphabetically. A paper can have both a reference list and a bibliography.

For more information on how to cite your sources, check out the De Paul Library's Citation Guide.