Difference Between Bibliography and Reference List

Bibliography vs Reference List
 

Difference between bibliography and reference list is a bit hard to understand as both seem to produce the same information when you look at them for the first time. That is why the two terms bibliography and reference list are often confused when it comes to their meanings. Bibliography and reference list are two terms that are used in the field of research methodology. Bibliography is the list of books and journals referred in the making of a dissertation or a thesis. This includes all the sources you have consulted even if you have not cited them in your paper. On the other hand, reference list is the list of all the sources you have actually cited in the paper. This is the major difference between the two terms bibliography and reference list.

What is a Bibliography?

Bibliography is the list of all the sources someone uses to produce a research paper, including those that were not cited or paraphrased. This list contains all the details of the sources. Sometimes the word bibliography refers to the list of book of a specific author or publisher. It also refers to the list of books on a specific subject. The history or description of books is also referred to by the word bibliography. Sometimes bibliography gives the description of the authors and editions of the books.

Bibliography is considered a vital part of any thesis for that matter. This is because of the fact that the evaluation of the thesis is made normally based on the books referred by the researcher in writing the thesis. Hence, bibliography is a kind of acknowledgement to the various books and journals referred by the writer of the thesis in writing the thesis. You have to follow the same format you follow for the rest of the article when you are writing a bibliography too. For example, the following is an example of a bibliography for APA style.

Difference Between Bibliography and Reference List

The following is a bibliography for a MLA document.

Difference Between Bibliography and Reference List

What is a Reference List?

Reference list is the list of all the sources someone has actually cited or paraphrased in the paper he or she writes. The researcher might have incorporated some of the ideas echoed in the books in his thesis or might have simply referred the books to get more knowledge in the subject. He mentions the location of the information from any given book in the footnote of a page as a reference list. Footnotes are basic sources of reference made by the researcher in writing the thesis or dissertation. However, you do not include footnotes in every kind of paper. For APA, footnotes are not included. So, if you are using a reference list, you have just to add it at the end.

A reference list too appears following the format of the paper (APA, MLA, etc). Look at the following example. This is for APA style.

Bibliography vs Reference List

The following is for MLA style.

 Bibliography vs Reference List

What is the difference between Bibliography and Reference List?

• Bibliography is the list of all the sources someone uses to produce a research paper, including those that were not cited or paraphrased. This list contains all the details of the sources.

• Reference list is the list of all the sources someone has actually cited or paraphrased in the paper he or she writes.

• Bibliography and reference need certain rules and regulations to follow and hence are considered as a form of art. Writing bibliography and reference forms is a part of the research study.

• Whether it is a reference list or a bibliography that you must include, that list should be organized alphabetically according to the writer’s surname. You can do this easily by clicking the A-Z button on the Home tab in Microsoft Word after you have included all the information.

• The normal details that are included in a bibliography or a reference list are the name of the writer, the publication name, publication date, publisher, etc. However, depending on the format you are following, the details of sources and the way you present the sources can vary. For example, in MLA style you include the author’s name, name of the book that is underlined, place of publication, publisher, and year of publication. In APA style, you include the author’s name, year of publication, name of the book in italics, place of publication, and the name of the publisher. So, the details of the sources should be decided on the format you are following in writing your paper or thesis.

These are the differences between bibliography and reference list. Bibliography and reference list are very important parts in a thesis or a research paper. You should include one or the other according to the instructions you get. However, make sure that you include one. Examiners look at your bibliography or reference list. Not having one of them can harm your grade.