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How to Write a Reference Page for a Book Report


Whenever you are writing a report, you will need to cite your sources. A reference page, often called a "bibliography" or "works cited" page, adds credibility to a paper, while allowing you to credit your information to the rightful owner. Failing to include such a reference page can often lead to individuals being accused of plagiarism, simply for not crediting their sources.

Choose a style guide for your reference page. For example, you could use the Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style to format your reference page. If you have not been instructed as to a specific format to use, either is acceptable and follows generally the same format.

Center the title of your paper at the top of your document. Depending on the style you use, this could be either "Works Cited," "Reference Page" or "Bibliography." Include a space before your reference entries. Organize all other references in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

Format your document with one inch margin on each side of your paper. Use a 10 to 12 point legible font, such as Arial or Times. There should be a space between each entry on your reference page. If your reference extends beyond one line, indent the second line.

Write the name of the author of the book. List the last name, then a comma, followed by the author's first name and a period. For example, "King, Stephen." If no author is available, include the editor's name. If multiple authors are listed, list them in alphabetical order. If it is a publication, such as "Encyclopedia Brittanica," begin your entry with this information.

Follow the author's name with the title of the book, underlined or in italics, and followed with a period. For example, your entry might read, "Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth." Indicate the number of the pages you are referencing. If you are only referencing an excerpt from the book, indicate this following the book title. If there is a chapter name, story title or article title, include this information before the page numbers in quotations.

Indicate the name and location of the publisher and the date it was published, followed by a period. For example, a finished book report citation might read as follows:

Jones, David. The Great American Novel. "Citing your References" (pgs.5-47).
Fake Publishers: New York. 2010.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.

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