How to List Sources in a Research Paper

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The standard bibliography resource for students from high school to graduate school has been Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, which is an adaptation of the Chicago Style Manual. When listing sources in a bibliography at the end of a research paper, precision and accuracy are important. Keep a copy of your sources close by to refer to as you type your citations.

Listing Books: Single Author and Multiple Authors

Type the author's surname, then a comma followed by his or her given name. End with a period.

Type the title of the book, capitalizing all major words and ending with a period. Highlight the book title and turn it into italic text.

Type the name of the city where the book was published, followed by a colon.

Type the publisher's name, a comma, and the year of publication. End with a period.

Compare to this example: Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: HarperOne, 2005.

Entering two authors requires an “and” between the first and second authors' names. The second author’s name, however, is written given name, middle initial if applicable, then surname. End with a period.

Entering more than two authors in your source list follows the same pattern with a comma between each author’s name.

Listing a Magazine or Journal Article

Enter the author’s surname followed by a comma, then the given name followed by a period.

Enter the title of the article, capitalizing all major words, with a period at the end. Place quotation marks around the title, including the period.

Enter the name of the magazine in italic text, followed by a comma.

Enter the date in month, day, year format followed by a period. Compare to this example: Oberg, James. "How We'll Probe the Solar System." Astronomy, January 2011.

When creating a journal entry, follow the same pattern except that after the journal's name, you type the volume and issue number, the year in parentheses, a colon, the specific page numbers you're referring to and then a period. Compare to this example: Meers, M. B. "Maximum Bite Force and Prey Size of Tyrannosaurus Rex and their Relationships to the Inference of Feeding Behavior." Historical Biology: A Journal of Paleobiology 16 no. 1 (2003): 1-12.

Listing a Website

Type the author’s surname, a comma, his or her given name, then a period.

Enter the title of the web page followed by a period, all enclosed in quotation marks. The first letter of each major word in the title is capitalized.

Enter the title of the website followed by a period. The first letter of each major word in the title is capitalized.

Type the exact URL. It must include the "http://" element.

Type in the word “accessed” followed by the date in month, day, year format, all within parentheses. Compare to this example: Newman, William L. "Radiometric Time Scale." Geologic Time. (accessed March 23, 2011).


  • Make sure that you are using the correct style guide required by your Academic Department. While the Turabian is the most commonly used style guide at colleges and universities, a specific department may require a different style or provide their own guide that you are supposed to follow.


  • Print out "Turabian Quick Guide" and refer to it as needed.
  • Get a friend to do a final edit of the bibliography as it is often difficult to see your own mistakes.


  • "A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations"; Kate Turabian; 2007
  • "The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition"; University of Chicago Press Staff; 2010
  • A Manual for Writers: Turabian Quick Guide

About the Author

Bill Atkinson, a retired English and computer science teacher, has been a professional writer since 2011. He has written numerous learning guides for students in Visual Basic and Web design and has developed several Web sites on the Cariboo Gold Rush and the Cottonwood Roadhouse in British Columbia. Bill holds a Master of Education in educational psychology.

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