A bibliography serves to:
- Summarize a source
- Evaluate a source
- Reflect on the applicability of source to the project at hand
Depending on the purpose, the following may be included in a bibliography:
- A Heading in the form of citation (according to the desired citation style)
- 1st paragraph: Introduction to the chosen source. If it is a research work, state whether it utilizes a qualitative, quantitative or mixed approach. Data collection methods, participants of study, members of sample, number of participants and their selection criteria and the setting of the study can all be mentioned here.
- 2nd paragraph: Explain what the source conveys to the reader. If it is a research work, mention the research question in narrative form. If the study utilizes a conceptual framework or a theory, mention here.
- 3rd paragraph: If it is a research work, mention the main findings of study.
- 4th paragraph: If it is a research work, explain how the findings of this study can be applied in real life settings.
- 5th paragraph: How the findings of this work/research can contribute to your own work i.e the project at hand. Is it supportive? Does it contribute significantly to your own work?
The 3rd and 4th paragraphs may be omitted in many cases (e.g. in bibliographies of books, literature works etc); however, their use in bibliographies of research works seems relevant.
Remember, the above guidelines are only to guide your thought process and different works may demand altered approaches to bibliographies. So, the above should be adjusted to meet the requirements of your academic work.
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