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The references list, containing all the sources you have quoted from and referenced in your text, appears at the end of your essay. The list is ordered alphabetically by author.

The term bibliography is also used, and you will find it frequently in older publications. Contemporary academic practice, however, prefers references. Use the term preferred by your department. To avoid confusion, we use references here.

Referencing even a short essay can mean handling a lot of bibliographical information. Do not wait until you have finished writing to do all your referencing, as you will then be guaranteed to omit or confuse information. Cultivate this good habit: every time you use a source, enter its in-text reference in the right place in your text or notes, and also add it to your references list.

Several electronic referencing tools can store the bibliographic information about your sources, enter information correctly in your text, when and how you want it, and automatically assemble your references list for you from the sources you have used. We cannot stress enough what a time-saver these tools are. Most of them will also enable you to copy sources from assignment to assignment, so if you use a source again, you need not bother entering its information a second time.

The 'Citations and Bibliography' tool in Microsoft Word is quick and easy to understand, and is satisfactory for most undergraduate work. EndNote — also accessible through recent editions of Word — is a magnificent research tool, and well worth the effort of learning if you are attempting a longer piece of work, such as a dissertation. You can also migrate lists from Citations and Bibliography to Endnote, but not vice versa.

So far, Alison has used twelve sources in her essay. We'll start off her references list by showing how you how order the information for a straightforward book source.