The UVic Writer's Guide

Your Essay's Working Bibliography

During the course of your research you should compile a working bibliography which will provide a running list of the material you read and will eventually evolve into your formal Bibliography and list of Works Cited.

It is often useful work this way:

One of the most frustrating things that happens when you begin to write your essay from your notes is to discover that you forgot to write down the page number of a key quotation. Be conscientious about keeping a record of bibliographical information according to MLA style.

One effective way of keeping track is to record your bibliographical notes on file cards, one note per card; this way, you can sort the bibliography easily. Note all essential information, including the library call number or any other source identification for your own ease of locating the material. Once you read the source, verify the information on your card and correct any errors.

A complication to be aware of is that the card catalogueäor the computer screen if you are using the Library═s ˝Victorţ programädoes not follow MLA style. As you transfer information to your bibliography card, be sure to capitalize the main words and to underline the title. Record the call number in a prominent corner of the card for easy reference and jot any useful information below the bibliographical details. Here is the information about a book in ˝Victorţ as it currently appears (1993 page):

And here is how it might appear on your card:

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated May 12, 1995