These appear at the end of your work and contain the bibliographic information (such as author and date) of the resources that you have used for your work. Sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. However you may also find that a bibliography refers to all the works you have consulted to write an essay, while a list of references may just refer to the works you have cited in the text. Your department/faculty, Director of Studies and/or supervisors will let you know which you are expected to produce.
In both cases you will create a list, ordered alphabetically by author surname (unless you are using the Vancouver style of referencing, which produces a list in the order in which they appear in the document). If you have multiple entries from an author, then usually you would list them chronologically.
You may be required to divide your bibliography/list of references. For example, subjects that use primary and secondary material may ask for two lists, each ordered alphabetically by surname/institution.
It is important that anything which has an in-text citation is included in this list and that the details match, so that an in-text citation which usually only includes a surname and year, can be fully traced by the additional details provided in the list of references.
We rely on the bibliographic data (author, title, date etc.) associated with books to find them. Even if you could remember what a book was about or quote large passages from it, can you imagine trying to browse the shelves for this book if all the spines were blank?
In the context of your course, think how frustrating it would be to only have the title for a book on a reading list. You might have to search through the online records of tens of books with the same name or waste time trying to guess which edition you should read. This is why you need a full reference on a reading list.
It is also why academic staff need full references in essays or reports in many subjects, so that they can see from where you have sourced your ideas and words. There are different ways of referencing different resources. We only list the most common here, but you will be provided with specific information about referencing resources particular to your discipline at the appropriate stage in your course.
Click on the tabs to see which information you need to provide. These references are given in the Harvard referencing style. Each department will have different requirements but you'll need to collect similar information, even if you have to write it down in a different order or with different punctuation.
If it is online then make that clear and include the URL and date accessed.
In-text citations and list of references
Download the document below. It is a short piece of writing that includes a number of in-text citations and has a list of references.
Look at how the two link up and connect to one another. Which type of resource (book or journal article) have they mainly cited? Can you spot the in-text citation that isn't in the bibliography at the end of the document?
When you have completed the section on How do I find books and articles?, try and search for some of them on iDiscover (Cambridge University Libraries catalogue).