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What Is The Difference Between Referencing And Bibliography?

What is the difference between referencing and bibliography?

Students are often asked to make projects and assignments when they are pursuing their graduation and post graduation. Essay making, assignments, research paper or dissertations, projects and case studies are the basic demands of professional courses.

While making such projects, what matters is the correct format, sequencing and the content matter. Formatting of assignments is also crucial, since it helps to present the assignment in a legible form. The first glance at the assignment would leave an everlasting impact on the teachers and lecturers, and the content always comes at the second place.

While making assignments, students are often asked to mention bibliography or referencing. But some students or teachers often use these terms interchangeably. Both the terms are used to mention the sources with the help of which the assignment or the project has been completed. However, there are some basic differences that exist between the two terms.

Teachers and lecturers are under the impression that the students are aware of such terms, and hence they do not put any efforts in addressing the topic.

Following are the major differences between the two terms, that will go a long way in helping you with your assignment.

Both terms, i.e. bibliography and referencing, are used for citing the sources that were referred to while making the project or assignment. The difference, however, lies in the utility of these two terms.


 The terms ‘bibliography’ is used to mention all the sources that helped you to prepare a document. It includes the ‘text’ you used in your document or the assignment, along with the external readings like books, articles, journals, etc. Bibliography further provides information related to creator(s), editor(s), date and year of publication, etc. In its etymological sense, bibliography is composed of two words, bibli which refers to books, and graphy which means writing. Thus, the combined meaning of bibliography is ‘copying of the books’ or ‘writing of the books’.

Greek writers used this term to refer to the writing of books by hand. Later on, by the time of 12th century, the concept gained a new meaning altogether, wherein it meant the compiling of different books or materials to form a single book.

Importance of Bibliography

Whenever there is a requirement of any kind of academic writing, especially a research paper or a copyright law, an acknowledgment in the form of sources at the end is mandatory to be included. Thus, a bibliography is utilized to list the courses that a writer has consulted while writing any document. The references in bibliography are arranged in an alphabetical order.

These sources can be in the form of online published material like web documents, web blogs, websites, e-books, online journals, articles and Wikipedia; and also be in the form of unpublished materials and offline sources like any book, magazine, newspaper, maps etc. Citation of date, year, edition etc. supports the references as it gives credibility that the written document is based on truth, facts and logic.

There are different standard citation styles that are used in bibliography, which include the following:


It uses both: references of the document and the in-text citations.

For example, according to Sheman(2006)…. or …. (Sheman, 2006).

For citing the reference of books with one author, it follows the style like Author’s Last name, Initials.(Year).Title (Italic). Place of publication: Publisher.


This style is used for subjects like English and humanities.

For example, according to Albert Einstein…. (47) or ……. (Albert Einstein, 47).

For writing the name of the book and the author, the style followed is: Author’s last, First Name. Title(Italic. Publisher,Date.


References are those that are directly included in the text to support the cited statements within the content. References help to make a statement more authoritative. A writer can refer to someone’s references, and can then go on to evaluate the extent of correctness in the statement.

On one hand, bibliography includes sources of magazines, books, articles, research paper, etc; on the other hand, references include the sources of text and quotes used by the writer.

Bibliography and references both are mentioned at the end of the project, but one must keep in mind that the bibliography comes after the reference. Sources in the list of references are arranged in both alphabetical as well as numeric order.

When a writer includes someone’s quotations from a book or an article, then the writer can write those words in his or her own language while citing the name of the person who has originally written those quotations.

For example, the world of a child is fresh, new and beautiful that is full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that before we reach adulthood, we lose our instinct of measuring what is beautiful….(Rachel Carson, 1965).

The correct way to write a reference for book is as follows: last name, initials of the author(s). Publication year. Book title: subtitle. Publisher, place of publication. Example: Tremblay, E.A. Sideman, J. 2003. Rachel Carson (Women in Science):Author/ecologist (p. 22).Chelsea House Publishers, Unites States.

Despite being well versed with the difference between the two terms, it is very easy to sometimes mess up. In such a scenario, our assignment experts are here to help you. Our expert assignment writers are well aware of the different formats, and they can easily prepare a plagiarism free assignment for you, which is both theoretically and grammatically correct.

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