Write your bibliography

A bibliography is a list of the resources you used to write your essay. There are lots of different methods of writing bibliographies, but most secondary schools and universities use the ‘Author-date' (Harvard) system.

When using this system, you need to include slightly different information for different types of resources:


  • author's name – surname followed by first initial
  • year of publication of the edition you're using
  • title, in italics
  • publisher
  • place of publication, usually a city.

One of the books used to write this site was Ned Kelly: a short life. It was written by Ian Jones in 2003, and published by Lothian Books in the suburb of South Melbourne in Victoria. In our references it appears as:

Jones, I 2003, Ned Kelly: a short life, Lothian Books, South Melbourne, Vic.

Magazines, newspapers & journals

  • author's name – surname followed by first initial, if there's a by-line
  • year of publication
  • title of the article in single quote marks [‘...']
  • name of the publication, in italics
  • specific date, including volume number if applicable
  • page number.

If there's no by-line and you don't know who wrote the article, record the:

title of the article

name of the newspaper


page number.

So your reference would look like:

‘Yorta people vow to fight on', The Age, 19 Dec 1998, p 8


  • name of the organisation or person who made the site
  • name of the site
  • date you looked at the site
  • complete web address

If you used this site in an assignment you would reference it as:

State Library of Victoria, ergo, viewed 15 March 2011, <http://www.ergo.slv.vic.gov.au>

The main thing to remember about bibliographies and referencing is to be consistent. Check whether your teacher has a preferred system – if not, pick one and stick to it.

Bibliographical info is usually in the first few pages of hard copy publications, and in a website's ‘About Us' section.