by Jeff Hume-Pratuch
Did you know that there’s no such thing as a bibliography in APA Style? It’s a fact! APA Style uses text citations and a reference list, rather than footnotes and a bibliography, to document sources.
A reference list and a bibliography look a lot alike: They’re both composed of entries arranged alphabetically by author, for example, and they include the same basic information. The difference lies not so much in how they look as in what they contain.
A bibliography usually contains all the works cited in a paper, but it may also include other works that the author consulted, even if they are not mentioned in the text. Some bibliographies contain only the sources that the author feels are most significant or useful to readers.
In APA Style, however, each reference cited in text must appear in the reference list, and each entry in the reference list must be cited in text. If you cite only three sources in your paper, your reference list will be very short—even if you had to read 50 sources to find those three gems! (Hopefully, that hard work will pay off on your next assignment.)
The APA Style Experts are often asked to provide the “official APA-approved format” for annotated bibliographies (i.e., bibliographies that contain the author’s comments on each source). As you may have guessed, there isn’t one; APA Style doesn’t use bibliographies of any sort. In addition, though, the reference list in APA Style contains only the information that is necessary to help the reader uniquely identify and access each source. That’s why there is no format for an annotated bibliography in the Publication Manual.
Both Reference Lists and Bibliographies are placed at the end of your essay, assignment or thesis (unless your lecturer has specified differently, which may be the case for theses). Citations (references) are then arranged alphabetically by author or responsible organisation, or where no author is given, by title. (If the first word is a definite/indefinite article it should be ignored, e.g. The Story of Art should be filed alphabetically under Story). Citations by the same author are then arranged chronologically, with the most recent first.
It is important you consult with your lecturer or Course Notes to determine whether a Reference List or Bibliography is required.
Reference List (Example)
About Jenny Holzer 2011, dvd, Microcinema International, San Francisco, California.
Art + soul : a journey into the world of aboriginal art2010, television program, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney, 4 October.
Art Farmer 1978, Art, sound recording, Cadet Records, Chicago, Ill.
Chains = Cantene/Titanus 2011, motion picture, British Film Institute, London.
Colli, MG 2009, Bilbao_6 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, photograph, viewed 4 January 2012, <http://www.flickr.com/photos/52355315@N08/5757476385/>.
Di Trocchio, P 2011, Manstyle : men + fashion, exhibition catalogue, 11 March-27 November, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic.
Eales, S (ed.) 2003, The Jacaranda atlas, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane.
Fujimoto, Tetsuo 1998, Work 98-1, Fibre art : Hemp cloth, polyester threads, Pellon backing and natural plant dyes Exhibited at: Textural Space exhibition, Surrey Institute of Art & Design, 27 Apr - 23 Jun 2001.
Google Earth 6.0. 2008. Hylands House and estates 51°42'39.17"N, 0°26'11.30"W, elevation 60M. 3D Buildings data layer, viewed 31 August 2011, <http://www.google.com/earth/index.html >.
Gorman, P 2001, The look: adventures in pop & rock fashion, Sanctuary Publishing Ltd, London.
Gough, P 2017, What makes art good or bad?, video recording, Youtube, viewed 17 July 2017,
Le Corbusier, c. 1950-1954, Notre-Dame du Haut, exterior, Ronchamp, France, viewed 12 January 2012, Oxford Art Online database.
Liebovitz, A 2002, Dancers: photographs by Annie Liebovitz, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
Melbourne Water 2012, Weekly water report 5 January 2012: Chart view Daily residential water use in Melbourne, Melbourne Water, Victoria, viewed 12 January 2012, <http://www.melbournewater.com.au/content/water_storages/report>.
Mojang 2009, Minecraft, video game, Xbox 360, Mojang, Sweden.
Nefertari with Isis, n.d. photograph, viewed 4 January 2012, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ankh_isis_nefertari.jpg>.
Sallowsky, M 2006, RMIT buildings - Brunswick campus, digital image, RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 12 January 2012, <http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=218ujxd8tspl1>.
Turner, JMW 1812, Snow storm: Hannibal and army crossing the alps, Oil on canvas, 145×2360 mm, Turner Collection, Tate Gallery, Britain.
Ubisoft Entertainment 2012, Assassins creed III, computer program, Ubisoft Australia.