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Reference list or bibliography 

This page contains useful tips on how to make a reference list or bibliography. 

A reference list or a bibliography is an organised list of the sources and literature used on your assignment. 

The purpose of the list is to give the reader easy access to your sources and allow them to critically test your arguments. 

A reference list 

  • is a complete list of the sources used. 

  • is arranged alphabetically by author surname. On some programmes/courses, the reference list is divided into primary and secondary literature. 

  • can be organised in different systems of referencing. Ask your teacher which system he or she prefers. Read more about different reference management tools

  • should appear after the main text and before any appendices. 

  • is compulsory in university assignments. 

Read more in the entry on references, where you can also see specific examples of how to refer to the sources in your list of references. Visit the references page

Primary and secondary literature 

In some cases, it can be appropriate to divide your list of references into primary literature and secondary literature. Read more about primary and secondary literature

Use a reference management toolRediger overskrift

Reference management tools can help you organise your references and make it easier to use them in your text document. Students and staff at AU can download the Endnote reference management program free of charge.

APA style guidelines

There is a range of guidelines describing the APA referencing style with regard to text references, citations and the bibliography in written assignments. For example, use the Curtin University guide, the guide developed by University College Absalon (in Danish), or Kildekompasset (in Norwegian).


The information about formalities is general guidelines. They do not replace the provisions in your academic regulations, your lecturers ' guidance or information on your course's website. First, please contact the above-mentioned locations. If in doubt, ask your supervisor.