There must be only one bibliography in a thesis. The bibliography must include all references cited in footnotes, text, and appendix. It should not include un-cited references or references unseen by the student unless the work is clearly identified in that way. A bibliography citation identifies the whole work and not just a specific part of an article. (A footnote designates the specific part or page of the whole work listed in the Bibliography.) It may be helpful to review the section on Footnotes.

The Bibliography should begin with the word “BIBLIOGRAPHY” centered on the top of the page, followed by a triple-space above the first reference. The reference number or author's last name should begin at the left margin 1.5-inches from the edge of the paper. Carry over lines are single-spaced and indented 0.5 inches. If numbered references are used, the periods or parentheses following the numbers should be aligned in the same vertical column, followed by two spaces before the author's last name. Reference citations are separated by double spaces. If the Bibliography is continued on a second page, the division must be between entries. The heading must not be repeated on the second page.

A reference consists of three main parts: the author's name, the title of the reference, and details of publication (including the publisher’s name and address for a book). In all cases the name of the author should precede the title of the reference. A reference must be complete. Abbreviations such as et al. and ibid. are never used in a bibliography. Each author's name should be retyped in each reference. Ditto marks are never used, and a long dash to indicate repetition of an author's name is not permitted.

Authors’ first names are rarely used, unless required to distinguish them from other authors with the same last name and first name initial. If first names are used, they should be used for all authors in that entry. Although some technical journals allow incomplete references, IIT requires complete bibliographic citations: each entry must give the titles of articles in full, the volume and number, as well as inclusive page numbers. Titles of books, journals, and documents must be underlined or italicized. Inclusive pages of chapters or sections from books are to be provided. Abbreviation of the names of journals must be uniform and follow the accepted abbreviations in the student's field. Abbreviations are never permissible in the titles of books or articles. If brackets are used to represent references in the text, then brackets must also be used in the Bibliography. 

In general, bibliographic references may be cited in the text in several different styles (but all alike in any one thesis). The following styles are recommended:

  • References are numbered in alphabetical order in the Bibliography, and referred to by number in the text. This style will cause major problems if references are added during the preparation of the manuscript. If using the number method, each number is enclosed by a bracket, [1] [4] [8] . 
  • If cited material runs to more than one page, the range of pages is included in the in-text citation with the author’s name (such as 235-36 or 399-400). No punctuation is used between the name and the page number. A reference with the authors’ last names and page number will appear in the text as (Smith and Patterson 390-431) and will be listed in alphabetical order in the Bibliography as:
    Smith, M.P., and W. A. Patterson, W.A. Numerical Methods in Large Scale Systems. 3rd ed. New York: John Waters and Sons, 1994.
  • An abbreviated last name of the first author and the year of publication may appear in the text. For example, [Joh94] as an entry in the text will appear in the Bibliography as:
    [Joh94] Johnson, J.K., P.C. Labudda, and C. F. Wolf. “Fuzzy Methods Applied to Electric Power Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. 10.5 (May 1994): 34-46.
  • The entries in the Bibliography must be listed in chronological order for multiple entries with the same authors. For example, [Smith78] and [Smith86] in the text are listed in the Bibliography as
    [Smith78] Smith, H. W., and K. Basa, 1978...
    [Smith86] Smith, H. W., and K. Basa, 1986...
  • For the same first author, entries must be listed alphabetically by the second author’s last name. For example, [Smith 92] and [Smith 88] in the text are listed in the Bibliography as:
    [Smith 88] Smith, H. W., and R. Ambrosini, 1988...
    [Smith 92] Smith, H. W., and K. Basa, 1992...
  • When a work lacks facts of publication, date or page numbers, you must use: n.p. (for no publisher or no place of publication given), n.d. (for no date of publication), and (for no pagination given).}
  • If you refer to the material by one author who is referring to another source, you should indicate the publication in which you found the material as well as the original source. Such a reference would appear in the text as (Jones 23) and then as footnote:
    William Jones, Lectures on Thesis Preparation 210, as cited by Coulton.
    In such a case, only “Coulton, G. C. Documentation. Boston: Pelican Books, 1957.” will appear in the Bibliography entry.

If there are any further issues regarding the correct format for in-text citations and/or bibliographical entries, refer to one of the following style manuals:

  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association (APA), 2001.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • IEEE Editorial Style Manual /conferences/publishing/style_references _manual.pdf 
  • American Institute of Physics. Style Manual for Guidance in the Preparation of Papers for Journals (4th ed.). New York: American Institute of Physics

Ordinarily, the Bibliography should not be divided into sections; occasionally sub-sections containing specialized documents may be used such as “Documentary References,” “Legal References” and “Non-print Media.”

Click here, for additional examples.

Bibliography Citation Styles Examples

MLA, Journal Article

Beatie, Tony and Paul Stewart. “The Real Dirge: Music Metaphors of Modernity." The Music Journal of the Arts 2.1 (2007): 71-80. 

APA, Journal Article

Taylor, G. G., & Paul, J. (2012). How children construct playgroups: Strategy Change. Developmental Psychology, 33(2), 120-140. 

Chicago, Journal Article

Klein, Katherine. “Marketing Millennials in the Industrial Gateway.” Journal of Business Marketing 104 (2009): 439–58.

IEEE, Journal Article

[4] Y. T. Davis-West, “Wireless Feasibility and Efficacy Studies," IEEE Trans. Electron. Devices, vol. ED-16, pp. 56-76, Feb. 2012. 

AIP, Journal Style

[19] L. M. Pecora, T. L. Carroll, G. A. Johnson, D.J. Mar, and J. F. Heagy, Chaos 7, 520 (1997).