What Is a Working Bibliography?

A working bibliography is a detailed account of potential sources, such as books, articles and encyclopedias, from where a writer can obtain related literature to support a particular research project. It is only a temporary list, as new sources can be added and old ones removed.

The sources in a working bibliography are usually individually listed on a 3-inch-by-5-inch or 4-inch-by-6-inch cards. Other writers prefer to keep their records in notebooks or to encode them in a word processor. The essential information to include in copying down sources are the authors, titles, editions, dates, URLs, dates, publishers and places of publication.