What is the difference between biography and bibliography?

MLA Style

APA Style Guide

APA & MLA define a style of writing when you are documenting sources of other writers, ideas that are not yours.  Difference between bibliography and biography are not in names, even thought they are similar.  The two words are similar in intention.  Both document otherness be it a formalized list of ideas, and the sources of information where the author found them, or the authors account of another person’s life. 

Biography is a documented life the author writes about.  A bibliography; a list of sources used to formally cite ideas that are not personal.  Among all this difference your personal thoughts and reflections are excellent and encouraged. Nevertheless, when documenting ideas that are not yours you will need to add a bibliography at the end of your paper. 

At this point the question raised in class about what difference was between the two words seemed at first like a simple mix up-a misunderstanding about two words meaning but has turned out to be a poignant and insightful observation. A powerful connection arose.  Good job!  

I have attached the handouts we looked at in class this week, which provide guidelines, and a list of information needed in a particular order that creates a standard in compliance with both MLA and APA format.  Always use these for your papers in college.  Those information mediums that are not available on the sheet are your responsibility to find and document the medium you carried the idea from in correct format.  Later on in school, you will find a time when your carful review of a clean and neat, penultimate correct citation page will affect your grade and your GPA significantly. So stay sharp! Mind your bibliography; you will see the value reflected in your GPA. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Information Literacy, Information Theory, Library Instruction

3 Comments on “What is the difference between biography and bibliography?”

  1. Dear professor Jaszczerski.

    I’d like to thank you for the help that you provided me through your website. Thanks for being a wonderful teacher !

  2. Dear Prof. Jaszczerski,

    I’m not enrolled in any of your classes or courses; as a matter of fact, I’m not even on the same continent as you are! But I do wish to congratulate you on this article. It was quite invaluable to me as a student working on a project that required me to state the differences between bibliographies and biographies. Your explanations were short, but concise. Keep up the good work!

  3. JASON Says:


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