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Some terms can be a bit confusing for people due to their similar sounds. But they are indeed different and have unique usage. Two such words are bibliography and biography. It is imperative to know the fundamental difference between them to use them properly.
Bibliography vs Biography
The difference between bibliography and biography is that bibliography is a list of sources that are cited at the end of the document to tell the readers where you took the information or ideas from. Biography is a published story about someone’s life written by somebody. It includes all the life experiences the person has gone through in his life and information like his childhood, education, career, etc.
The other features that differentiate between bibliography and biography are shown in the comparison table below.
Comparison Table Between Bibliography and Biography (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Bibliography||Biography|
|Definition||List of all the sources you gained information from in your documents.||The published story was written by somebody about a person’s life.|
|Collection||Books, publications, journals, articles, research papers.||A person’s journal or memoir, family members.|
|Types||Bibliography of works cited selected bibliography, annotated bibliography.||Historical fiction fictionalized academic, academic, and prophetic.|
|Includes||In-text citations and other materials you referred to in your work.||Life experiences, childhood, education, career, relationships, death.|
|Objective||To give credit to the author’s work you have consulted in your research.||To inform, inspire, and motivate you through a person’s life.|
What is Bibliography?
A Bibliography is a list of sources you mention at the end of your work to tell the readers all the materials you consulted in your research. The aim is to provide the readers with all the literature you referred to in case they need to study those sources in detail. So, a bibliography is made up of all the primary and secondary sources.
Students and researchers are taught the importance of bibliography to avoid plagiarism. They are properly taught the format of writing the section of bibliography which is crucial to their research quality.
Let us discuss three types of bibliography here:
- Bibliography of works cited
- Selected Bibliography
- Annotated Bibliography
In the bibliography of works cited, you mention only those items whose content you have cited in your work. It may contain the name of books and publications you have referred to. In the selected bibliography, you list down only the sources you think would be of major interest to your readers.
If you decide to write a selected bibliography, you may need to inform your supervisor and give a good reason for why you think you need to have a selected bibliography.
In an annotated bibliography, you mention a list of all the sources from books, articles, research papers along with a small description. The purpose of this description is to inform the readers of the relevancy and accuracy of the referenced items.
The most commonly used formats for bibliography are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). The information is the same but the way of arranging the details like author name, publication year, or page number is different in these two styles.
What is Biography?
A biography is a published story about someone’s life which is written by somebody. The biography of a person usually contains his life experiences, his early childhood, education, career, and relationships. The aim of writing a biography is to motivate people using some famous person’s life events.
Most people are greatly inspired by some famous personalities and they want to know more about their life. Biographies play a crucial role in providing those inspiring stories for their readers.
On the other hand, some people are not having a good time in their lives and maybe facing disappointments and hurdles in life. But when they read the biographies of their favorite person, they come to know that these people had to face similar situations in life but they never gave up.
Life was never easy for them as well but with hard work and dedication, they earned a place for them in this world. So, it encourages the readers on how to tackle the problems in their life as well.
Let us discuss four types of biographies here:
- Historical Fiction
- Fictionalized Academic
In historical fiction, some fictional statements are added into the person’s real-life history to add value to entertainment. In academic type, the biographies are strictly stuck to the facts related to that person’s life. In fictionalized academics, some value of entertainment is added along with the factual accuracy of the person in the biography.
In prophetic biography, some spiritual goal is associated with a person’s life. One important thing to consider here is that you need to seek permission from the person before writing their biography.
Main Differences Between Bibliography and Biography
Some of the features that differentiate between reference and citation are given below:
- A Bibliography is a list of all the sources you gained information from in your documents while a biography is a published story written by somebody about a person’s life.
- A Bibliography is collected from books, publications, journals, articles, research papers while biography is collected from a person’s journal or memoir, family members, etc.
- The bibliography has types like the bibliography of works cited, selected bibliography, annotated bibliography whereas biography has types like Historical fiction, fictionalized academic, academic and prophetic.
- Bibliography includes in-text citations and other materials you referred to in your work whereas biography includes life experiences, childhood, education, career, relationships, and death.
- The objective of the bibliography is to give credit to the author’s work you have consulted in your research whereas the objective of biography is to inform, inspire, and motivate you through a person’s life.
Bibliography and biography have their formats, styles, and types. Knowing the importance of bibliography increases the quality of your research work.
On the other hand, writing a biography is a different experience as it only requires you to have creative writing skills but also the skill of crafting out an interesting story out of a person’s life.
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