BibMe, bibliography maker

BibMe, despite its unfortunate name, may be the easiest bibliography maker available. The site allows you to construct a bibliography in MLA, APA, or Chicago style and download it or save it to the site. You enter an ISBN, author, or title and BibMe does the rest. In addition to books, BibMe can handle websites, journals, videos, newspapers, and “other” (whatever that includes). The service is free.

I tried it with my “books for writers” list at Powell’s (that meant only testing books, so I threw in this blog to see how it would handle a website). I chose Chicago style. BibMe produced the following results.

Unsurprisingly, I found that entering ISBNs worked best; otherwise too many editions of the same text were offered. There were a few glitches. it couldn’t determine the publication date of ABC of Reading or Steering the Craft, and it would not save those entries until I filled the dates in manually. It appeared to alphabetize the Manual of Style under “The,” but maybe it just put all the citations with authors before the ones without authors. That would explain why it put blog.rightreading.com above that entry and under “Pound.” (is the intial lowercase correct?)

On the whole, the program worked so well it felt like cheating. Here’s the result:

  1. Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.
  2. Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style. Point Roberts, WA: Hartley And Marks Publishers, 2004.
  3. Calvino, Italo. Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.
  4. Chandler, Raymond. Raymond Chandler Speaking. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
  5. Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston & London: Shambhala, 2005.
  6. Guin, Ursula K. Le. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. Portland, Oregon: Eighth Mountain Press, 1998.
  7. Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor, 1995.
  8. Lukeman, Noah. The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. New York: Fireside, 2005.
  9. Pound, Ezra. ABC of Reading. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1934.
  10. “blog.rightreading.com.” blog.rightreading.com. http://blog.rightreading.com/ (accessed August 3, 2008).
  11. The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2003.

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