I made a program and wrote a paper on how it works. I do not quote anything, I just talk about my program. Do I still need to write a bibliography?

  • A bibliography is for listing sources that were cited or consulted in the course of your writing.
    – MaQleod
    May 23 '11 at 1:04

I don't understand the question. How COULD you write a bibliography if you didn't read anything? Or...did you read something, and just not quote it?

If you consulted a resource but didn't quote from it, you need to be sure whether you're working in a field that requires a 'Works Cited' page, or a field that requires a 'Bibliography'. Generally, as the names suggest, a Works Cited page only lists those works you actually cite, while a bibliography traditionally lists all the works you consulted. So...

If you didn't do any reading for this assignment, obviously you don't need either;

If you did some reading but didn't include anything that requires a citation, then you should check whether you're expected to create a full bibliography (list whatever you read) or just a Works Cited (don't list anything, since you didn't cite anything).


If it's useful to the reader, you might refer to written descriptions of:

  • data structures or algorithms you used (if they're unusual or important)
  • the overall structure or architecture of your system
  • the problem your system helps users to solve
  • your development process and practices

And if you refer to such descriptions, you might make a bibliography of them.

If there aren't any written descriptions of those things, or you don't think it would be helpful to cite them, you don't need a bibliography.


Your paper is a description of the program that you wrote. The program is your production. If an algorithm you chose to implement is controversial, you might want to cite an article or two. If you realized a process in a new, efficient way, then it would be good to mention some of the background in a citation.

And if you decided to implement one algorithm over another, and the reasons for your choice aren't obvious, then I think it's an excellent idea to justify your choice with citations.

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