There is a subtle difference between a reference list and a bibliography. A bibliography compiles, in alphabetical order of the author's surnames, all books, articles, etc. used in the preparation of the essay. A reference list, by contrast, lists only those books, articles etc. that have been cited and/or referred to in the essay text. For the purpose of an essay, it is a minimum requirement that you have a reference list.
A reference list should appear at the end of the essay, on a separate page, listing in alphabetical order the author’s surnames, books, articles that have been cited, and referred to in your essay.
The bibliography at the end of the essay should list on a separate page, in alphabetical order of the author's surnames, all books, articles, etc. used in the preparation of the essay. You must include all works referred to in the text. Works read but not actually referred to in the essay can be listed under a heading such as "other readings" or "references" if you consider that they were influential in your writing.
As a guide, we would expect a first year, 2000 word essay to have about a dozen references in either a reference list or a bibliography. We don’t think it too much to expect that you can find a couple of useful references per week until your essay is due in. As you progress to second semester, and then second and third year, you should aim to expand the list and incorporate more relevant journal articles. The suggested form for a bibliography is as follows (note that variations in bibliographic form exist between different publishers - what is important is that you are consistent in the style you adopt):
Books: Author's name(s), surname first, then initials, year of publication (and they don’t have to be in brackets), book title underlined or in italics, details of publisher and place of publication, (and number of pages - optional), e.g.:
Avery, T. E. 1977 Interpretation of aerial photographs. Burgess, Minneapolis.
Learmouth, N. & Learmouth, A. (1971) Regional landscapes of Australia. Angus &Robertson, Sydney.