My bibliography of my tex document doesn't work and I can't find out why. I created 2 books in bibTex, but if I refer to them via

 %%% Main Document
    \bibitem[Knuth98]{ComProgram} \emph{The Art of Computer Programming}

The compiler says missing item on these lines. I did it just as in the tutorial in which I found these lines. The bib file is also in the same folder as the document. I found many tutorials on google but I just don't seem to get it.

1 Answer 1


The problem is the missing argument to thebibliography, which specifies the widest label:


Note. If you are using directly the thebibliography environment, the \bibliography command is useless.

  • oh i didnt know it was that simple, sorry for bothering you, but thanks a lot anyway
    – dan
    Jun 3, 2011 at 16:02
  • 1
    @dan Don't worry: I myself did sometimes the same mistake and scratched my head asking what was happening.
    – egreg
    Jun 3, 2011 at 16:03

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