Bibliography Difference Between Work Cited And Reference


Works Cited, References, and Bibliography -
What's the Difference?

To: Works Cited page in MLA Style 6th ed.
To: Works Cited Sample Page in MLA Style 7th ed.
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Links to related pages:
1. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 7th ed
2. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 6th ed
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For a detailed treatment on citing sources using MLA style 7th edition with many more examples, please see:

MLA Handbook for Writers
of Research Papers by MLA (2009-01-01)



Information relating to MLA style 7th edition as presented on this site has been based mainly on this authoritative publication from the Modern Language Association of America:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. Print.

Works Cited is sometimes referred to as References. The terms mean the same thing. Each is an alphabetical list of works cited, or works to which you have made reference in your essay. Works Cited is the term used when citing sources using MLA (Modern Language Association) style, while References is the term used when citing sources using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Works Cited differs from Bibliography. In the list of Works Cited you list only items that you have actually cited in your research paper. In a Bibliography you list all of the material you have consulted in preparing your essay whether or not you have actually cited the work.

Entries in Works Cited, References, or Bibliography are put in alphabetical order by last names of authors, editors, compilers, translators, narrators, or by first words of titles.

If the first word of the title is A, An, or The, and the word is being used as an article as in the title: The Little Book of Irish Clans, the entry is alphabetically placed under Little and the article The is ignored. In the title: A Is for Apple, however, the entry is placed under A since A is used as a noun and not as an article.

Sometimes the article The is used as part of the name of a company, magazine, journal, Web site, or title for emphasis, such as The One (a 2001 action film), where The is used for emphasis and cannot be ignored. In this case, the title should be placed alphabetically under The.

For Web sites, we could use the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) as a guide. In the case of The Sports Network, commonly known as TSN in Canada, the URL of its Web site is www.tsn.ca. Here we can feel quite comfortable listing Canada's The Sports Network (TSN) alphabetically under The. However, the URL of its American counterpart The Sports Network (TSN) is www.sportsnetwork.com. There is no the in its URL. If you add the to this URL and access www.thesportsnetwork.com as of today, you will reach not TSN but a totally different Web site copyrighted by TheNewsChannelNetwork.com.

Now we are truly confused as to exactly when The should or should not be treated as an article and be ignored in our alphabetical list of Works Cited. Whichever way you decide to place your title, just be consistent and be able to explain to your teacher your reasons for your decision. Since your parenthetical references correspond exactly to citations in your list of Works Cited, there is absolutely no problem for readers to identify your sources, which is the real reason why we document sources borrowed.

When completing your Works Cited page, remember:

1. DO NOT number entries.

2. DO NOT list citations separately by categories. All references are placed in ONE ALPHABETICAL LIST by first words of citations, regardless of where citations come from.

3. Begin on a new page. Start on the 6th line from the top (or 1" down from the top of the paper), center, and type the following title: Works Cited. Double space after the title. List all entries in alphabetical order by the first word, taking into consideration the rules governing titles that begin with articles.

4. Begin the first line of each entry flush at the left margin. Keep typing until you run out of room at the end of the line. Indent 5 spaces for second and subsequent lines of the same entry. Double-space all lines, both within and between entries.

This page is merely a guideline based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. You are advised to follow the citation style preferred by your instructor.

To Works Cited Sample Page - MLA Style 7th ed.

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There are certain things no one tells you (usually) when you are a university student. You are just expected to know them. When you learn them, suddenly it is as if you are part of an inner circle of respected peers who accept you… but you are not really sure how you got there. The devil is in the details. What sets rookies apart from experts is deep knowledge of details and sublties that others overlook or gloss over. Knowing the difference between a citation and a reference is one of those subtle details that moves you from the category of “novice researcher” to “respected researcher”.

It’s one of those things that you don’t really need to know — until you really want to be taken seriously among a group of experts. It’s akin to car buffs who know the difference between a supercharger and a turbocharger. Unless you are a “gear head” you don’t need to know. But if you want to be taken seriously in that social circle, you might be shunned if you didn’t know.

Regardless of your field, one key element that sets the experts apart from everyone else is their understanding of details in various elements of our work.

For students and scholars, once of these subtleties is knowing the difference between a citation and a reference:

Citation

A specific source that you mention in the body of your paper. The format of the citation may change depending on the style you use (e.g. MLA and APA) and the way that you weave the citation into your writing, but the basic elements of the citation that you need to include are:

  •  Name of the author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Page number or page range

If you quote a source directly you must include the exact page number in your citation or it is incomplete.

References

This is a list of the the sources you have cited. The references come at the end of your paper. In APA style, this is not a list of “works consulted”. Every source that is listed in your references also needs to be cited in the body of your paper.

Every source listed in your references should be accessible by others who read your work. Think of it as a trail of breadcrumbs that you leave for readers to show them where they can go to find the original source material for themselves.

In APA style, not all work that is cited necessarily goes into the references. For example, personal communications get cited in the body of your paper, to show the reader that you have a source for your information. But if the reader can not track that source as a primary document (because, for example, the information is contained within a private e-mail between you and someone else), then it does not go into the reference list.

Alert! It is not very common that sources are cited but not referenced. Use sources such as personal communications sparingly, if at all. The more credible sources you have in your references, the better quality your work will be perceived as having.

In general, there should be an exact match between the sources you cite in the body of your paper and those that appear in your references.

The actual books, articles and other materials you consult are called your sources of information. You need to know how to cite and reference all your sources correctly.

Now you know one of the subtle differences of of terms used in scholarship that sets apart the experts from the rookies. When you use the terms correctly, those who know will quietly nod their head and accept you a member of the scholarly community.

__________________________________

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

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