Works Cited Different Than Bibliography Definition

Works cited pages would appear at the end of a research paper. Works cited means the same as references but differs from a bibliography. A works cited page is a list of works that you referenced in the body of your paper, whereas a bibliography is a list of all sources you used in your research.  

Format for Work Cited Pages

The formats shown below for works cited pages reflect the MLA (Modern Language Association) style. This style is widely used by schools and colleges, especially in the Humanities departments. The formats shown for reference pages are from the APA (American Psychological Association) which is used for papers within the social sciences.

Works Cited

"Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action." Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.

Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times. New York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times.  New York Times, 22 May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir.      Davis Guggenheim. Sun-Times News Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24 May 2009.


Begley, S. (1998, January 19). Aping language. Newsweek 131, 56-58.

Booth, W. (1990, October 29). Monkeying with language: Is chimp using

     words or merely aping handlers? The Washington Post, p. A3.

Eckholm, E. (1985, June 25). Kanzi the chimp: A life in science. The New York

     Times, pp. C1, C3.

Fouts, R. (1997). Next of kin: What chimpanzees taught me about who we

     are. New York: William Morrow.

In the examples of works cited pages, the header should be centered. It should start on a new page, be six spaces from the top, and be numbered consecutively. In other words, if your paper is eight pages long, the Works Cited page will be number nine. The heading needs to have a double space below it. Entries are in alphabetical order, are not numbered, and are flush with the left margin. The second line and subsequent lines need to be indented five spaces and all lines are doubled spaced. 

Entry Format Rules

The examples of works cited pages should help you see how to format your page. Here are some rules for the format of the entries:

  • Italicize the titles of books, magazines, films, etc.
  • Quotation marks go around titles of poems, articles, and short stories.
  • Authors are listed by their last name first.

Following are examples to further explain sources that are not covered by the previous rules. The examples are not double spaced as they would be in your paper.

Two authors: Caper, Charles and Lawrence T. Teamos (1986). How to Camp.

     Philadelphia:  Doubleday.

Three or more authors: Ellis, Doris (1989) History of Japan. New York:

     Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc..

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Twice-Told Tales. Ed. George Parsons Lathrop.

     Boston: Houghton, 1883. 1 Mar. 2002.

Introduction, Preface,  Foreword, or Afterword: Doctorow, E.L. Introduction.

     Sister Carrie. By Theodore Dreiser. New York: Bantam, 1985. v-xi.  

One volume of multivolume work: Stowe, Harriet Beecher. "Sojourner Truth,

     the Libyan Sibyl." 1863. The Heath Anthology of American Literature.

     Ed. Paul Lauter et al. Vol. 1. Lexington, Heath, 1994. 2425-33.

Computer Software: Maps 'n' Facts. Computer Software. Broderbund

     Software, 1995.

Poem online: Frost, James. "Strawberries in a Field." Literature Resource

     Center. Alabama Virtual Library. 15 March 2004. 

Encyclopedia on the Internet: "Egypt." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

     Vers. 97.1.1. Mar. 1997. Encyclopedia Britannica. 29 Feb. 2000.

George Lucas (Director). (1980) Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher

     (Performers). The Empire Strikes Back (Motion Picture). United States:

     Twentieth Century Fox.

Unknown (Director). (1990) Civil War Diary. (Videotape). United States: New

     World Entertainment.

Gale Literary Criticism Online (Signed): McCarron, Bill. "Images of War and

     Peace: Parallelism and Antithesis in the Beginning and Ending of Cold

     Mountain." The Mississippi Quarterly. 52.2 (1999): 273.

     Alabama Virtual Library. 25 February 2003.

Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.

comments powered by

Examples of Works Cited Pages

By YourDictionary

Works cited pages would appear at the end of a research paper. Works cited means the same as references but differs from a bibliography. A works cited page is a list of works that you referenced in the body of your paper, whereas a bibliography is a list of all sources you used in your research.  

Annotated Bibliographies


This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.

Contributors: Geoff Stacks, Erin Karper, Dana Bisignani, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-09 12:16:22


A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.

    For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.

  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?

    For more help, see our handouts on evaluating resources.

  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you're doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

Why should I write an annotated bibliography?

To learn about your topic: Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. Just collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you're forced to read each source more carefully. You begin to read more critically instead of just collecting information. At the professional level, annotated bibliographies allow you to see what has been done in the literature and where your own research or scholarship can fit. To help you formulate a thesis: Every good research paper is an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So, a very important part of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you'll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you'll then be able to develop your own point of view.

To help other researchers: Extensive and scholarly annotated bibliographies are sometimes published. They provide a comprehensive overview of everything important that has been and is being said about that topic. You may not ever get your annotated bibliography published, but as a researcher, you might want to look for one that has been published about your topic.


The format of an annotated bibliography can vary, so if you're doing one for a class, it's important to ask for specific guidelines.

The bibliographic information: Generally, though, the bibliographic information of the source (the title, author, publisher, date, etc.) is written in either MLA or APA format. For more help with formatting, see our MLA handout. For APA, go here: APA handout.

The annotations: The annotations for each source are written in paragraph form. The lengths of the annotations can vary significantly from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages. The length will depend on the purpose. If you're just writing summaries of your sources, the annotations may not be very long. However, if you are writing an extensive analysis of each source, you'll need more space.

You can focus your annotations for your own needs. A few sentences of general summary followed by several sentences of how you can fit the work into your larger paper or project can serve you well when you go to draft.

0 thoughts on “Works Cited Different Than Bibliography Definition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *