Bibliography vs Works Cited
Albert Einstein once said, “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it.” Regardless of the type of academic paper you are writing, it is essential to quote where you found the information you used to support your points. Whether you choose to list them as a bibliography or works cited, the important factor is that they are listed. It is important for a student to cite their sources of information as it helps prevent plagiarism, allows the professor to fact-check the essay for accuracy and helps the student in finding information if they need to return to a source in the future.
It is a fact of life for all students, especially for those in universities, to write academic papers. In doing so, it is necessary to review as many different empirical sources of information to support their arguments and relevant points as possible. Whether the sources used are from books, magazines, academic literature, websites or any other source of information, these must be appropriately listed at the end of the paper.
Bibliography vs Works Cited: Definitions
When you write an academic paper, it is usually necessary to quote or paraphrase your sources of information and draw your own conclusions from that supporting information. You may do this in one of several ways: such as references, bibliography or works cited. Bibliography and works cited are two very commonly used methods and they are also often used interchangeably. However, did you know that these two methods have distinct differences and uses? For us to examine the differences, let us first look at what is a difference between bibliography and works cited.
Definition of Bibliography
A bibliography is usually found at the end of a book or published material. It is a list of all the books and articles referred to in the academic piece. Sometimes a bibliography is annotated and contains a summary of each work’s contents, explaining how it was relevant to the subject of the paper.
Author last name, author first name. (Publication year) Title. Publisher’s city: Publisher. Page numbers.
Author last name, author first name. (Publication year) “Article title”. Publication title, Vol. # (Issue #), Page numbers.
- Web versions of printed material
Author. (Date of Internet Publication) “Document title.” Title of Publication. Retrieved on: Date from full web address, starting with http://
Definition of Works Cited
Works cited, however, is a page at the end of an academic paper that lists the sources used, whether as direct quotes, or paraphrased.
Author last name, author first name. Title. Publisher. (Publication date) Page numbers. Print.
- Web versions of printed material
Author last name, author first name. Title. Publisher city: Publisher, year published. Website title. Web. Date accessed from the internet.
Factors to consider when citing sources of information
Whether your choice for your academic paper is a bibliography and works cited, it should be noted that there is a set of criteria that should be taken into consideration when writing your piece:
- Either MLA or APA format must be used and kept constant throughout the academic paper.
- The sources of information must be listed alphabetically according to the author’s surname.
- The references can be included as a footnote or in parentheses, however, in recent times, parentheses are most common as they do not interrupt the flow of reading.
Difference between works cited and bibliography
Now that you know the definition of a bibliography and works cited, and also what is required for both, it is now time to determine the differences between the two methods of citing your information sources. Below is a list featuring the differences between works cited and bibliography for you to keep in mind for your next academic piece.
- A bibliography is numbered, while this is not the case for works cited.
- A bibliography lists sources of information used directly in the academic piece and sources consulted during the research process, while works cited only lists the sources used directly in the academic paper.
- Bibliographies are usually longer than works cited.
So, now that we have covered all the bases regarding works cited vs bibliography, you should be ready to take on your academic writing with confidence. Use the information given to determine what method is best to cite your sources of information and have fun creating your literary art; happy writing!
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