An important part of most research essays is the bibliography of sources, usually called a "Works Cited" page in humanities classes. There is a subtle difference between a bibliography and a works cited page, however. A bibliography could conceivable include a variety of sources related to the essay's subject but which were not directly referred to in the essay. A Works Cited page, on the other hand, includes only works actually referred to in the essay.
Assembling the Works Cited page
The various entries in your page should be alphabetized according to author. If the author is unknown, alphabetize according to the first word in the title other than "A," "An," or "The."
There are numerous specific formatting rules regarding the actual entries, just as there are a number of different styles for various disciplines. Chicago style, for example from the influential reference book The Chicago Style Manual differs in many respects from APA (American Psychiatric Association) style, a style commonly used in psychological journals.
In this class, you will be asked to use the style established by the MLA (Modern Language Association). You will need to consult a more detailed guide for examples on how to format sources more complicated than a basic book or magazine article, not to mention the still-evolving methods used to cite Internet documents, but in general, all MLA-style entries follow this sequence of information:
Author. Title of work. Publication information.
The author's name is given last-name first, followed by a comma, and then first name. If the author is actually the editor, the name is followed by "ed."
The title is the actual title of the work. If it begins with "A," "An," or "The," that word comes first, though if the entry must be alphabetized (if you have more than one work by a single author, for instance), refer to the first word after "A," "An," or "The."
Publication information includes, for a book
- City: Publisher's name, Year of publication.
Publication information for a journal or magazine includes
- Magazine title Volume number (Date of issue): page numbers.