Academic Citations for Beginners, Part Three: Works Cited vs. Bibliography

There’s a lot of confusion around what constitutes a “Works Cited” or “References” page and a bibliography. Here’s a tip to keep them straight: a works cited page only references citations that are specifically mentioned in a text. A bibliography includes all works that went into the research and production of the work. For example, if I read the Chicago Manual of Style, but did not directly quote or reference it in my paper, I would not include it in my works cited page. However, I would add it to my bibliography. Make sense?

Another thing to keep in mind is whether your publisher prefers footnotes to endnotes. Just as we discussed with in-text citation last week, including sources as footnotes requires that the full citation is used in the initial appearance, with subsequent references formatted in the author-date system. Endnotes or a separate reference sheet will be placed in the back of the work.

Let’s take a look at the formatting. For the purposes of this demonstration, we will be using Chicago Manual of Style as our source. Please note that there are variations between other style guides, I’m just using this as a concrete example:

There are typically four types of information included in each reference:

  • Name of author or editor, last name first for easy alphebitization
  • Year of publication
  • Title of work
  • Place of publication and publisher’s name

Obviously there are exceptions for certain types of citations, but this is the standard breakdown for most of them. You should be familiar with author-date already from last week’s post, so we will use that as the building block of our full reference:

Johnson, Robert, and Derrick L. Brown 1997

Each set of information (author, date) will be set off with a period. Note that Chicago only inverts the first and last name of the primary author cited:

Johnson, Robert, and Derrick L. Brown. 1997.

Now for the title. There are two styles represented in Chicago for the capitalization of titles, Humanities Style (in which titles are capitalized like headlines) and Scientific Style (in which titles read more like sentences). Our fictional citation is a scientific article, but for the purposes of this exercise, we will be using humanities style. Additionally, since it is a journal article, not a book, we are including, journal title, volume, and page numbers after the article title:

Johnson, Robert, and Derrick L. Brown. 1997. “Differences between Singular and Multicellular Organisms.” New Scientific Research 24: 3-24.

Almost there, the last piece of information is the publication data so we can locate the source. The last thing we need is the name and location of the publisher:

Johnson, Robert, and Derrick L. Brown. 1997. “Differences between Singular and Multicellular Organisms.” New Scientific Research 24: 3-24. New York: Columbia University Press.

Once the citations are complete, they are organized alphabetically in a list at the very end of the article or chapter. Some publishers will include references in separate lists in the back of the book, but again, you generally don’t need to worry about that. As long as your citations are clear, concise, and easily located, editors of the journal or volume can take care of the rest.

That’s it! Join us next week for a wrap up and discussion about quotations. If you’re having trouble, feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook thread. Happy editing!