Works Cited / Bibliography

WR3 | Workshops

Works Cited or Bibliography

Accurately documenting sources is a vital aspect of any process of inquiry. If you fail to properly document your sources, your readers will be unable to follow your research, validate your claims, or judge the quality of your argument. Furthermore, failing to properly cite a source (whether summarized, paraphrased, or quoted) opens you to the charge of plagiarism, a serious academic offense.

Scholars avoid plagiarism and give credit to the thinking and writing of others using a variety of citation formats, or “styles.” As you work to complete your degree in college you will encounter a number of these citation formats. In fact, each discipline has a preferred style. The humanities use MLA, psychology uses APA, history and other social sciences use Chicago. There are many others. As you begin to specialize in a particular field of study, you will be expected to use the citation style of your discipline.

Although citation formats differ significantly, they all have two primary components: in-text citations and a bibliography. As the name suggests, in-text citations are used to reference the work of others within the text itself; the bibliography contains an ordered list of all the in-text citations contained within a piece of writing.

Most students have constructed an MLA Works Cited page before they arrive at college. This assignment is designed to refresh your memory and give you practice citing several typical source types.


In a previous workshop called Working with Sources we practiced in-text citations: the references to a source’s author and page number that you place in the body of your essay. In this workshop we will practice making the final bibliography, where you present an alphabetized list of all of the sources you used to construct your essay.

In the MLA style the final bibliography is known as the “Works Cited” page. The Open Handbook has detailed information on formatting the MLA bibliography; take a few moments to review the description and formatting of the Works Cited page.


Your assignment is to create a Works Cited page using several provided sources as if you were using them for a paper. What is the proper way to represent them? You may use the MLA bibliography section of the Open Handbook to figure out how to cite these sources on the Works Cited page.

Sample source texts

Download Source Origin
Source 1 Checked out of the library
Source 2 Checked out of the library
Source 3 Found online
Source 4 Checked out of the library and are only using essay #2, by Higginbotham
Source 5 A source you own in your private collection
Source 6 Found online