Difference Between Bibliography and Works Cited (With Table)

While writing academic papers, there is a need to list down the sources you have used to gather information about the topic and note it. There can be two ways to list down the resources- Bibliography and Works Cited. Both have different ways to cite the list of sources.

Bibliography vs Works Cited

The main difference between Bibliography and Works Cited is that Bibliography contains all the external sources that have been referred, whether directly cited or not whereas the Works Cited contains the sources that are directly cited to your academic writing or document, with at least one in-text citation.

Bibliography is more comprehensive than any other method to list the sources. It contains all the external sources related to the topic, no matter if they were used in creating the document or not. It can be used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document.

Works cited is the list of the sources that are specifically used to prepare the document.  It can be used to support an argument in your document. It is used to give credit to the source of information and usually is a reliable source. It is not as comprehensive as the bibliography.

Comparison Table Between Bibliography and Works Cited

Parameters of differences BibliographyWorks Cited
DefinitionBibliography is a list of all the external sources that you have used to research the subject.Works Cited is the list of sources you have specifically used.
UseBibliography can be used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document. Works Cited is used to give credit to the source of information and usually is a reliable source.
Place written Bibliography is usually written at the end of the page.Works cited are written on a different page.
Listing arrangement Bibliography is listed only in an alphabetical manner.Works Cited can be listed in both alphabetical and numerical order.
Style of writing Bibliography can be written in either MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian style, depending upon the work.Works Cited is written in MLA style.

What is Bibliography?

Bibliography contains all the external sources related to the topic, no matter if they were used in creating the document or not. It can be used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document. It is an important part and is usually included at the end of the document.

Bibliography broadly covers many sources that are related to the subject. The gathered information does not need to be directly cited from the sources listed. It is way more comprehensive than other methods. Due to this, it is usually used for higher academic purposes.

Usually, Bibliography should include the names of authors and writers, the title of the books referred to, dates of the published work, and the work’s page numbers. The entries made in it should be in alphabetical order. It could contain a list of books, articles, interviews, various websites, and many other sources used.

The bibliography could also be used for research work and assignments. It can contain a description of authors, their relevance, quality, and accuracy of the sources. It can be written in either MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian style, depending upon the work.

What is Works Cited?

Works cited is the list of the sources that are specifically used to prepare the document.  It can be used to support an argument in your document. It is used to give credit to the source of information and usually is a reliable source. It is not as comprehensive as the bibliography.  Works Cited uses only primary sources.

It only contains the sources from which the information has been gathered and paraphrased. It is usually written on a different page, with the heading at the top center as ‘Work Cited’. Works Cited is used for lower academic purposes. It is written in MLA style. If written in APA style, it is also called references.

Works Cited includes titles, publisher names, date and other details of publication, and the name of the poems, articles, essays, or short stories that have been cited. It does not contain the sources that may have been checked by the student but not used. It strictly contains only the sources that were a student used to cite.

You can come across Works Cited almost anywhere. It is of higher credence than a bibliography due to it exclusively containing the sources that were utilized.

Main Differences Between Bibliography and Works Cited

  • Bibliography is a list of all the external sources that you have used to research the subject, whereas Works Cited is the list of sources you have specifically used.
  • Bibliography is usually written at the end of the page, whereas Works cited is written on a different page.
  • Bibliography can be used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document, whereas Works Cited is used to give credit to the source of information and usually is a reliable source.
  • Bibliography is listed only in an alphabetical manner whereas Works Cited can be listed in both alphabetical and numerical order.
  • Bibliography can be written in either MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian style, depending upon the work. Works Cited is written in MLA style.

Conclusion

Citations are usually the proof that the information provided by the article or any informational document is true and not made up. Readers can always refer to the sources of information to trust the document.

The bibliography and works cited parts of an academic paper demonstrate that it is authentic, genuine, and free of plagiarism. Even though they appear to be identical and are both required, there is a major distinction between Bibliography and Works Cited mentioned in terms of substance.

The main difference between both the terms is that Bibliography includes multiple sources related to the topic that can be referred to for deeper research. Works Cited, however, only lists the sources that were used to frame the document.

References

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