Bibliography vs Works Cited: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. A bibliography lists all sources consulted during research, while works cited are sources cited within a particular document or project.
  2. Bibliographies can include sources not directly cited, while works cited only include those referenced in the document.
  3. Both bibliographies and works cited are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name.

Bibliography vs Works Cited

Bibliography is the list of materials or literature referred to in the book or academic article, while Works cited refers to sources used by students in writing academic articles. A bibliography is used for books or higher academic articles, and Works cited are for lower academic papers like essays.

Bibliography vs Works Cited

A bibliography is more comprehensive than any other method of listing 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 is a reliable source. It is not as comprehensive as the bibliography.

Comparison Table

Parameters of differencesBibliographyWorks 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 is a reliable source.
Place written Bibliography is 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?

A Bibliography contains all the external sources related to the topic, no matter if they were used in creating the document or not.

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It can be used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document. It is an important part and is included at the end of the document.

The 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 used for higher academic purposes.

Usually, the 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 the 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.

bibliography

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 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 written on a different page, with the heading at the top centre as ‘Work Cited’.

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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 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.

works cited

Main Differences Between Bibliography and Works Cited

  • A 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.
  • A bibliography is written at the end of the page, whereas Works Cited is written on a different page.
  • A 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 is a reliable source.
  • A bibliography is listed only in an alphabetical manner, whereas Works Cited can be listed in both alphabetical and numerical order.
  • A bibliography can be written in either MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian style, depending upon the work. Works Cited is written in MLA style.
References
  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1525/9780520974210-028/html
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctvn5txmd.12

Last Updated : 31 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Bibliography vs Works Cited: Difference and Comparison”

    • True! Usually, the 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.

      Reply
  1. Bibliography is used to depict how much background research you did to prepare the document, while Works Cited is used to give credit to the source of information and is a reliable source. Bibliography is more comprehensive than any other method of listing the sources.

    Reply
  2. That’s right! Both bibliographies and works cited are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name. But Works Cited can also be listed in both alphabetical and numerical order.

    Reply
  3. Works Cited is the list of the sources that are specifically used to prepare the document and is written on a different page, with the heading at the top centre as ‘Work Cited’.

    Reply
  4. It’s important to note that Works Cited includes the sources from which the information has been gathered and paraphrased and it is used to give credit to the source of information.

    Reply
  5. Works Cited only contains the sources from which the information has been gathered and paraphrased and it does not contain sources that may have been checked by the student.

    Reply
  6. A Bibliography is a list of all the external sources that you have used to research the subject and it contains all the external sources related to the topic, no matter if they were used in creating the document or not.

    Reply
  7. It’s important to know Works Cited is used for lower academic purposes. It is written in MLA style and if written in APA style, it is also called references.

    Reply
  8. The entries made in a bibliography should be in alphabetical order and it could contain a list of books, articles, interviews, various websites, and many other sources used.

    Reply

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