Difference Between Works Cited and Bibliography (With Table)

When studying in a British English school or university, it’s critical to recognize the difference between works mentioned or works cited list and a bibliography. As part of any project and essay work, one might need to generate both of them correctly, relying on the coursework.

Works cited list is considerably shorter than a bibliography. When writing works cited page for an assignment, you should only include the sources and authors of material that you used in your research. This article focuses on the distinct differences between both the terminologies used in research papers and articles.

Works Cited vs Bibliography

The difference between works cited and bibliography is that works cited are the list containing the sources you copied or included in your research paper whereas the bibliography is a set of sources that was required for reference or idea generation purposes only. The terms are quite similar because of the nature of their application and the resemblance in their formats. Both are usually stated at the end of the research or article draft.

Works cited is a section of a research paper, essay, article, or feature that consists of all the legitimate and trusted sources one has used in his/her piece of literature. Works cited contain only those sources that are handpicked and used “directly” in the paper you wanna publish. In simpler words, a referenced list or works cited column (or, in APA, a References list) is a set of various classifications of all the studies cited in your essay from some other source. Quoted texts, cited theories, pre-proclaimed ideas, and original concepts when featured in the essay, their sources are included in the works cited part.

Bibliography on the other hand covers all of the writings and pieces of knowledge you used when investigating for your thesis. It also lists all of the information you used in writing your article, whether or not you explicitly referenced and credited the work. The bibliography is more used in articles, features, and literary pieces in order to add the referential list for the sake of not getting sued or copyrighted. The bibliography list is longer than the works cited list and that is always common in every piece of literature.

Comparison Table Between Works Cited and Bibliography

Parameters of ComparisonWorks CitedBibliography
MeaningThe citations that you mentioned in your paper are included in the works cited section. It includes cited literature, pioneer thoughts, and other people’s innovative views.A bibliography is a list of all resources that you consulted (but did not necessarily utilise) for a research project, formatted in MLA or APA style.
EtymologyMiddle English (in the sense of citation (meaning 2)): from Old French, from Latin citatio(n-), from citare “to cite” with “works.”Early nineteenth century: from French bibliographie or contemporary Latin bibliographia, from Greek biblion ‘book’ + -graphia ‘writing.’
PronunciationThe words are pronounced as: ‘vuhks-site·uhd’The word bibliography is pronounced as: ‘bi·blee·aw·gruh·fee’
UsageThe usage of works cited is usually noted in scientific research papers, survey based papers and thesis papers.Usage of bibliography is usually done in both science and arts papers. 
Length of ListWorks cited list is comparably shorter and more precise than the bibliography list.The list of bibliography is usually longer and not definite as it consists of references only.

 What is Works Cited?

Citations must be formatted according to specified guidelines. MLA or APA style is the most frequent format. Works mentioned are not usually listed numerically. The author’s surname is generally placed first in a list of pieces of knowledge. Annotations or brackets can be used to incorporate references in your written essay; however, parenthesis is more commonly used in academic work these days since they do not disrupt the overall reading flow as much as footnotes do.

The referred list, also known as the works cited column (or, in APA, a References list), is a collection of different categories for all of the research cited in your paper from many other sources. The sources of quoted books, referenced theories, pre-proclaimed ideas, and unique thoughts that appear in the essay are given in the works cited section. It also has a more precise set of sources to redirect readers to the mother source of the references.

One might be expected to format the work in the APA style in college, especially in the social and behavioral sciences such as psychology and sociology. For in-text citations, the American Psychology Association (APA) utilizes a basic creator citation format, with a “quotes” page at the conclusion.

The APA citations, like the MLA works mentioned, will include most of the sources you cited in your paper. As a result, details for each quote mentioned in your work must be included in your reference section.

What is Bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of publications on a particular topic or by a particular author that have been used or referenced in the creation of a scientific report, novel, or article. Although both have a similar list of works mentioned, their practical usage differs in numerous ways. It appears at the end of a publication, essay, or technical report. The written record of the materials you used for a research assignment, organized in MLA or APA style.

The bibliography might comprise books that you have explicitly quoted or summarized in your essay papers, as well as information that you conducted but chose not to use in your essay. The word bibliography is pronounced as ‘bi·blee·aw·gruh·fee’ and is derived in the early nineteenth century: from French bibliographie or contemporary Latin bibliographia, from Greek biblion ‘book’ + -graphia ‘writing.

Bibliographic material for printed textbooks may be located on the TITLE PAGE. That page includes the story’s full title, author(s), and publication information. The distributor material varies per publisher; for example, the identity of the editor, the location of publishing, and the date may all appear on this page. Citations or enclosures can be used to incorporate links in your essay; but, brackets are more commonly used in academic papers nowadays although they do not disrupt the viewing rhythm as much as citations do.

Main Differences between Works Cited and Bibliography

  1. Works cited list is shorter and more precise than the bibliography.
  2. Works cited are usually used in scientific papers and research papers whereas a bibliography is used in literature and essay and general papers.
  3. Works cited is pronounced as ‘vuhks-site·uhd’ but bibliography ios pronounced as ‘bi·blee·aw·gruh·fee’
  4. Works cited include quoted and copied data, but bibliographies could include information and sites that you researched but did not directly mention in your research.
  5. Works cited cannot contain a bibliography but the vice-versa can be included.


Citations is a term that is occasionally used to allude to Works Cited. The terms are interchangeable. Each entry is an ordered list of books referenced or to that you have referred. For referencing books in MLA (Modern Language Association) style, this title Works Cited is often used, but then when quoting people in APA (American Psychological Association) style, the title Citations is typically used. Both the terms are used in papers and essays and research papers too.

The terms “works cited” and “bibliography” are not interchangeable. Only materials that you have really referred to and mentioned in your paper are listed in Works Cited.


  1. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_basic_format.ht
  2. lhttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bibliography

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