Citing Your Sources: Works Cited List

1) Parenthetical References
2) Works Cited List
3) MLA Style
4) Quiz

The main reason for citing your sources is to give credit to those authors whose ideas you used in your research. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit by including their work in your bibliography. Citing your sources allows readers of your work to easily find the sources to which you've referred.

The most common way to cite sources is to use a bibliography or "Works Cited" list at the end of your research paper. The Works Cited list includes a citation for each of the sources you used to write your paper. The citations are formatted in a consistent style according to one of several standard citation formats. Two of the most common formats used for undergraduate research papers are the MLA (Modern Language Association) format and the APA (American Psychological Association) format. Some instructors specify which format they prefer; others leave it up to the students as long as they maintain one consistent format.

The list of all citations is commonly organized in a single alphabetical list. Each different type of source -- book, magazine article, journal article, newspaper article, article from a reference book, World Wide Web page -- has a precise citation format.

Putting Together the Works Cited List

The Works Cited list simply lists all the citations for all of your cited sources in alphabetical order at the end of the paper on a separate page (or pages, if necessary).

Put the title, "Works Cited" at the beginning of the list, centered.

Alphabetize by the word at the beginning of the citation, whether the citation starts with an author's name or a title. Do not organize the citations by the type of source.

The first line of each citation is not indented, but each line of each citation after the first line is indented (the opposite of a typical paragraph).

Skip a line between each citation.


Works Cited

Brenner, Eric. "Ethical Issues: Citing Sources." Skyline College Library. 30 Mar. 2001. Skyline College. 10 Apr. 2001. <>.

Kaiser, Jocelyn. "Acid Rain's Dirty Business: Stealing Minerals from the Soil." Science 12 Apr. 1996: 198. Academic Search Elite. EbscoHost. 11 Apr. 2001. <>.

Jonson, Albert, Thomas Gray, and Jessie Muncy. Information Access. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

MacKenzie, Bill. "Packin' the Heat." San Francisco Chronicle 4 Nov. 1993: A16+. Proquest Newspapers. UMI. 10 Apr. 2001. <>.

Naisbitt, John, Thea K. Flaum and Oscar Handlin. "United States: Immigration." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2000. 10 Apr. 2001. <,5716,136340+1,00.html>.

For another example of a Works Cited page, click here.

Adapted from:
Skyline College, LSCI 106: Introduction to Online Research.