‘Bibliography’ and ‘Works Cited’ – What Is the Difference?

‘Bibliography’ and ‘Works Cited’ – What Is the Difference?

Academic writing cannot stand many things, however, the most serious among them is plagiarism. Stealing the ideas is not only a dishonest way of conducting research, but it also means disrespect towards the genuine author. Considering this reason, it is important to cite the parts of your essay properly, so that it did not count as plagiarism. Apart from that, proper citation also provides the readers with quick access to the information that has been used, and the professors are able to check everything accurately and certify that the student has not cheated or has not stolen any ideas.

Together with the works cited, students are often required to use bibliography in their research, which is also a significant part of academic writing. Even though these two terms are quite similar, their actual meaning is different and they can be often misused in specific situations. Here are a few hints for you to understand a proper use of ‘bibliography’ and ‘works cited’.

Finding the Differences between ‘Bibliography’ and ‘Cited Works’


Hardly ever will you meet bibliography in undergraduate works. Pupils and even students do not work with it too often and some never meet it during their college life. The main peculiarity of a bibliography is that it is mostly used in scholar works on the last pages of the work. Usually, you will not find it in an essay or in a simple article, as it is a piece of writing utilized by scientists of higher degree. The books that are mentioned in bibliography provide an insight into the entire topic of the published work. Moreover, the books are not simply listed – each has a brief overview of its content, a so-called annotation, to provide readers with the explanation of why this specific book has been used for the current topic. Apart from that, such an extended bibliography lets young scholars find more information about those specific writings, which they can use in their own works later on. That is where a bibliography may benefit the students – just read a bibliography of a solid work and you may be ready with your sources for your future piece of writing.

Works Cited

Basically, it is the notion that all students face almost every day. It is the page with a list of sources, which have been used in a certain work to mention the initial location of the information – books, articles, journals, web pages, etc. The information that is cited can be either a simple quote, a paraphrased summary, tables, charts or even statistics. If a student wants to mention the information that has been concluded by another person, then he or she is obliged to provide the original source of that information. The only exclusion in this rule is a general truth or common knowledge – the information that is not anyone’s property. A few peculiarities of works cited include sorting by alphabetic order by authors’ last names, as well as a heading in the middle of the page, featuring “Works Cited” title.

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