Why Create One?

Where Does it Go?

Which Sources are Included?

MLA Style Example

APA Style Example

Avoiding Problems


How to Create a Works Cited or References List : A Research Guide by Mike Palmquist

Why Should I Create a Works Cited or References List?

Research writing is an act of participation in a conversation with a community of researchers. Documenting your sources both within the text and at the end of your project document shows readers that you realize other writers have contributed to the conversation you've joined and that you respect them enough to acknowledge their work. In turn, you should expect that writers who read your document will cite your work. Documenting your sources can also help you achieve your purposes as a writer. If your readers find that you haven't documented your sources, they might either suspect that you're careless, dishonest, or they won't trust what you have to say.

Therefore, when finishing your work on a project document, you should turn your attention to the citation and documentation of your sources. You should cite your sources for three main reasons:

  1. To avoid plagiarism.
  2. To demonstrate accountability to others who have written about a topic.
  3. To create a record of your work so others can follow and build upon it.