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How to Write a Term Paper

Prepare a Works Cited Page

1. There are a variety of titles for the page that lists primary and secondary sources (Gibaldi 106-107).

a. A Works Cited page lists those works you have cited within the body of your paper. The reader need only refer to it for the necessary information required for further independent research.

b. Bibliography means literally a description of books. Because your research may involve the use of periodicals, films, etc. "Works Cited" is a more precise descriptive term.

c. An Annotated Bibliography or Annotated Works Cited page offers brief descriptions of the works listed.

d. A Works Consulted page lists those works you have used but not cited.

2. As with other elements of a research paper there are specific guidelines for the placement and the appearance of the Works Cited page. The following guidelines comply with MLA style:

a. The Work Cited page is placed at the end of your paper and numbered consecutively with the body of your paper.

b. Center the title and place it 1 inch from the top of your page. Do not quote or underline the title.

c. Double space the entire page, both within and between entries.

d. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name or by the title of the article or book being cited. If the title begins with an article (a, an, the) alphabetize by the next word.

e. If you cite two or more works by the same author, list the titles in alphabetical order. Begin every entry after the first with three hyphens followed by a period.

f. All entries begin at the left margin but subsequent lines are indented five spaces.

g. Be sure that each entry cited on the Work Cited page corresponds to a specific citation within your paper.

h. Refer to the the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (104- 182) for detailed descriptions of Work Cited entries.

i. Below is a Works Cited page that would follow a research paper on Beloved. It illustrates the most commonly cited entries. NOTE: Information in brackets is not included in the final document.


Writer's last name
[1/2 inch from top of page]

Works Cited
[1 inch from top of page]

[Book with two authors]
Gilbert Sandra M., and Susan Gubar.
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1984.
[Essay within an anthology]
Henderson, Mae. "Response" to
"There Is No More Beautiful Way" by Houston A. Baker, Jr. in Afro-American Literary Study in the 1990s. Eds. Houston A Baker, Jr., and Patricia Redmond. Chicago : Chicago University Press, 1989, 155-163.
[Essay on Web site; also see below]
Horvitz, Deborah. "Nameless Ghosts: Possession
and Dispossession in Beloved." Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 17, No. 2, Autumn, 1989, pp. 157-67. Republished in Literature Resource Center. Online. Dialog. 1 Jan. 1999.
[Book by one author]
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Knopf, 1987.
[Second entry by above author]
---. Song of Solomon. New York: Signet, 1977.
Otten, Terry. The Crime Of Innocence In The
Fiction Of Toni Morrison. A Literary Frontiers Edition # 13. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.

Make sure to ask your professor about citing these sources and which style to use. For guidelines, examples and links to sources on citing online databases, see How to Cite InfoTrac and GaleNet Sources.

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