Difference Between Further Reading And Bibliography For Websites

For the detailed information on citing sources using MLA style with many more examples, please use the official MLA Handbook:


All information relating to MLA style as presented on this Web site has been based on this authoritative publication from the Modern Language Association of America.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook. 6th ed. New York: MLA, 2003.

Works Cited is sometimes referred to as References. These terms mean the same thing. Each is an alphabetical list of works cited, or works to which you have made reference. Works Cited is generally used when citing sources using MLA (Modern Language Association) style, while the title References is used when citing sources using APA (American Psychological Association) style.

MLA Works Cited and Bibliography are not the same. In Works Cited you only list items you have actually cited. In a Bibliography you list all of the material you have consulted in preparing your essay whether or not you have actually cited the work.

Entries in Works Cited, References, or Bibliography are put in alphabetical order by last names of authors, editors, translators, etc. or by first words of titles.

Special info about MLA bibliography example.

If the first word of the title is “The“, “A“, or “An“, and the word is being used as an article, e.g., in the title: The Little Book of Irish Clans, the entry is placed under “Little” and the article “The” is ignored. In the title: A Is for Apple, however, the entry is placed under A since A is used as a noun and not as an article in this case.

Sometimes the article “The” is used as part of the name of a company or magazine or journal for emphasis, e.g., The Champ, or The Sports Network. For Internet sites, use the URL as a guide. If “theyellowpages” is used in the URL, treat “The” as part of the title, and list “The Yellow Pages” alphabetically under “The“. If “edge” and not “theedge” is used in the URL, list the magazine title “The Edge” under “Edge” and treat “The” as an article and ignore it.

Where appropriate, a cross reference may be used to direct readers to the proper location, e.g. Yellow Pages, The See The Yellow Pages.


1. DO NOT number entries.

2. DO NOT list citations separately by categories. All references are placed in ONE ALPHABETICAL LIST by first words of citations, regardless of where citations come from.

3. Begin on a new page. Start on the 6th line from the top (or 1″ down from the top of the paper), center, and type one of the following titles: Works Cited, References, or Bibliography. Double space after the title. List all entries in alphabetical order by the first word, taking into consideration the rules governing titles that begin with articles.

4. Begin the first line of each entry flush at the left margin. Keep typing until you run out of room at the end of the line. Indent 5 spaces for second and subsequent lines of the same entry. Double-space all lines, both within and between entries. Remember that this is only a guideline adapted from the MLA Handbook. You are advised to follow the style preferred by your instructor.

Work Cited Vs Works Cited

There is a mistake that students often tend to make. They name their reference page the Work Cited page, which is incorrect. The proper name for it should be Works Cited, as the works by multiple authors, not one, are cited. The Works Cited page is often used in the Humanities, the MLA Style and the APA Style.

For the current guide on this topic, see Wikipedia:Layout § Further reading.

The Further reading section of an article contains a bulleted list, usually alphabetized, of a reasonable number of works which a reader may consult for additional and more detailed coverage of the subject of the article. Normally, a Further reading section only contains works that have not been used to write the text, as opposed to the works that have been used, which are listed in a section higher up, typically called "references" or "sources".

It is one of the optional standard appendices and footers. These appear in a defined order at the bottom of the article.

The section may include brief, neutral annotations. Some articles may also or instead have an External links section; editors will occasionally merge the two if both are very short. When an article contains both sections, some editors prefer to list websites and online works in the External links section. Works listed in a Further reading section are cited in the same citation style used by the rest of the article.

Like the External links appendix, the inclusion of a Further reading section is optional, and many good articles, and more than half of all featured articles, omit it entirely. This section is present in fewer than 3% of Wikipedia's articles.



A large part, if not all, of the work should be directly about the subject of the article. Works that are not entirely about the subject of the article should have notes that identify the relevant part of the work (e.g., "Chapter 7").

Preference is normally given to works that cover the whole subject of the article rather than a specific aspect of the subject, and to works whose contents are entirely about the subject of the article, rather than only partly.


Editors most frequently choose high-quality reliable sources. However, other sources may be appropriate, including: historically important publications; creative works or primary sources discussed extensively in the article; and seminal, but now outdated, scientific papers. When such sources are listed, the relevance of the work should be explained by a brief annotation.


Works named in this section should present a neutral view of the subject, or, if works of a particular point of view are presented, the section should present a balance of various points of view.

Balance is not merely a matter of listing the same number of sources for each point of view, but should be measured relative to the views held by high-quality and scholarly sources. If a large number of high-quality sources reflect a given view, then the Further reading section should normally reflect that tendency. Significant minority points of view should usually be included, subject to the same quality guidelines on reliability, topicality, and the limited size of the section. Publications about a tiny minority view need not be included at all. Notable and important works should not be excluded solely to achieve numerical balance.

Further reading sections are not to be used for pushing a point of view.


The Further reading section may be expanded until it is substantial enough to provide broad bibliographic coverage of the subject. However, the section should be limited in size. Wikipedia is not a catalogue of all existing works, which in the case of a historical topic like World War II would run into thousands of items.

When the list needs to be trimmed, preference should normally be given to notable works over non-notable works. (Depending on the medium of the work, see a specific notability guideline.)

Relation to reference sections[edit]

Further reading should not normally duplicate the entries in the See also or External links sections, or any existing alphabetized list of references in the article, such as is commonly used in conjunction with shortened footnotes.

Further reading is not a list of general references. General references are sources actually used by editors to build the article content, but that are not presented as inline citations. By contrast, Further reading is primarily intended for publications that were not used by editors to build the current article content, but which editors still recommend.

Some editors list sources that they hope to use in the future to build the article in Further reading. This is neither encouraged nor prohibited. Many editors prefer to list such sources on the article's talk page. Still, directly building the article with the source as a reference is strongly encouraged compared to merely listing the source in Further reading.

Conflicts of interest[edit]

Please do not add a work to the Further reading section if you are an author or publisher of the work. All editors are expected to comply with the Conflicts of interest guideline. Bookspam (the addition of content for the purpose of advertising a work) and other promotional activities are prohibited.


Use the same citation style that you've chosen for the references in the rest of the article. To maximize the readers' ease of finding these works, please provide full bibliographic citations, including ISBNs, ISSNs, WorldCatOCLCs, and other identification numbers as appropriate. Do not include URLs to booksellers unless they provide free access to major parts of the book.

Present the items in a bulleted list. You may want to organize the items, either alphabetically, by date, or by some other criteria. In the rare cases when it is useful to sub-divide these sections (for example, to separate a list of articles by an author from books about an author), most editors prefer to use either definition list headings () or bold-faced text () rather than level 3 headings ().

When an article lists a large number of sources or materials for Further reading, it may be helpful to add brief notes about the sources (e.g., beginner, advanced, detailed, survey, historically important, etc.), like this:

  • J. Smith, Introduction to Linear Programming, Acme Press, 2010. An introductory text.
  • D. Jones, Linear Programming Theory, Excelsior Press, 2008. A rigorous theoretical text for advanced readers.

Various formats may be used for these notes; it should be consistent within an article, but which format is used should depend on the nature and length of the annotations, and the format of the reference itself.

See also[edit]

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