Documentation:Preparing the List of Works Cited (For Research Papers)

1. Definition

Documentation is the action that if your paper build on the work of previous writers and researchers, you document each source, so that the earlier contributors receive credit and you avoid plagiarism.

The point of documenting sources in academic papers is to demonstrate that you know what is going on in your field of study. It's also a courtesy to your readers because it helps them consult the material you've found. That's especially important for Internet sources. So mentioning what others have said doesn't lessen the credit you get for your own thinking—in fact, it adds to your credibility.(University of Toronto 1)

2. Content



3.1. Purpose
nearly all research and academic papers build on previous research. researchers commomly begin a project by studying past work in the area and deriving relevant informantion and ideas from their predecessors. in presenting their work, researchers acknowledge their debts to predecessors by documenting each source, so that earlier contributions receive appropriate credit.(Gibaldi 140)

3.2. Plariagism


3.2.1. Definition
Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use.

3.2.2. How to Recognize Unacceptable and Acceptable Paraphrases
Here’s the original text, from page 1 of
Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s

by Joyce Williams et al.


Here’s an UNACCEPTABLE paraphrase that is plagiarism:


What makes this passage plagiarism?
First, the writer has only changed around a few words and phrases, or changed the order of the original's sentences.
Second, the writer has failed to cite a source for any of the ideas or facts.

If you do either or both of these things, you are plagiarizing (Indiana University: Plagiarism )

4. Ways of Using Resources

4.1. Quotation
Consider quoting a passage from one of your sources if any of the following conditions holds:

  1. The language of the passage is particularly elegant or powerful or memorable.
  2. You wish to confirm the credibility of your argument by enlisting the support of an authority on your topic.
  3. The passage is worthy of further analysis.
  4. You wish to argue with someone else's position in considerable detail.

Condition 3 is especially useful in essays for literature courses.

4.2. Paraphrasing and Summarizing
If an argument or a factual account from one of your sources is particularly relevant to your paper but does not deserve to be quoted verbatim, consider

  • paraphrasingthe passage if you wish to convey the points in the passage at roughly the same level of detail as in the original

  • summarizing the relevant passage if you wish to sketch only the most essential points in the passage

Note that most scientific writing relies on summary rather than quotation.

(University of Toronto 2)

5. Reference Style

5.1. Different Styles


(This is taken from

5.2 MLA Style MLA.png MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. (Gibaldi 143)

6. Format of the List of Works Cited

the list of works cited appears at the end of the paper. begin the list on a new page and number each the title, works cited, an inch from the top of the page. double-space between the title and the first entry. begin each entry flush with the left margin.

7. Citation

7.1. citing books
The format is as follows
Name of Author. Title of Book. [Name of editor, translator or compiler.] [edition.] Location: Publisher, Year. [page numbers.]
Works Cited Example
Works CitedGriffiths, Paul. A Concise History of Avant-Garde Music: From Debussy
to Boulez. New York: Oxford UP, 1978.
7.2. citing articles or other publications in periodicals
Periodicals (e.g. magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals) that appear in print require the same medium of publication designator—Print—as books, but the MLA Style method for citing these materials and the items required for these entries are quite different from MLA book citations.

the basic format is as follows

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Medium of publication.

Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Print.

Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post 24 May 2007: LZ01. Print.
7.3. citing electronic publications
As an example from the following website


The format should be like this :
contributors' names. "title of resource." the purdue OWL. purdue U Writing Lab, Last edited date. Web. Date of access.

Russell, Tony, Allen Brizee, and Elizabeth Angeli. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue U Writing Lab, 4 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 July 2010 ( Russell et al. )

8. References

Margaret Procter. "How Not to Plagiarize. " University of Toronto's writing center: University of Totonto. Web. 3 June 2011
(see also: 1.;

Joseph Gibaldi.MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers Sixth Edition.New York:The Modern Languiage Assosiation of America,2003.Print.

"Plagiarism: what it is and how to recognize and avoid it." the Trustees of Indiana University: Indiana University Bloomington.27 April.2004.Web.25 May.2011
(see also: )

Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli and Russell Keck."MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue Online Writing Lab,4 Apr.2010.Web.25 May 2011
(see also:

9. External Links

Its homepage offers you access to newspapers, reference books, etc.

This is an online writing lab where you can get much help.

From this website, you can learn specifically in the style you need.

This website provides us with many articles and academic writing method, which is really helpful.

students and writers of all varieties are welcome to read and benefit from this advice page on writing.