The Works Cited or References List is a bibliographic compilation of the specific sources cited within an academic paper or book and is located at the end of a document on pages that are separate from the rest. Though there are similarities, each documentation system handles formatting a little differently.
Regardless, end documentation accomplishes two things: First, it offers reading suggestions to those interested in your research, especially those who wish to replicate your work. Second, it provides the writer with a tool for assessing his or her research.
Once a Works Cited or References List is compiled it is much easier to consider the following questions:
- How comprehensive is my research? What have I omitted?
- Are there other sources that would lend further credibility to my position?
- Will my audience expect me to have reviewed more source material?
In-text citation and end documentation are two sides of the same coin. They function together. One without the other makes little sense.