We'll learn how to make a Works Cited page in a bit, but right now it's important to know that parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.
Most of the information in academia does not flow through books! The real information flow is through periodicals. Even here, acceptability varies. is acceptable for most college research papers, but not for a graduate thesis.
Serious popular magazines occasionally have articles by authorities, interviews (even can be an acceptable source at times; President Jimmy Carter got into political hot water over an interview there), or summaries of current topics of interest. Acceptability depends on how reputable the authors are and how thoroughly the publication checks its facts.
Last Name, Initials. (Date of Publication). Title of the Book. Place of Publication:
NOTE: Every reference must use a hanging indent like the above example.
A real example follows:
The next step in your progress toward an award-winning research paper is to choose your topic carefully. If you are responsible for choosing your own topic, put some thought into this decision. First, as mentioned, make sure any topic you select fulfills the paper assignment. Second, if possible pick a topic that interests you. The more interested you are in a topic, the easier it will be for you to devote time and energy to studying it and to writing about it. Third, ensure that you select a topic that fits the length of the paper that you intend to write, the research resources that are available to you, and your analytical tools.
Post-Web babies have no idea how tedious searching was before on-line bibliographies came along. I know this sounds like "walking ten miles through the snow to school," but it's true.
Nobody cares you find references. You can hunt in the library, ask other people, or use a dowsing rod, Tarot cards or a Ouija board. So searching on the Internet is perfectly okay - You will still have to use acceptable sources, but nobody cares how you find them. Only if your assignment forbids Internet searches - rare, but it might happen - are you barred.
Research Resources: Trying to write a paper on "Secret Military Operations in the Persian Gulf War" would also be a mistake because the government has not released the relevant information. You should take the holdings of your library into account. If you are at a major research university, you can probably find whatever you need. Even at large libraries, however, you may have trouble finding good sources to support a research paper on U.S.-Sri Lankan relations or U.S. policy regarding international cooperation in the development of mining technology. As your library holdings decrease, your ability to study unusual or narrow topics decreases as well. So be careful not to choose a topic that destines you to fail.
However, when you do a search on, say, Google, the address that comes up will be a long string of gobbledygook. That's a temporary search identifier created by Google and no two people will get that address. Also you have no guarantee that anyone who uses it will get through. You will have to obtain the actual URL of the site you're referring to and cite that. For example, I found a link to this page using > but the correct URL is >.
If you include the author's name(s) in the text of a sentence in the paper, you may omit their names from the parentheses as follows: "Austin (1996) includes valuable references to ...." or "The examples given by Li and Crane (1993) on web addresses ...".
Now the project begins in earnest. Good research is the foundation of your paper. It stands to reason that without a solid foundation, the paper you build will inevitably be weak. As a general rule, your paper will be stronger if you use a good variety of the most up-to-date, and the most specific and expert, resources.
In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article which appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:
The Library: The place to do research is the library. Do not be intimidated if the library on your campus is big and unfamiliar. Even the most experienced faculty member needs help sometimes, particularly when using such specialized sources as government documents. The good news is that assistance is readily available. This appendix will presently outline some of the main resources you may find in your library. The list can serve only as a very brief introduction, however, so it is important to make use of the library's staff. When you get lost, as we all do, ask the nearest librarian for help. Actually just standing around and looking confused will suffice to summon aid.