Works Cited or Works Referenced or Bibliography
by B.J. Delas Armas
on 11/04/2007 03:41:00 PM
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In school, the works cited page was the afterthought after the essay. It's a two-word somewhat informal way of saying "bibliography".
But even though it's somewhat informal, these are words that just disconnect people from other people.
People put a lot of time, effort, and energy into their books, articles. Some of it are widely acknowledged, some not, but I think I get something from everything I read. For me, works cited/works referenced/bibliography is just a way of formally thanking people and using their time, effort, and energy to form your own creation. Thanking people for their thoughts.
It's also hooking people up with thoughts you valued enough to put in your creation. Some people acknowledge this and use the phrase "For Further Reading." But that sounds pretty disorienting as well. Makes it seem as if you need to walk an extra mile or something to get it. And who says you need to read something to get your information? What if you get someone to read it out loud, tape record it, while you listen to it?
So taking this all into account and to full represent what I think about works cited/works referenced/bibliography page, my works cited/works referenced/bibliography page would be called "Thank you to these articles, books, and journals for supplying the supporting thoughts to my own thoughts"
But obviously calling the works cited/works referenced/bibliography a "thank you note" wouldn't fly in these parts. Unless they're family (of course, provided that you're a straight guy), sounds too mushy for today's hyper-testosterone, pro-scientific, standardized written English language. Especially since you're just getting material from some other piece of text.
It must be "works" as if you were on the assembly line or had a hammer in hand.
BTW, I'd like to thank George Carlin for the inspiration to investigate language.
Labels: Keying in on Language