A works cited page is required on many formal papers. For students at many levels, being able to write a works cited page will be a skill that is used commonly. While it might seem just a bit daunting at first, it is actually quite easy with a bit of work and preparation.
Look up your style
For any paper that you will need to write, a particular style will be requested. MLA, APA, and other writing styles will be needed, often depending on the nature of the paper (APA is commonly associated with the sciences, for instance). You will need to consult the handbook, or the many available online sources, in regards to the specific requirements. Each one has its nuances: for instance, you will need the year of the publication in quotation marks, for the APA style, right after the author's name. Note these key features, as you will remember the style based off of this for your works cited page.
Format and obtain the information immediately
Once you find a source that you will use, it is wise to immediately put it on the paper in the works cited section. Obtain the necessary information from the book or other piece of literature, and take care of it right away. There is available online citation software available. Alternatively, and perhaps easier, is to place it directly into the works cited section of your paper. This will make the citations easier, as well as take care of the works cited page as you do your research.
Keep notes and develop the skill
Once you get used to the different formats and writing works cited pages, doing them will just be a matter of the style's nuances. One of the best ways to come back to the works cited page, with each paper, is to keep a few notes regarding the key features. You could also bookmark the webpage where you found the information, use APA software or a MLA machine, along with other options. In time you will become an expert on these styles. As you progress in your studies, it may be very well likely that you will only need to consult the guides for some specific question, such as how to reference a specific periodical or website.