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I'm currently working on a Spanish paper in MLA for an undergraduate course and have stumbled on some confusion for my Works Cited for which I can find no definitive answer. MLA says that I should use the header "Works Cited" before my citations, but does this still apply for other languages? Should I put "La bibliografía" or "Las referencias bibliográficas" instead? Thank you!

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  • I always used "Bibliografía", the article sounds weird to me.
    – Davidmh
    Dec 5 '16 at 21:26
  • You could check with Spanish Language SE. However, this is a great question to ask your instructor, since s/he may have a preference. Dec 5 '16 at 23:42
  • @aparente001 I think it'd be more on topic here then on there, although it probably would be okay there too Dec 6 '16 at 6:09
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I have always used/seen for MLA in Spanish, and instruct my students to use Obras citadas. In truth, Bibliografía is vastly more common in native-Spanish, non-MLA works, but the same could be said of English Bibliography.

Since MLA keeps the references to strictly the works that were, well, cited (as opposed to read during research or useful for further reading), thus making a difference between a bibliography and a list of works cited, it has always seemed logical to me to make the same distinction in Spanish.

And just to give you a specific reference, grabbing a random journal I have here —Hispania, which generally uses MLA— references for articles are found in a section entitled Works Cited (English) or Obras citadas (Spanish/Portuguese).

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I am not a native Spanish speaker, but I have quite much experience in reading about MLA in Spanish and have seen much on how the works cited page is required to be entitled by different universities whose primary language is Spanish.

In a vast majority of cases, the recommended Spanish title for Works Cited is Obras citadas. Here are some sources to prove this affirmation (words put in bold by me):

Grafiati – ¿Cómo formatear página con la lista de las fuentes referenciadas en MLA (8ᵃ ed.)?:

...Título se centra sin usar cursiva y negrita. El título recomendable es "Obras citadas" ("Works cited").

Universidad de Los Andes:

Al final del trabajo se debe incluir una sección titulada "Obras citadas" con los datos de las obras consultadas.

Norman Marín Calderón – El estilo de redacción del manual MLA: la nueva edición (2016) para el usuario hispanohablante:

...los elementos antes mencionados, según se utilicen en (I) la lista de “Obras citadas”...

Sometimes, you can also stumble upon other recommendations, for example, the one provided in Purdue Owl – Índice de Obras Citadas de MLA: Formato Básico:

Titule la página Índice de Obras Citadas (no ponga las palabras Índice de Obras Citadas en cursiva ni entre comillas), centre el título en la parte superior de la página.

Note that all these examples are not any official translations of the MLA recommendations into Spanish. As none actually exists, different guidelines can be offered locally by your university, scientific journal, and so on. In general, I believe that 'Obras citadas' is the most widespread option and the closest one compared to the original English title. I would stick to it, if no other guidelines are provided by your institution.

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In my own Spanish classes, our professors instructed us to title the "Works Cited" page as "Fuentes" (meaning "sources") instead.

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