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Citing Your Sources

A guide to writing academic papers using citation styles effectively and efficiently.

Using Citation Generators Responsibly

Citation generators allow writers to quickly generate citations. They use online forms to create a citation in various formats such as MLA, APA, Chicago, and more. Some even allow writers to construct entire bibliographies on the fly that can be imported into projects with a few clicks.

Used wisely, citation generators remove much of the tedium from the task of citations. Used unwisely, they can introduce systematic errors into citations that the writer isn’t even aware of.

Citation generators cannot think for you!

Online Citation Generators

There are a number of web sites that will help you format your citations in APA, MLA, and Turabian style. However, you should always double-check the results you get as the results are not always completely accurate.

 

1. Citation Machine

 

 

Uses a web form to generate citations in MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian formats. It’s simple, user-friendly, and also a great resource if you need to cite films or audio.

With the free version, you can:

  • Add your bibliography and citations directly to your paper
  • Easily create citations in Chicago, MLA, APA, and 13 other styles
  • Cite 57 different types of resources (including films, podcasts, and manuscripts)

Take advantage of the auto-fill tool for a number of resources by simply searching the title.

 

2. Citefast    

 

 

CiteFast is a simple but efficient way to cite sources in APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. Access is free; you’ll only need to create an account if you want to see your sources after four days.

At no cost, Cite Fast allows you to:

  • Search sources by title, author, or ISBN for automatic citations (or enter them automatically)
  • Create citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago format for 18 types of sources
  • Easily copy and paste your citations and export

 

3. Zotero    

 

 

Zotero is free and can be used as a browser extension or add-on for Word. You no longer have to jump from page to page to cite your sources directly in your paper!

At no cost, you can:

  • Organize your research by tagging sources with keywords and saving them to collections
  • Cite your sources using over 9,000 styles
  • Cite directly inside a Word document or Google Doc
  • Build a collaborative bibliography with others

 

4. EasyBib

 

 

 

With the free version, you can:

  • Search for sources easily by title, author, or URL to take advantage of the auto-cite tool
  • Cite over 50 types of resources (including digital images, blogs, and federal court rulings)
  • Cite using the MLA style only

 

Citation Generators in Library Databases

Several library databases will generate a citation. Look for a "Cite" button on the source's "record" to see if the database you are using provides a citation you can copy and paste into a document. As always, double check any citation generator, even the ones found in databases, as errors can occur. Specific instructions for EBSOhost and ProQuest databases can be found below.

 

EBSCOhost

Click the article (or book) title in the database.  This will take you to the source's "record" in the database.  On the right side of the record screen, click "Cite."  A list of citations will pop up in the center of the screen (scroll down to find the style that you need).  Highlight the citation, then copy/paste it where needed.

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ProQuest

Click the article (or book) title in the database.  This will take you to the source's "record" in the database.  On the top right of the record screen, click "Cite."  A list of citations will pop up in the center of the screen (scroll down to find the style that you need).  Highlight the citation, then copy/paste it where needed.

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Library Catalog

Click the book title in the library catalog. This will take you to the book's "record" in the catalog. On the record screen under the send to section, click "CITATION". A citation will be generated according to the style chosen on the left. Click "COPY CITATION TO CLIPBOARD" to then copy/paste the citation where needed.

Screenshot of Book Record with Cite Highlighted

 


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