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What is a Citation Generator?

If you were to hear the phrase citation generator what would you think of? Maybe you think of a magical website that would automatically cite all of your sources and save you hours of time. Or a large smoking machine from a mad scientist’s laboratory that pumps out citations at a mile a minute. Whatever it is that you think of let us set the record straight. Citation generators are meant as a research aide to organize and standardize your citations to help you have a more professional finished product.

You may be asking, how can I get my hands on some of these citation generators to try them out? Well, as always your library has compiled all of them in one easy place, the library website. These generators come in many forms, some are extensions to your web browser, some are all online, try a few of them out to see which one you like best!

You may have noticed a program called Endnote installed on all of the University computers; this is software that will help you to collect and organize bibliographic data. Endnote allows you to create “libraries��? where you can store data on various sources and generate citations using these sources. It is a great program because you can separate your sources depending on which project or assignment you are trying to complete. Some of you may be saying, I have never used Endnote, where can I find help? This is again where the University Libraries website can come in handy. All of the information you need to use Endnote can be found on a page dedicated to Endnote within the Libraries website. This will walk you through importing bibliographic data in to Endnote, which websites to use with Endnote, and also a link to Endnote’s support site should you run into any other problems. So check out Endnote, you will not be disappointed!

Along with Endnote there are few other citation generators that can be found on the Libraries’ website that are free! Zotero is an extension of the Mozilla Firefox browser. It allows you to create folders and assign citations taken from databases and websites to these folders for later use in your bibliography. It is excellent for the management and collection of all types of sources. Another is BibMe which produces citations in a variety of formats such as APA and MLA. It also includes an auto fill feature and the ability to toggle between various citation styles. StyleWizard is another free citation generator that allows users to create citations in MLA and APA formats for six basic types of sources. It also features step by step instructions on each page to walk you through the process of citing your sources. It’s best to check out a few of these generators to see which you like the best, and which has the features and citation styles you need. Plus, who doesn’t like things for free?

There are also subscription based citation generators with great features and comprehensive services for their users. Do not be scared away by the words subscription fee, both of these sites have very reasonable rates even for the most down and out undergraduate or graduate student. The first of these is called NoodleBib; it can format and alphabetize bibliographies for over 50 different types of sources. It features MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles, and allows for importation to Word documents and note taking. Now the big question, how much it? NoodleBib is only $8.00 for an entire year of service for an individual, so check it out, it is highly recommended and is considered one of the best subscription based generators! Along with NoodleBib, there is another subscription based citation generator named EasyBib. It costs $8.99 a year for students and it can format and alphabetize over 37 different types of sources. It also allows users to import citation data from databases and journal websites. Either one of these generators would be an invaluable help to any student or faculty member doing research, they are also a steal at less than ten dollars for a whole year!

Hopefully this has been a helpful introduction to citation generators, try a few out and you will find you can save time and be more organized. Make sure to read the “Common Errors��? section on the library website to avoid common problems when using citation generators. As always make sure to double check the citation, these generators are not the end all, and do make mistakes. Save yourself some time; make these sites work for you!

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles