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Citing Your Sources

This guide will help you cite your sources properly to avoid plagiarism in your writing. It also introduces various tools for creating and managing citations, including library-supported RefWorks.

What's the difference between a citation generator and a citation manager?

Citation generators, like those below, are online tools that can generate a one-time use, single bibliography or works cited entry for you. There are two kinds of citation generators, those provided through library resources (like the catalog or the databases) and those provided through an outside website. Library tools will generate a citation for whichever item you are viewing, outside websites will require you to manually input the citation information yourself (author, title, publisher, etc.).

Citation managers, like RefWorks, Mendeley, and Zotero, are software programs that help you keep track of your sources and create bibliographies or works cited lists in various citation styles. Many citation managers allow you to create folders to organize citations and keep your sources for different classes/projects separate. They are very helpful for staying organized, especially while doing multiple research papers for multiple classes. It is also often possible to share folders between users, which can assist with keeping everyone on the same page for group research projects. Take a look at the popular citation managers mentioned in this guide and give one a try! You'd be surprised by how much they can help you streamline your research process.

Regardless of whether you're using a citation generator or a citation manager, automatically generated citations need to be double-checked for accuracy and completeness. Pay special attention to capitalization, punctuation, and author(s) names.

Citation generators in library resources

Library resources, like CentralSearch and many of our databases, often come with built-in citation generator functions. The exact location and steps to use this tool will vary based on the resource you are using. Below are the most common ones you will see.

Also, be aware that you must double-check any generated citations for accuracy. To better keep track of your references and more easily generate citations and entire bibliographies, try using a citation manager tool like RefWorks, Mendeley, or Zotero.


In CentralSearch:
  1. Click into the title of a resource
  2. Under "Send to," click "Citation"
  3. Select your desired citation style

 

In EBSCOhost databases:
  1. Click into the title of a resource
  2. Along the right navigation under "Tools," click "Cite"
  3. Scroll to your desired citation style.

 

In ProQuest databases:
  1. Click into the title of a resource
  2. In the top-right corner under the "Save as PDF" button, click "Cite"
  3. A pop-up window will appear
  4. Select your citation style (if different from the default) and click "Change."

Citation generator websites

Here are some free resources to generate single reference entries. Just like with generating a citation through the library tools, you must double-check any generated citations for accuracy. To better keep track of your references and more easily generate citations and entire bibliographies, try using a citation manager tool like RefWorks, Mendeley, or Zotero.

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