Citation Management Tools

This guide will present tools to help with managing your sources as you research.

Freely available Citation Tools

There are many tools available on the web.  Below are links to some that we have found.  They are handy for quickly formatting citations in the three major styles, MLA, APA, and Chicago.  Most do not allow the saving of citations, but require copying and pasting formatted citations into your word document.  Please use caution and make sure to check the formats and styles against any style manuals or other resources to ensure proper formatting.

Free to allKnightCite:  This tool was developed at Calvin College. Allows for creation of single citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian styles. 

Free to allNoodleTools: Allows for creation of single citations and brief bibliographies in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles for free.  More features are available for a fee with the Premium edition.

Free to allEasyBib:  MLA formatting is free on this site.  APA and Chicago styles require a subscription.  EasyBib allows you to search for a resource from within the site.

Free to allMendeley: This tool is fairly robust and compares in many ways to the three major tools (Refworks, Endnote Web, Zotero) used here on campus.  It allows saving and organizing of citations as well as embedding of citations into word processing documents.  Mendeley also calls itself an "academic social network".  It provides some collaboration tools not found in other programs, such as grouping, sharing, and communicating with other Mendeley members.

Why Cite?

When you use other authors' ideas and words in your own writing, it is important to credit them - even if you do not quote their words exactly as written. 

Citing your sources allows your reader to identify the works you have consulted and to understand the breadth and scope of your research.  Footnotes, endnotes, and lists of work consulted provide substantiation for your own findings and ideas.

Practicing "cite as you write" and keeping track of ideas and quotations that you use in your own writing helps you to avoid plagiarism or charges of research misconduct.

Citation Helpers

A number of library databases offer "Cite" tools that will automatically format a citation for you in a number of styles.  These tools can be helpful if you have just a few items to cite in your paper.

Look for buttons or links to help generate your citation.


Examples:    Examples of Cite buttons from databases


We encourage you to double-check these computer generated citations against your style manual.

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