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Why cite?

You must always cite information you use from other sources for the following reasons:

1. You need to let the reader or your instructor know the original source of information. Citing sources strengthens your paper and lets your instructor know that you did the work.

2. Citing is a service to the reader. The reader may be stimulated by a reference you have used in your works cited page and will be able to identify and access the sources you have used for his/her own use.

3. You want to give credit to the person whose ideas you have used.

There are two places where you need to cite information: a) in the body of your paper and b) at the end of your paper in a list of sources known as a bibliography or a works cited page or a list of references.

Which style guide?

Style guides show you how to appropriately cite sources for your paper. There are many style guides available for citing sources. Which one you should use depends on the discipline. For example, Psychology uses the APA style, English uses the MLA, and history uses the Chicago style manual. Usually your instructor will tell you which style manual to use.

Automatically generate citations within the databases!

Some databases will automatically generate a citation in MLA and APA (sometimes additional formats). Others will only provide the basic information, and it's up to you to do the formatting. Look for links like "Cite" or "How to cite" within the databases and on article pages. Also check the top and bottom of the page or article for citation info. 

Warning: Most of the citations in databases, web services, etc., are produced automatically using a computer algorithm. That means that if the data is incorrect, the resulting citation is incorrect. You have the final responsibility of checking that the citation is fully correct using the guidelines provided by your professor (or publisher).

The following collections of databases will provide citations into rough versions of standard citation styles. Always check details like capitalization, dates, and page numbers.

More Information

For more information on citation tools, consult the guide on Citation Help

Citation Management Software

Here are some citation software programs available to students at Buley Library. Click on the links for tutorials on these products.

SCSU subscribes to EasyBib. You can use EasyBib to create bibliographies in APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian citation styles. EasyBib will also suggest more scholarly references for your paper. 

EndNote Basic
EndNote Basic (formerly EndNote Web) is a free version of EndNote available to SCSU because we subscribe to the ISI database, Web of Science. EndNote allows you to collect and manage your references and to create bibliographies in a variety of styles. 

Mendeley Citation Manager 
Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Microsoft Word Reference Tool 
Microsoft Word 2010′s reference function is a good productivity tool to manage citations and bibliography.

Free Citation Software on the Web

These websites have forms where you can fill in the needed information and get a formatted citation to cut and paste into your documents.

BibMe is a free automatic citation creator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. This bibliography maker auto-fills and is very easy to use. And it's free!

Son of Citation Machine
The Citation Machine will do APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style citations for the most common types of sources: books, book chapters, articles, webpages, images, videos, etc. Both in-text (parenthetical) references and the full citation for the bibliography are produced and ready for copying and pasting into your document.

NoodleBib Express
Free citation formatting from the makers of NoodleTools. NoodleBib Express does MLA, APA, and Chicago, and has options for dozens of types of sources, from books and articles to patents, letters, and TV programs.

WriteCite does APA, Harvard, and MLA citations and covers a wide variety of types of sources, from corporate advertising to musical scores, as well as the usual books and articles. There is also an account version.