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Citation Guide: Citation Generators

Offers citation assistance for APA, MLA, and Chicago style guide.

Citation Generators

In addition to the citation management programs such as Zotero and EndNote,  free citation generators are available to create bibliographic citations. Most of the citation generators help you with creating the citation for your bibliography ( a list of "works cited" or "references"), but fewer tools include help with formatting in-text citations. 

Questions to Ask First....

  • Does it offer the publishing style you need? 
    • Common styles such as APA, MLA, and Chicago are available. For rather uncommon, in-house publishing styles, use the Citation Management Programs.
  • Is the citation style edition correct?
    • Always use the latest edition of a given style, unless otherwise told. 
  • Did you double check citations? 
    • ​Using the citation management programs or citation generators might help, but it is still your responsibility to make sure that your citations are formatted properly for a  given style.  The citation generators are free, convenient, and easy to use, but not perfect -- you get what you pay for. Use them when you have only a few citations and even then, always double check whether the citations are formatted properly.  Use more reliable resources such as Purdue OWL to double check. 
    • Watch out for common errors: capitalizations, punctuation, spacing, incorrect information or placement, etc.

Free Programs

  • KnightCite  (from Calvin College)
    MLA (8th ed.), APA (6th ed.) & Chicago (16th ed.) 
  • EasyBib
    ​MLA (7th & 8th ed.), APA, Chicago & more
  • Bibme
    MLA (7th & 8th ed.), APA, Chicago & more​
  • ASU Libraries DocsCite  
    Use this service to format government publications in a proper style. 

Citation Generators Available at Databases, Journals, and Webpages

Some databases provide a citation generator feature, typically on the article record page. Once you find an article, look for "Cite" feature on the page and click it on to find the publishing style that you want.  Click on "Export" to export the citations to your citation management program. 

Once you find an article from the search results page at Google Scholar, click on a quote sign (") for a citation generator feature.  The citation is often not properly formatted, as shown below -- the page numbers are missing.  Make sure to look up a more authentic source to cite it right. 

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