Skip to Main Content

Citation Guide

This guide presents information and resources on APA, MLA, and Chicago styles as well as guidance on citation management programs.

In addition to the citation management programs supported at FSU such as Zotero and Mendeley,  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 they won't store your citations like citation managers do and fewer include help with formatting in-text citations. 

Questions to Ask When Using a Citation Generator

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

Citation Generators Available in Databases, Journals, and Webpages

Some databases provide a citation generator feature, typically on the article record page. Once you find an article, search for a "Cite" feature on the page and click it to find the citation style that you want.
Red arrow pointing to the "Cite" button within Citation Format

Once you find an article from the search results page of Google Scholar, click on the quote marks (") for a citation generator feature. The citations are sometimes not properly formatted - as shown below, the page numbers are missing.  Make sure to consult a citation guide to make sure everything is correct.

Red arrow pointing to the quotation icon

Red arrow pointing to the "Cite this item" button in JSTOR

Red arrow labelled 1 points to "Cite/Export" link; red arrow labelled 2 points to the APA tab

Free Online 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​
The Florida State University Libraries

© 2022 Florida State University Libraries | 116 Honors Way | Tallahassee, FL 32306 | (850) 644-2706