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Style Guides - Citing Sources: Citation Generators

A guide to APA, Chicago and MLA publication formatting

What Are Citation Generators?

These are tools that can assist you in creating citations for your in-text citations, footnotes or bibliographies. Simply enter or import the citation data, choose a citation style, and the tool generates the citation for you.

Not all tools are equal, some only generate citations for the most common resources, and not those less frequently used such as videos, interviews or conference papers. There may not be an option for these types or they may generate incorrect citations. Or, they may not be using the latest edition of the style manual and they can generate outdated citations.

Most databases provide a "Cite" tool.  These usually appear on the right hand side of a bibliographic citation. Examples are:

EBSCOhost         WorldCat Discovery              Proquest

Whenever you capture a citation from any source, run it by the manual to check that punctuation, order and all pertinent elements are included. Always verify what is generated for you with the latest edition of the style guide.

Caution: If you are using the MLA Style Guide make sure you have access to the MLA 8, that was released in April 2016!

The citation apps differ as to how to initiate your citation creation.  Some criteria are obvious (title, author, journal title) but some may utilize urls as entry points.  These entry points are called (Permalinks or Record Links) and link the resources permanently to the database from which it originated. Most databases have this information along the right side of the bibliographic citation.

Examples are:

EBSCOhost                            WorldCat Discovery

Free Citation Generator Apps

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