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Library DIY

Why Citations Matter

Tutorial: Why Citations Matter

Citation tools can be helpful in getting you started organizing a source's bibliographic information into the required style format.

HOWEVER, citations generated through these tools usually contain errors. You will still need to verify that the generated citation follows the citation style you are using.

The best way to write a correct citation is to be familiar with the style you are using, practice using it, and check the official style manual. If you will be graded on having correctly-formatted citations, you will want to make sure you know how to write one regardless of the tool you are using.

Many library databases have built-in citation generators: simply click on a "Cite" button and select a citation style. You may also be able to export the citations to a selected reference management program.

Reference management programs allow you to:

  • download citations from many websites and databases
  • electronically store and organize the citations and insert them into your paper
  • cite sources while writing 

Free reference management programs include:

Paid (special student pricing may be available) reference management programs include:

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