Monday, September 19, 2011

Online Citation Tools

It's that time of the year again! Professors are handing out syllabi and assinging the first round of assignments, which may involve citing sources. One thing is for sure: students dread citation styles. However, there are tools out there that can help students understand the breakdown of citations.

The following are a sample of online citation builders that are geared towards helping students with the main academic citation styles: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Chicago Manual of Style. Even though these online citation builders have worked hard to provide consistent citations with the rules set out by the citation style guides, users are ultimately responsible for the citations and should proofread them for accuracy.

KnightCite is maintained by the Hekman Library at Calvin College, Michigan. The service was created in 2004 and is available to members within and outside of the Calvin community. It generates bibliographic citations for MLA, APA and the Chicago Manual of Style, and it cites a variety of materials ranging from sacred texts to cartoons.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries developed the Citation Builder. The Citation Builder does citations for books, chapters or essays from books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, journal articles, and web sites. After filling out a form, only the bibliographic citation is provided.

The Son of Citation Machine is a great aid for writing a research papers and assignments. Established in 2000, the site lets the individual choose the citation style (MLA, APA, etc.). Next, the individual chooses the type of source: book, journal, magazine, website, and various other types. After filling out the appropriate fields based on citation standards and submitting the form, the individual conveniently gets the bibliographic citation and in-text citation.

Lastly, BibMe is a free auto-fill bibliographic generator that will format your bibliography to the main citation styles. It uses a search engine powered by World Cat to automatically produce the citation of a book and the engine also gathers basic information for other source types. 

It's important for students, teachers, and scholars to remember that although these generators create the bibliographic citation, it is important to check the accuracy of the citation before incorporating it into your research paper or assignment. Best of luck in your future academic achievements!