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"Automatic" Citation Generators
Citation generators can be very useful in sparing researchers from the drudgery of manually creating citations, in the same way that dishwashers can spare you from the drudgery of hand-washing dishes. However, students should be advised to use them with caution: just as you often have to scrub dishes after they come out of the dishwasher, citation generators do not always give completely accurate results. You still need to know the basic principles of whatever citation method is being used and sometimes tweak the results.
I recommend the following free citation generators:
- Citefast.com creates citations in APA, MLA and Chicago (16th edition; it has not updated to the 17th) styles. Use it to create entries for Works Cited Lists as well as in-text citations. By creating a free account, you can store citations and export them to MS Word. It formats them automatically in MS Word.
- Zotero is a very powerful tool for collecting, storing and creating citations in a wide variety of formats. Create an account on the web and download a local client to your own computer. You can synchronize your local changes with the web so that they are available across all your devices. For some help using Zotero,take a look at A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Zotero.
- ZoteroBib is less powerful than the full Zotero product but it is easier to use for creating simple bibliographies, especially for students who are using different sources for each project. If you are reusing sources for different projects, use the full version of Zotero.
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