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Research Skills Guide: Citation Support

Citing Resources

Citations provide credit to the author, editor, and/or publisher who created a source. It is vital to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism, which means intentionally or inadvertently taking credit for someone else's work. Citing sources also allows others to retrieve the same information. The resources on this page can help to create accurate citations for your sources.

Quick Tip: Citation styles vary based on subject and course. Always check which citation style your instructor requires prior to using the resources on this page.

An Introduction to Citations

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction. This video provides a short introduction to how and when to use citations. Created by NCSU Libraries under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license via YouTube.

Citations Guides and Managers

Purdue OWL LogoThe Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers an excellent guide to citing resources in MLA, APA, Chicago, and AMA styles. OWL will show you how to properly cite everything from journal articles and books to websites, films, and social media.

The free version of Citation Machine allows you create citations in a variety of citation styles. Citation Machine also offers guides on creating citations, as well as various writing guides. Always double check the citations created with a citation generator with a resource such as OWL.

Use this Citation Machine Guide to learn about citation basics and how to cite your sources in MLA, APA, Chicago Style, and more.

Mendeley is a free, open-source citation management tool. Mendeley allows the user to store their citations all in one location for later reference, and will also create a Works Cited/Bibliography in various citation styles. Mendeley can be used on the web or downloaded to a PC or laptop. 

For more information on Mendeley, visit our guide to Mendeley Citation Manager Version 1.19 (earlier version) or Mendeley Citation Manager Version 2.1 (later version)

Please view the following video to learn how to use Mendeley for desktop:

How to Use Mendeley Desktop, Web Importer, & MS Word Plugin (Full Tutorial). Video courtesy of Grad Coach via YouTube. 

Note: Mendeley also provides a browser plug-in which allows the user to import citations directly into their account. However, it has been found to break some of our resources and so is not recommended at this time.

Zotero logo​Zotero is a free, open-source citation management tool. Zotero allows you to store all your citations in one location for later reference, and will also create a Works Cited/Bibliography in your preferred citation style. After accessing the Zotero website, click the "Register" button on the far right of the page to create an account. 

For more information on Zotero, visit our guide to Zotero Citation Manager.

Please view the following video to learn how to use Zotero: 

Introduction to Zotero. Video courtesy of Northwestern University Libraries via YouTube.