Citation Tools

These tools help you manage your citations and develop bibliographies.

  • EndNote Web and its Cite While You Write plug-in allow you to easily create in-text citations within Microsoft Word. At the same time, they compile a reference page for you in Word using only the sources that you’ve cited in your paper.

  • The EndNote Tutorial will get you started and answer general questions.

  • Zotero is reference management software that is an extension to Firefox or a free desktop application.

Citing Sources in Multimedia Projects

Plagiarism, copyright, and citation are just as important when creating multimedia as when you are writing a paper. Video, podcasts, online digital exhibits, and more all have the same requirements as a written paper to cite sources and make sure you aren't incorrectly using something that is protected by copyright. On our Video in the Curriculum and Podcasting and Audio in the Curriculum pages we have resources to help you think through these topics, such as:

Please contact a librarian or Instructional Technology Specialist with questions!

What is a Citation?

citation is a reference to a book, article, video, website, or other information source for the purpose of giving credit to the author. Citations also give your work more credibility because your readers can find out exactly where you got your information from. Citations typically include: author names, title, publisher, publisher location, date of publication, journal title, volume, issue, and/or page numbers. Citing your sources is a fundamental research skill.

When Should I Cite?

You should provide a citation whenever your writing is based on someone else's work or original idea. This includes when you quote, paraphrase, or summarize someone else's work. For example:


Quote: When you use phrases or sentences exactly as they appear in the source document. Note the quotation marks.

J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, “…not all those who wander are lost” (182).


Paraphrase: When you restate an idea from the source document using your own words.

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien speaks about wandering adventurers who may seem lost, but instead are on a personal quest (182).


Summarize: When you provide a brief version of what you learned from the source document.

Not everyone who wanders is necessarily lost (Tolkien 182)


Why Should I Cite My Sources?

Whenever you do research, you need to acknowledge the sources you used that informed your own work. It is an important practice for showing academic integrity as a student and is crucial for avoiding plagiarism. By including citations, you are:

  • Giving credit to other researchers and creators, by acknowledging their original ideas.
  • Backing up and strengthening your arguments by providing evidence from other scholarship or research on your topic.
  • Enabling your readers to examine the sources you used for themselves and expand their own research.

Watch the following video for a short introduction to citation:

“Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction” by North Carolina State University Libraries is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.

Citation Tools

There are two kinds of tools to help you generate citations: quick citation generators and citation managers. Note: Computer-generated citations sometimes contain errors! Before you turn in an assignment, always review any citations generated by these tools against an online or print style guide to make sure they're accurate and meet the exact formatting and punctuation guidelines of the style you're using. 

Quick Citation Generators

Quick citation generators are a good way to get a fast start on your bibliography. The library catalog, as well as many library databases, have built-in citation generators. 

In the library catalog, look for the Cite button in the listing for your book or article.

quick citation tool in the library catalog

When viewing a book record in the catalog, look for the Cite button in the upper right hand corner.

library catalog citation tool pop up window

When you click on the Cite button, a pop-up box will give you options for many different citation styles.

In an EBSCO database like Academic Search Premier, a quick citation generator can be found in the article record under the Tools menu on the right hand side of the page. 

Database ciation tool location

Clicking the Cite button will bring a pop-up window with the citation available in multiple styles. Scroll through the list of generated citations to find the style you want. 

Database citation tool pop-up window

Citation Managers

Use a citation manager when you're collecting many citations and you want to save and organize them for later use.

endnote web logo

As a CSB and SJU student, you can create a free account to use the EndNote Web citation manager. Review our EndNote Tutorial for details or schedule an appointment with a Librarian for help.