Ok, so nobody’s denying it: citations can be tricky, and students usually look for ways to make the works cited page as painless as possible. And that’s ok! But sometimes, we’re tempted to throw caution to the winds, pay a little visit to an automatic citation cite (like EasyBib or BibMe), and copy, click, paste, we’re done! Hurray!
Ok, maybe not hurray. Using an automatic citation cite can be risky.
Research: the leading cause of citation creation throughout the nation. (Image from http://www.calgrip.ca.gov/?navid=28)
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with using an automatic citation site to HELP you create your citations, but (and there’s the big but) these cites should only be a guideline. You should ALWAYS check the citations for correct information and up-to-date format before turning them in.
Don’t have a handy dandy MLA citation guide laying around? Wondering how to check your APA? Not sure how to begin with Chicago? We can help with that!
Presenting our Writing Center favorite, the Purdue Owl Research and Citation Resource!
This gem of a cite is not only an excellent tool for checking your citations, but it also can help you cite sources that are unusual or not covered on automatic citation websites. It covers MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles, and it even shows you how to format in-text citations, footnotes, and paper headers.
Here’s the MLA guide,
Here’s the APA guide,
And here’s the Chicago guide.
Sometimes, when you do research on the Hoover Library search engines, such as Academic OneFile, the sources you access will have citations already created for you.
Check these too!
Even these citations are not accurate 100% of the time. Basically, you should be sure to check any and every citation you did not handcraft yourself. And sometimes, it’s even good to check those too! Better safe than plagiarizing!
All this being said, you CAN still use these automatic citation sites and provided complete citations. As long as you check them, you’re in good shape! Here are some of our favorite citation sites:
Oh, yeah, and don’t forget that most teachers won’t count Wikipedia as a legitimate source. If you find information you want to use on a Wikipedia page, look to the sources at the bottom of the page. This list will refer you to the works that the Wikipedia page cited; these are great sources to use in your paper (and, of course, check these citations too)!
Son of Citation Machine
So remember, its important to cite, but it also matters HOW you cite!
If this guy says it, it must be true!
(Image from http://www.commentsyard.com/you-can-do-it/)
Sammi, peer tutor