The Internet makes millions of images, videos, and audio clips available for students to use in their projects, providing rich examples and evidence. Many of the resources available on the Internet, however, have some form of copyright protection. Under certain circumstances, students and educators can use these resources under the protection of the Fair Use provisions of the 1976 Copyright Law; however, students and educators do not have carte blanche to use these resources in any way they choose. This makes the citation process more in depth than ever before.

Web-based citation generators offer numerous advantages over the traditional system of using note cards for research. They automatically develop and keep sources for the researcher with the click of a button and format sources  into a bibliography of any standard style from APA to MLA.

Citation Generator Tools


A free tool that creates bibliographies for students. It allows students to look up the books or articles they would like to use in or enter manually, and then captures the important information for a bibliography for the student.


One of the first citation generators, EasyBib is free and allows students to enter the information from books manually and does the formatting according to style for them. Students put information in, and EasyBib does all the style and formatting for the student, leaving them with a finished bibliography. With the addition of Add-Ons to Google Docs, students can now integrate EasyBib directly into their writing process.


Refworks is a very helpful, intensive research tool provided by many universities to its students. Refworks automatically collects source information from electronic files in e-libraries and keeps track of them. Students writing papers can click a write n cite button in their browser to immediately capture the source information and save it in a file convenient to the subject of their research. When it comes time to call on the research collected for a paper, the student can open their folder of research and check boxes to select the sources they used, and refworks automatically creates the bibliography in the style of the user’s choosing. Refworks is a great tool, but requires a subscription.

Citation Machine

Use the Citation Machine to create the proper format for an MLA or APA citation then include the result into your bibliography or footnotes. Currently uses MLA 7th, APA 8th, Chicago, and Turabian.

Google Research Tool

Google Research Tool exist inside of Google Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. When opened, students can search Google, and then insert content directly into their project. Upon doing that, Research Tool automatically adds a footnote, citing the image, quote, article, etc.

Video Tutorials on Citation Generators

Here are two video tutorials to help you use a citation generator

A Brief Introduction to EasyBib


Research Tools in Google Docs