Skip to main content
LibApps staff login

Citation Styles

Help with different citation styles including how to format citations.

Why Use Citation Generators?

There are a few reasons why one would want to use citation generators:

  • Generators save time and effort when writing out citations, so students can better focus on their ideas and writing their papers.
  • Generators can gather information needed for a citation easily.
  • Generators can cite sources in a variety of citation styles, like APA, MLA, Chicago and more.
  • Some generators can find sources or generate citations from a provided DOI or URL.
  • Citation management tools like Zotero can help construct full bibliographies.

Citation generators appear in Library One Search, across multidisciplinary databases (like Academic Search Ultimate and Google Scholar) and across subject databases (like PsycInfo and ERIC). 

How to Generate Citations on One Search and Other Databases

Follow these steps to get generated citations on ASU Library's One Search:

  • On the results list or the item record, click on the quotation marks icon ("). 
    A result for "The Magic Fish," with the quotation marks circled to represent a citation generator.
  • A menu should pop up to view generated citations in common styles like APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian.
    • Note: Other databases may contain more options for citation styles and/or editions.
      A more detailed record for "The Magic Fish" with a generated APA citation. Circled in maroon are "APA 7th Edition" and a warning to check generated citations.
  • Copy the citation, then paste it directly into your paper. 

These instructions may differ depending on the database you use. There may be quotation mark icons you can select, or buttons marked "Cite" or "Citations." There may also be more available citation styles and editions than the ones presented in Library One Search. If you need assistance, use Ask A Librarian.

Double check your citations and make corrections as needed! Citation generators can often have inaccuracies, which will be described in the next section.

What Can Potentially Go Wrong?

Although citation generators are useful for saving time and gathering information quickly, they are not 100% accurate. Formatting errors occur often, such as:  

  • Incorrect author layout
  • Improper capitalization (or casing) of authors or titles
  • Lack of italics or quotation marks
  • Misplaced or missing punctuation
  • Incorrect date
  • Incorrect or missing information
  • Incorrect or missing volume, issue, page number(s)

The source type can also be inaccurate. For instance, an article on an online news site can be cited as an entire webpage.

In addition, not all citation generators follow the most recent edition of a citation style. For example, some citation generators use MLA 8th edition when the current MLA edition is the 9th edition.

As a result, you cannot just copy what is generated and paste it into your paper. Double-check your citations and make corrections as needed to reflect the desired citation style and edition!

Using Citation Generators Responsibly

Just because citation generators can sometimes produce inaccurate citations doesn't mean you should avoid them entirely! You are free to use these tools, but with any tool, you must learn how to utilize generators effectively and responsibly. 

First, throughout the research process, be sure to evaluate your sources for credibility, reliability, accuracy, perspective and more. Then, double check the formatting and information on each generated citation. This includes:

  • Capitalization of titles and publications
  • Punctuation across citation elements (periods, commas, colons, semicolons, quotation marks)
  • Author names and/or initials
  • Date formatting
  • Italics (for book titles or publication titles)
  • Publication information (volume, issue, pages, DOIs or URLs) 

Be sure to consult an official style manual or style guide, all while paying attention to the edition! Make sure what you are following is current and/or recommended by your professor. 

If stuck, reach out to your professor, use Ask a Librarian, or contact your respective Writing Center

Generate Citations from Citation Services Websites

Website Services for Generating Citations (mostly free)

ZoteroBib: Generates citations in thousands of styles that can be saved in a bibliography from any computer or device without creating an account or installing any software. ZoteroBib also generates in-text citations, unlike most other citation generators.

EasyBib, BibMe, Citation Machine: The same company owns all three of these websites, which generate citations for free in the MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles for a long list of source types. Paying users have access to many additional citation styles and can save their bibliographies online.

Tweet2Cite: A free utility that can take the URL of any tweet and generate citations in either MLA or APA format.


These citation generators are not integrated with ASU Library's article databases or catalog.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.