citation tools
Did you know that you can automatically create citations at the click of a button, thanks to citation tools and apps? Source: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Referencing can be the bane of any university student’s existence, which is why the rise of citation tools or apps is a welcome respite for weary co-eds. 

Whether you’re writing an essay, a report, thesis or other forms of academic writing, incorrect or incomplete referencing can mean getting a lower grade for your assignment or — in a worst-case scenario — you can find yourself guilty of inadvertent plagiarism

The stakes are high, which is why being able to correctly resource and cite your work is an essential skill for any university student to master. 

While learning to cite your sources is important, citation tools or apps are also a useful tool to help you cross-check your work to acknowledge the trove of information, data and research you’ve drawn upon for your assignments.

Here are some citation tools that can come in handy for just about any university student:


Citationsy allows you to create citations, reference lists and bibliographies online using a variety of citation styles.

Its cloud-based model means you can access it anywhere, be it on your laptop via the Citationsy Browser extension to your phone. 

The basic version is free, but you’ll need a premium account for a superior version.

Cite This For Me

Harvard? APA? MLA? Whichever citation style you’ll need, Cite This For Me can help you add credibility to your work to ensure you steer clear of plagiarism. 

Using it is easy. If you’re using the app’s Chrome extension, simply browse the page you wish to cite and click the “Cite This For Me” icon to generate a citation before copying and pasting it into your online bibliography.

Its website notes that you can choose a list of 30+ source types, be it a website, book, video, online image, or something totally different.

citation tools

The rise of citation tools or apps is a welcome respite for university students. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP


Mendeley isn’t just a free tool to help you generate citations and bibliographies in a whole range of journal styles. It also serves as an academic social network that allows you to share your research with others.

The platform is owned by Elsevier and has thousands of groups that can make it easy for students to discover research, follow curated bibliographies and get involved in discussions.


Last on our list of citation tools is Zotero.

Zotero instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor, and directly inside Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs, notes its website.

It supports 100,000 citation styles, so you can format your work to match any style guide or publication.

The platform also lets you co-write a paper with a colleague, distribute course materials to students, or build a collaborative bibliography.