Grammarly has just launched two new citation tools to make referencing easier for students. Source: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

As a pillarstone of essay writing, it’s essential for every student to know how to reference. This could be the primary aspect that separates an A-grade piece of work from one that is less well-received — it could make or break your chances of graduating.

Still, wrapping your head around citations can be difficult — which is where smart tools like Grammarly come in. As a cloud-based typing assistant, Grammarly is used by thousands of students and professionals worldwide in their writing tasks. It reviews your spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement and delivery mistakes — making it easy for you to write emails, assignments, or other projects without error. 

Today, Grammarly has expanded to include two new features that will help students create citations instantly and easily: citation style formatting and auto-citations. 

Mastering different citation styles can be difficult for any student. Source: Ina Fassbender/AFP

What citation styles do students need to know about?

When it comes to citations, there are many processes and methods to keep in mind. Depending on your university or programme, you may be required to master different referencing styles and ways of writing your assignments. 

This can be tricky as there are many different referencing styles used by departments all over the world. Each has its own rules and guidelines. Generally, departments use one of the following

  • APA (American Psychological Association) style for programmes centred around education, psychology, and the sciences; 
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities 
  • Chicago/Turabian style for business, history, and fine arts subjects

There are other referencing styles that are also used by universities and departments worldwide. These include Harvard referencing and the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) style among many others. 

Unfortunately, these styles often have large differences between them. For example, some will require you to create citations in footnotes, while others ask that you write out the author’s name and date in your text. This means that familiarising yourself with the APA style will not necessarily give you an advantage in learning to reference according to the Harvard style, for instance. 

Failing to do so can have disastrous consequences on your grades — and by default, your degree as a whole. This is because failing to cite your sources correctly can lead to, oftentimes, unintentional plagiarism — defined as “the use of any source, published or unpublished, without proper acknowledgement or other forms of academic dishonesty”. 

If you are accused of this, you could face: 

  • A fail grade on your assignment 
  • A fail grade on your module or course
  • Disciplinary probation 
  • Suspension 
  • Permanent expulsion from your university.

This makes it incredibly important for you to master your citation style without room for error. 


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How Grammarly can help you master citations

Citations take up a lot of time. According to Grammarly, two-thirds of students write up to 10 citations per paper. Nearly half reveal that completing their citations can take up to half an hour for each essay — accounting for hours of time spent on this unavoidable process of academic writing. 

To help with this, Grammarly has launched two new features: citation style formatting and auto-citations. Both support the latest editions of APA 7, Chicago 17, and MLA 9. 

These are designed to help students: 

Keep from losing points for common citation formatting errors. With citation style formatting — a feature found in Grammarly Editor — your work will automatically be proofread according to in-line and bibliography citations for mistakes. Grammarly will flag incorrect commas, parentheses, or ampersands. 

Grammarly’s auto-citations are designed to save you time and effort. Source: Grammarly

Directly generate citations with one click in research articles. With Grammarly’s auto-citations, you can create in-line and bibliography citations from articles without leaving the source site. This means no more copy and pasting — making it less time-consuming for you to complete your work. 

This feature is currently found in 10of the largest research databases: Wikipedia, Frontiers, Plos One, Science Direct, Sage Journals, PubMed, Elsevier, DOAJ, arXiv, and Springer. Grammarly is working on expanding this selection in due time. 

Auto-citations is available for all Grammarly users. Citation style formatting is available for Premium users in the Grammarly Editor function, where you can also check your papers for accidental plagiarism.

Find out everything you need to know about Grammarly for students here