Tag Archives: MLA

Out of Cite, Out of Mind: Tips for Nailing Your Next Bibliography

At the Writing Center, we’re happy to help you through every stage of the writing process, but unfortunately, we’re not experts on every single citation style—nobody really is! The important thing is knowing how to find information on citations. Citing your work can be tricky, so to help you out, here are a few resources you can use while writing your next paper.

The Library

Did you know that you can find all the style guides at the library? All you have to do is ask at the circulation desk, and the receptionist can provide you with the AP Stylebook, MLA Handbook, Chicago Manual of Style, and APA Publication Manual, among others. Though you can’t take these books home, you can check out a book for two hours with your MSU ID. The Chicago Manual of Style is also available free online with your MSU library account, so you don’t even have to leave home to complete your bibliography.

Citation Machine (www.citationmachine.net) and Bibme (www.bibme.org)

Citation Machine is a website that allows you to pick your citation style and either search the name of your source or plug in the key details about your source. Click the “create citation” button, and you have your completed citation ready to go! Bibme is very similar to Citation Machine and offers the same services. Try both and figure out what works best for you. When working with sites like these, it’s usually a good idea to consult your style guide just to make sure the citation you received is correct.

Purdue OWL (www.owl.english.purdue.edu/owl)

Purdue OWL offers a wide variety of information, including citation examples for every style guide. Use the “Research and Citation” section of the site to view comprehensive information about bibliographies and citations for each style. Besides offering citation tips, Purdue OWL also offers plenty of other helpful tips about writing, so be sure to check those out when you’re in a writing rut.

Zotero (www.zotero.org) and RefWorks (www.refworks.com)

With Zotero, you can collect all your research and store it in your own personal database. The program organizes your sources into collections and then allows you to cite your sources in any style—Zotero offers thousands of publication formats. RefWorks is a similar site that also allows you to create bibliographies from your personal database. Both have slightly different features, so play around to find the website that best fits your needs.

Still stumped? Google is your best friend. Just make sure your sources are reliable. You can usually trust university websites, and if you’re still struggling, ask your professor for help.

Featured Resource: Purdue OWL

Hello again, it is time for a new featured resource! This time we will be taking a look at the Purdue OWL website. As a consultant one of the most frequent questions I help students with is how to cite sources. Citations are difficult for many reasons, but the Purdue OWL is one great option for finding examples of how to cite your sources.

Whether it be MLA or APA formatting the OWL has the answers. This resource is great for many reasons. The first being that each subject has a visual explanation and examples.

In addition to citing guides, the OWL also has tutorials and exercises for students, tutors, and teachers. When tackling a new subject, these tutorials can help provide a brief introduction to how to best execute the usage of your source material. If you look at the Teacher and Tutor Resources page and select any of the options you will find yourself at different exercises and presentations to help along the way.

screenshot of Purdue OWL website