25 Best Free Online Citation Generators

Formatting your quotes can be rather tricky. Learning where to put all the commas, italics, and quotation marks in the right places requires a lot of time and almost inhuman patience. After you write an A+ paper, you may have no energy left for it. The text can now become just a big, blurred gray spot before your eyes. Then trying to fix quotes is not what you want to do.
Using citation tools is necessary. Here’s a rating of the top 25 best free online citation generators.

1. Son of Citation Machine

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Along with MLA, APA, and Chicago, this citation generator is compatible with at least 10 other popular academic citation styles.
Access: free; subscription plan for extra features (save unlimited bibliographies and check for plagiarism); registration needed to download a citation in Word or switch format
Functionality: search by title, author, ISBN; the tool fills in the authors’ names and title of the book, while the year and location of publication need to be filled in manually
Extra Features: creating parenthetical citations, checking paper for plagiarism and grammar errors
2. BibMe.org

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This citation tool is very similar to Son of Citation Machine in its functionality and features. The two tools have similar forms and even pop-up windows.
Access: free; subscription plan for extra features
Functionality: search by title, author, ISBN
Extra Features: bibliography and parenthetical citations, grammar and plagiarism check
3. EasyBib

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This citation tool has only limited free access. You can make free citations only in MLA style. The advantage of this citation generator is that it fills in more details than other tools (including the year of publication and publishing company).
Access: free citations without registration only in MLA style
Functionality: search by title, author, ISBN
Extra Features: APA, Chicago, and about 100 other citation styles are available for pro accounts only
4. CiteFast

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This tool creates citations in the latest editions of APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Access: free access; registration needed only to see history of your citations
Functionality: search by title, author, ISBN
Extra Features: you can easily copy and paste your citations, export them in Word, and even keep them for 4 days in your account. Even if you have no account, the site will still show you your previous searches when you get back to it.
5. Cite This for Me

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This tool has an easy-to-use design, which is similar to that of a Microsoft Word document. It creates citations for all citation styles imaginable.
Access: basic version is free; premium account ($15 per month) can be used for extra features
Functionality: different resource types; search by title, author, ISBN; export of bibliography or sharing it with a group
Extra Features: pro features include checking for plagiarism, downloading the tool as an add-on, and creating several bibliographies at the same time.
6. RefDot

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RefDot is a free Chrome extension that can be used for quick online research. To get a reference, simply search for the book you need on Amazon. In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a button that will automatically cite a resource. Otherwise, you can manually input the citation details.
Access: a free Chrome extension
Functionality: creates citations in Chicago style only
Extra Features: free export and storage of references, alphabetical order of citations
7. ETurabian

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This tool makes citations in Turabian, MLA, and APA and requires manual entry of data, but it’s a great way to create bibliography and footnotes.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry of details, auto-formatting
Extra Features: using online dissertation catalogues, exporting and sharing bibliographies
8. MickSchroeder

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Mick Schroeder is an Informatics Pharmacist from Philadelphia. He has kindly shared his invention with everyone on the web. It takes just a few seconds for this tool to create a perfectly formatted AMA style citation.
Access: free; available as a Google Chrome extension
Functionality: search by Pubmed ID (recommended), DOI name, ISBN, URL; no manual entry of details needed
Extra Features: automatic generation of citations from any web page
9. RefMe

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This tool does a great job formatting citations in more than 7,500 citation styles.
Access: free; sign-up with Facebook is required
Functionality: search by author, title, ISBN, URL
Extra Features: import and export of citations
10. KnightCite

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This tool creates citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry of data; a variety of resource types
Extra Features: copy paste citations, save and edit previously saved citations
11. WorksCited4U

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This tool creates quick citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry of data only
Extra Features: n/a
12. NoodleTools

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NoodleTools offers helpful software for academic writing, including note-taking and citation tools. Citation maker is applicable for APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Access: citations are free; extra payment for additional features (notecards, collaboration, and sharing features)
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: a premium account allows using note-taking tools and getting expert help
13. APA Citation Maker

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This tool cites sources only in APA style, but if you need a quick citation in this style, it’s a great choice.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: sorting citations, checking format, saving them as a Word document or a Google doc
14. CiteMaker

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CiteMaker generates citations in MLA, APA, Harvard, and Oxford.
Access: free; registration for saving a bibliography for 30 days
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: in-text citations and bibliography entries
15. CitationBuilder

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Citation Builder specializes in citing sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: entries can be easily copied and pasted from the pop-up window
16. Citation Creation

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This tool generates simple and quick citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.
Access: free; no registration
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: creating citation lists
17. ResearchoMatic

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ResearchoMatic is great for citing sources in all major citation styles, including IEEE, MLA, APA, Chicago, and Vancouver.
Access: free; registration necessary
Functionality: manual entry of details
Extra Features: sharing your findings with others
18. ClassTools.net

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The main advantage of this tool is that it not only helps you make citations but also helps you research. There’s no need to input all the resource details. All you need to do is do a search by keywords, title, or author or search by URL and you will get formatted citations with links to resources.
Access: free
Functionality: search by keywords, title, URL
Extra Features: online research
19. AcademicHelp.net

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This free citation generator focuses on MLA, APA, and Chicago format.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: copy and paste the received citation
20. WritingHouse

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WritingHouse offers a quick and easy way to generate citations, which are generated automatically as soon as you enter a title, keywords, or just the URL of your resource.
Access: free
Functionality: search by title, author, ISBN, and automatic generation of citations
Extra Features: adding citations to bibliographies
21. CitationProducer

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This tool makes citations in MLA and APA styles.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry of data
Extra Features: copying and pasting resources
22. Biomedical Citation Maker

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This citation generator is great for research and using citations on websites.
Access: free
Functionality: search by PMID, DOI, NCT
Extra Features: help with using the numerical findings of a study
23. Ultrasound of the Week

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This citation generator is great for making citations in AMA style.
Access: free
Functionality: search by DOI, PMID, URL
Extra Features: HTML and plain text
24. Make Citation

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This tool specializes in MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, and IEEE.
Access: free
Functionality: manual entry
Extra Features: n/a
25. Zotero

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Zotero is a free browser extension or a Word add-on that allows creating citations without leaving your browser or a Word document.
Access: free
Functionality: automatically generates a citation
Extra Features: saving and sharing the resources you find

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Irene Fenswick

Irene Fenswick is a freelance writer and blogger with a Master's degree in English Literature. She has been working as an academic advisor for undergraduate students for five years and she is willing to share her knowledge about writing. Currently Irene lives in Bournemouth, England with her two dogs, Arett and Mady. You can always reach her at fenswickirene@gmail.com

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Comments (6)

Krystalyn
May 10th, 2016 - 6:45 am

Many many qulatiy points there.

Reply
Irene Fenswick
Irene Fenswick
June 25th, 2016 - 10:49 pm

Hi Krystalyn,

thanks for your feedback!

Reply
reena
August 24th, 2016 - 6:40 pm

nice

Reply
Irene Fenswick
Irene Fenswick
August 25th, 2016 - 6:36 pm

Glad you liked it, Reena!

Reply
saramike
April 18th, 2017 - 5:33 pm

Nice post helpful

Reply
Irene Fenswick
Irene Fenswick
April 20th, 2017 - 10:46 am

Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Reply