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Citing Sources Research Starter: Online Citation Builders

Use this guide to find examples of proper MLA and APA style citations, and information about avoiding plagiarism.

Caution: Online Citation Builders & Other Citation Helpers

  • Citation building websites produce citations based on the information you enter. This means that if you make an error in capitalization, punctuation, or formatting, a citation building website usually reproduces the error.
  • Citation building websites also frequently leave out important citation pieces that are required for a specific type of source.
  • Using the citation tool in Microsoft Word typically results in the same types of errors associated with citation building websites.
  • The chances are high that you will have errors in your citations--and lose points--if you rely on a citation building website (or the citation feature in MS Word) to document your research. 

Tip: Follow the Example

  • There are many college websites that contain accurate models of citations. You can find these websites by clicking on the MLA or APA tab in this research guide. Luckily, you don't have to memorize all of the rules, because you can easily find accurate examples on these websites.
  • Double-check your citations against "model" citations to reduce the chance that you'll lose points on the assignment.
  • The Germanna Libraries also own print copies of the official MLA and APA style guides.  However, interpreting the official style guides can sometimes be challenging and time consuming.  When looking for citation models to follow, first check out the college websites listed in this guide.