Creating Bibliographies and Managing Citations

Citing the sources you use to write a paper is an extremely important part of the research process. Giving proper credit to other authors is necessary to avoid plagiarism and to let your readers know where you found the information. Creating bibliographies and citing sources can often be confusing, even to the experienced researcher. Librarians are always available to help you with this process.

Writing & Managing Citations


  • ALWAYS cite information you borrow from other authors. This includes quotes, paraphrasing, and ideas that are not your own.
  • Failure to give proper credit to other sources results in plagiarism, for which there are serious consequences. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional.
  • Whatever citation style you use, be sure to use it accurately and consistently.
  • Always follow the citation style your instructor has requested you use for your assignment.
  • Practice makes perfect. The more you accurately cite sources, the easier it will become.
  • Don't guess. If you aren't sure how to cite a source, consult a citation manual or ask a librarian.

MLA Style

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is one of the most commonly used styles for undergraduates. The library has MLA style guides in print near the reference desk. Use the links below to access online style guides and find out more about MLA style.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide - Purdue OWL

MLA Citation Style - Cornell University

MLA Documentation Guide - UW Madison Writing Center

MLA Citation Style - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

APA Style

APA (American Psychological Association) writing style is standard in more common in scientific fields, as opposed to the MLA style. There are many guides online for using the APA style as well as guides within the library.

Purdue OWL - Using APA

APA Documentation guide - UW Madison Writing Center

Books at UW-Rock County Library:

  • Cite Right : A quick guide to citation styles, call number : PN171.F56 L55 2011
  • Publication Manual of the APA, on reserve, library use only, ask at circulation desk


A standard citation in APA from a journal article would look like this for the in-text citation:

and they found no correlation between the variables (Webb et al., 2013).

The corresponding listing in the references section of your paper would look like this:

Author last name, first & middle initials (year of publication). Title of the article in question. Title of the Journal  the Article   Was Published in, volume(issue):page range.

for example:

Webb, J.R., Webb, B.F., Schroeder, M.C., & North, C.S. (2013). Association of aphthous ulcers with self-reported symptoms of depression in a sample of smartphone users. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 25(4):266-270.


Writing a Bibliography using Citation Managers

Citation Managers are designed to help you organize your citations and generate bibliographies. Although citation managers can be very helpful, they are not always accurate.  Remember to ALWAYS proofread your bibliography before submitting it.

NoodleTools - Powerful note-taking software that promotes critical thinking and creativity combined with the most comprehensive and accurate MLA- and APA-style bibliography composer on the Web. In order to use NoodleTools both on- and off-campus you must create a User Account ON-CAMPUS. Accounts cannot be created off-campus due to software restrictions. Once an account is created on-campus you can then access your account from any Internet connection.

There are several noodletools tutorials that can be used :

EndNote Web - EndNote Web is online citation tool. It is designed for both novice and advanced researchers who need to manage their bibliographic references. EndNote Web allows you to create an online library to store your references.

Zotero - A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.