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        Top 10 Free Citation Generators in 2023 | Quick & Easy

        • calenderJan 08, 2023
        • calender 7 min read

        If you hate dealing with citations, we get you. They’re tedious, time-consuming and so, so boring. But this can be much easier if you use a good citation generator! Let’s take a look at the top ten citation generators in 2023.

        Let’s be honest: no one really cites sources by hand anymore. And why should they, when there is an army of tools waiting to do that for you!

        Citations are absolutely necessary to make your research credible and establish you as the expert in the field. For this reason alone, they need to be perfect. Whatever citation style you’re using (MLA, APA, Chicago, or others), you need to ensure that your citations stick to the format. And what better way to ensure accuracy in your references than an MLA or APA citation generator!

        All the best citation generators keep a directory of books and sources. All you need to do is enter the name or DOI of your reference material, and the tool shows you a list of titles, complete with various editions. From these, you can select your source and generate the citation.

        In cases where you can’t find your source material in the online directory, you can choose the option to manually generate the citation. The citation generator then gives you a simple form consisting of the book title, date of publishing, names of publisher and author, etc. Once that is filled, the tool generates your MLA, APA, or Chicago citation.

        Yes, it’s that easy. But which is the best citation generator in 2023? Here’s our list of the top ten citation generators:

        1. Citation Machine

        Citation Machine is extremely simple to use for those pursuing research, especially students. It has an impressive variety of citation styles, making it the most flexible citation tool. As an added bonus, it is also great for citing audio and films.

        The tool has a paid version, but upgrading to it might prove useless if the only thing you’re looking for is citations. With the free version of this citation generator, you can: 

        • Add your references (including bibliography) directly to your paper
        • Cite 57 different types of resources, including films and podcasts
        • Use the ‘auto-fill tool’ for resources by simply searching for the title of the resource
        • Create citations in Chicago, MLA, APA, and more than 7,000 other styles

        Paid plans

        Citation Machine’s paid version offers all the features in its free version. At $9.95 a month, however, you can:

        • Check up to 30 papers for plagiarism on a monthly basis

        In another paid plan, Citation Machine charges about $19.95 per month. In this plan, you get the features of the existing plans with two additional benefits:

        • You can work on unlimited papers every month
        • You get video solutions to your problems and Q/A sessions with experts

        2. BibMe

        BibMe is direct and to the point. It is one of the most functional citation generators, with features similar to Citation Machine. The free version helps you:

        • Create citations in four styles: MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian
        • Add citations and a bibliography directly to your paper
        • Perform easy searches for your source, both print and digital, by author name, title, or ISBN
        • Receive up to 20 suggestions on improving your essay. This includes style, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure

        Paid plan

        BibMe’s paid version comes at $9.95 per month, after a free trial of three days. Of course, the premium plan isn’t absolutely essential to anyone looking only for citations. It offers you:

        • Checks for missing citations and plagiarism
        • Unlimited suggestions to help improve your paper

        3. Cite This For Me

        Cite This For Me has a simple and easy to use layout. The tool focuses on Harvard, MLA, and APA styles of formatting, but also supports many other citation styles. Like any good citation generator, its auto cite feature also helps you search for your source material with ease.

        It is a bit heavy on the ads, but also features a blog and citation guides for the most prominent styles. Its free version helps you:

        • Easily create citations using Harvard, MLA, and APA styles for over 30 types of resources
        • Search for sources easily by title, author, or ISBN
        • Download a finished bibliography and share it with your friends

        Paid plan

        You can set up a premium account at $10 per month. Along with an ad-free experience, you get the following features:

        • A plagiarism check on your essay or paper
        • The option to save your work as you progress
        • The option to work on several bibliographies at once and download them in the Word document format

        We recommend working with the free version, since the paid version doesn’t add much to the existing plan. You might as well perform a plagiarism check on specialized checkers, or approach an academic editing service for it!

        4. Opendemia

        Openmedia is more than just a citation generator. It helps you create an automated Works Cited page as well as in-text citations. It also allows you to take notes on the spot and store them, so you can retrieve them later. Needless to say, it also lets you copy formatted citations and add them to your paper directly.

        The best feature of Opendemia, however, is that it allows you to record and store your citations. Not just for the length of the paper, but throughout your entire research tenure. By the time your college or tenure ends, you get an entire library of handy resources!

        Openmedia’s free version has the following features:

        • Citation generation for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles
        • The option to upload images and cite them
        • Assorting all your notes and citations according to each project
        • The feature to add PDF versions of your sources to your document
        • Accessing your attached PDFs on any device
        • Highlighting the exact location of an excerpt or quote from a cited source
        • An add comments section where you can note down why a source is useful
        • Flagging the sources you have used so they automatically appear in your Works Cited page

        Paid plan

        The paid version for Openmedia is a mere $10 per year, which is quite affordable. At that rate, it allows you to:

        • Have an uninterrupted, ad-free experience
        • Create more than one shared folder
        • Cite more than 15 sources per project

        We don’t recommend paid plans often, but this one is definitely worth the price! Its incredibly organized layout is geared towards reducing students’ stress. It makes citations relaxing, and if that isn’t impressive, we don’t know what is.

        5. Zotero 

        Zotero is completely free to use. It is available both as a browser extension and as an add-on for Word. No more rifling through webpages to generate and list down your citations!

        Like Openmedia, Zotero is also a research assistant. Aside from being a good citation generator, it also performs a number of other tasks. It senses research on the web that you can use and helps organize your materials and projects.

        Here are the benefits of using Zotero (free version):

        • Over 100,000 citation styles (according to their website)
        • Tag your sources with keywords and create collections to organize your work
        • Create citations in a Word or Google document directly
        • Co-write a paper with ease
        • Generate a bibliography with multiple people

        Paid plan

        Zotero is a free platform and there is no paid version that offers you extra features. However, if you’re a heavy researcher, you can purchase a storage capacity of more than 2GB for $20 per year.

        6. Citefast 

        Citefast is a basic but efficient referencing tool. It is a completely free citation generator and has no paid version. But if you want to retain your citations for longer than four days, you’ll have to create a free account.

        Here’s what you get with Citefast:

        • Generate citations quickly in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles
        • Find your sources quickly for automatic citations
        • You can cite 18 different types of source materials
        • Comprehensive list of citation pointers for APA, MLA and Chicago styles
        • Export your citations easily

        7. Paperpile 

        Paperpile operates as a Chrome extension. It is a completely free reference management platform for the web. It’s available in various formats, including versions for iOS, Android, and Word.

        This free citation generator helps you:

        • Collate your references using the web extension
        • Cite using the Chicago, MLA, APA, and many more styles
        • Organize all your material in Google Drive
        • Avail your PDF collection across devices
        • Generate citations in Google Docs

        8. EasyBib

        While EasyBib is a popular tool among students, it still ranks lower in our list of the top ten citation generators. This is because the free version of this tool is quite limiting and only generates citations in the MLA style.

        Nevertheless, it is an efficient and widely used citation generator. EasyBib’s free version allows you to:

        • Cite using the MLA style
        • Use the auto-cite tool to search for sources through title, ISBN, and author name
        • Cite over 50 types of sources, both digital and print
        • Save your citations
        • Check your paper for up to five grammar mistakes

        Paid plans

        EasyBib Plus is $9.95 per month after a free trial. With this plan, you can:

        • Create citations using APA, Chicago, and over 7000 other styles
        • Create in-text citations and footnotes
        • Check your paper for unlimited grammar errors
        • Check your paper for plagiarism
        • Get expert help on up to 30 papers per month

        With an extra upgrade of $19.95 per month, you can also avail:

        • Expert help on unlimited papers
        • Textbook solutions and Q&A with a subject expert
        • Practice problems with video solutions for technical subjects
        • An instant math solver

        Suffice to say, this is an impressive list of services. If you need these and can afford them, the price seems to be worth the services. But most people can do with a simple citation and avail other services elsewhere at better prices.

        9. OttoBib

        OttoBib is basic, no-nonsense, and to the point: all the features of a good citation generator! It is completely free, and is also available as a chrome extension. All you need to do is enter the ISBN of your book and it will generate the citation automatically.

        While the tool doesn’t offer a variety of sources and reference styles, it is still widely used due to its simple interface. This is precisely why it has found a place in our list of the top ten citation generators in 2023! With OttoBib, you can:

        • Search any book by its ISBN
        • Generate citations in MLA, APA, or Chicaco style

        10.  Citelighter

        Aside from generating citations, Citelighter also helps you find sources, highlight important pages and quotes, and create notes. It is also available as an extension for Google Docs.

        With its free version, you get:

        • Web content capturing tools
        • Outlining tools for your paper
        • Citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles
        • A Google Docs integration

        Paid plan

        At $15 per year, the paid plan offers many benefits, but most of them are geared toward writing rather than citing. Here are a few of them:

        • Unlimited access to academic articles
        • Collection of video-based lessons for students
        • Writing templates

        Why should you always double-check your references?

        Despite being very advanced, even the best citation generators are machines. What you need is a human expert to review your paper and ensure that the formatting is done correctly. Even something as little as a mistake in the citation style can bring your grades down!

        An academic editor will check for machine errors and ensure that your essay, paper, or thesis is flawless. Here’s a list of the top 10 thesis editing and proofreading services. Best of luck! 

        Found this article helpful?


        Prasanna Linkedin

        Prasanna is on a little break from academia and spends his time compiling fiction writing tips. He enjoys poetry, mythology, and drawing lotuses on any surface he can find.

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