If you hate dealing with citations, we get you. They’re tedious, time-consuming and so boring. But they are absolutely necessary to make your research credible and to establish you as the expert in the field. Instead of painstakingly citing sources by hand, we have a list of citation generators for you, which will make your referencing process much, much easier. 


Free and Paid Citation Generators

#1 Citation Machine

Citation Machine is extremely simple to use for those pursuing research, and especially for students, as it has all the styles most students could need. An added bonus is that it’s great for citing audio and films. It has a paid version, but upgrading to that might prove useless if the only thing you’re looking for is citations. With the free version, you can:


  • Add your references (including bibliography) directly to your paper. 
  • Cite 57 different types of resources, which includes 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. 


*Citation Machine’s paid version offers the same features as it does in its free version, but with $9.95 a month, you can detect plagiarism in your paper and use it for upto 30 papers a month.

It also offers another paid plan for $19.95 per month, in which you can work on unlimited papers every month, get video solutions and Q/A sessions with experts in addition to the above-mentioned features. 


#2 BibMe

BibMe’s citation features are very similar to Citation Machine. With the free version, you can:

  • Create citations in MLA, APA, Chicago formats and more. 
  • Add citations and a bibliography directly to your paper.
  • Easily search for sources by author, title, or ISBN.


*Just like Citation Machine, BibMe’s paid version offers plagiarism detection and grammar checks for $9.95 per month, so you could go for it if you absolutely need the extra features, otherwise a free version is fine.

#3 Cite This For Me

Cite This For Me can help you create citations and bibliographies with a simple and easy to use layout. The free version of the citation generator helps you to:

  • Easily create citations using MLA, APA, and Harvard styles for over 30 types of resources.
  • Search for sources easily by title, author, or ISBN by using their auto citation tool.
  • Export a bibliography or share it with others.

*By upgrading to a premium account ($10/month), you can:

  • Have your paper checked for plagiarism.
  • Create several bibliographies simultaneously.


We would recommend you to use the free version of the tool if you are doing preliminary research, because you can check for plagiarism on any free tool available on the internet. 

#4 Opendemia

Unlike EasyBib (scroll down), the free version of Opendemia allows students to create Works Cited pages and in-text citations. They can also take notes on these sources and access them to copy the formatted citations directly into their papers. Another feature of Opendemia is that it allows you to record and store your citations throughout your college/research tenure to keep a library of your resources handy. 

The free version allows users to:

  • Generate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations.
  • Cite images.
  • Attach PDFs of each source to your document and access them on any device.
  • Have a note section for each source and help them keep track of why they think it would be useful.
  • Mark all quotes/sources cited as “used” so they automatically appear in your ‘Works Cited’ page. 


*The paid version, which is $10/year, allows you to have an uninterrupted and ad-free experience, create more than one shared folder, and cite over 15 sources per project.

#5 Zotero

Zotero is free and can be used as a browser extension or add-on for Word. At no cost, you can:

  • Cite your sources by using over 9,000 styles, which would include APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. (They have not explicitly mentioned the styles on their website, but with 9,000 styles, they’re bound to include the ones that are most in use.)
  • Organize your research by tagging sources with keywords, and then saving them to ‘collections’.
  • Cite directly inside a Word document or Google Doc.
  • Build a collaborative bibliography with others. If you’re working on a research project with multiple people, it will be easier for you to collate each bibliography to build an extensive one. 

*There is no paid version that offers you extra features, but if you’re a heavy researcher, purchasing the storage capacity of more than 2GB for $20 per year would be a major help.

#6 Citefast

Citefast has a relatively simple user interface. It’s totally free and offers:

  • APA, MLA and Chicago to cover all your basic reference needs as well as an in-text citation generator.
  • A library for you to browse from, which includes: webpages, books, journals, and newspapers.
  • Comprehensive list of citation style pointers for APA, MLA and Chicago.

#7 PaperPile

Paperpile is another free extension for Chrome that allows users to easily search and cite books.

At no cost, you can:

  • Search a book on Amazon and use the extension to automatically create a citation.
  • Read in-depth articles about citation styles, referencing, research, and a lot more. (useful for researchers who are new to the whole process of citation).
  • Cite sources using the Chicago, MLA, APA, and many more styles.
  • Collect references from articles.
  • Sync all your papers to Google Drive and simultaneously cite them in Google Docs.

#8 EasyBib

Easybib is a very popular tool among students for citing sources. But with the free version, you’re a little more limited because it offers only the MLA citation style.  

With the free version, you can:

  • Search for sources easily by title, author, or URL to take advantage of the auto-cite tool
  • Cite over 50 types of resources.
  • Cite using the MLA style only.
  • Save your citations.


*When you upgrade to EasyBib Plus ($9.95/month after your free trial), you can:

  • Create citations using APA, Chicago, and over 7,000 other styles.
  • Create in-text citations and footnotes.

If you want to generate in-text citations and footnotes, you should definitely think about going for the paid version of EasyBib. 

In case you can’t make up your mind about which tool to go for, this table might make it easier for you:

Citation Generator Multiple Citation Styles Free Collaborative Bibliography  Chrome Extension
Citation Machine Yes ( upto 7,000) Yes No  No
Opendemia Yes (APA, MLA, Chicago) Yes No No
Cite This For Me Yes Yes No Yes
BibMe Yes Yes Yes No
Zotero Yes Yes Yes No
CiteFast Yes Yes No Yes


PaperPile Yes Yes No Yes
EasyBib (Free) No Yes No No
EasyBib (Paid) Yes No No No

Despite the citation generators helping you out with generating hundreds of citations, there might be minor glitches that you’ll need to sort out by yourself. At PaperTrue, our academic editors mark where your citation generators have taken a tiny nap and help you produce flawless citations, deleting robotic errors. Read about top 10 editing and proofreading services here. 

Related articles:

  1. This Is How Citations Are Done In APA Dissertations And Theses
  2. Why is it Important to Cite Your Sources?
  3. Formatting Tips on MS Word for Dissertations
  4. Citing References: APA, MLA, and Chicago