Friday, September 9, 2011

This one's for the students

Going to school? Me too! Are you writing a paper? So am I! Do you think that the "Works cited" page is the hardest part? I know I do.

I used to just write down a list of all my references, and then leave the actual composition and formatting of the list until the very last moment. Why? Because it was hard.

I didn't know how to cite different types of resources. What if I wanted to cite a web page, or a newspaper article, or a documentary film? What if the professor wanted my references in APA format, and I'm only familiar with MLA? The whole process was daunting, and procrastinating only made it worse.

Well, I've discovered that there are good citation tools online. I don't mean websites that explain the rules (although there are lots of those) - I'm talking about websites that do all the work.

I like BibMe. It's free to sign up for an account. If you need to cite a book, type in the author, title, or ISBN in the search box, select your book, and voila - it creates a citation for you, in whatever format you need. Same thing with magazine articles - you type in the relevant information, and BibMe creates the cite. You can paste the url of a website into the search box and get a cite for an Internet resource.

BibMe will save several bibliographies for you in whatever format you need, so you can paste them right into your papers.

I went back to school a few years ago to get a degree in Library Science, and I've been using BibMe for all my projects. I wish it had been around back in my undergrad days - it's certainly easier than the way we used to do it.

If you're a student, take all the help you can get - try BibMe.

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