Citation Guidance

by Christian S. Pham — last modified 2017-11-28T16:48:15-04:00
Citation Guidance

Mercer's librarians are always happy to give guidance on why and how to properly cite sources, The library has pages on how to cite sources here and here.

Citation Managers

One of the easiest ways to avoid plagiarism is to track your sources as you find them, and a citation management tool is a great way to do that. There are a number of great citation managers, but we recommend either EndNote Web, which we subscribe to for you, or Zotero, which is an open source citation manager that has browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox.

EndNote Web — EndNote Web is designed to help users manage all the references they use in their research. You can import citations into EndNote Web with a few clicks and it will create your bibliography in the format you specify (APA, AMA, etc.)

Zotero — Zotero will not only manage your citations, it's browser plugin will also keep attachments of PDFs for journals articles when you save the citation information. Guidance on using Zotero can be found here, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

Formatting and Citation Guidance Online

If you want to find out what regulation margins are in APA or if you should double-space your footnotes in Chicago, the library recommends using Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. The OWL group of cites will help you format and cite papers in APAMLAAMA, and Chicago style.

The OWL guides often contain guidance on in-text citation, use of footnotes, bibliography entries, and paper formats (which often include annotated sample papers). They also have tutorials on grammarwriting outlinesEnglish as a Second language, and writing for job searches.

Physical Manuals

Mercer's libraries have physical copies of a number of citation styles on hand for in-house use. This includes copies of The MLA Handbook (also in Atlanta),  the Concise Rules of APA Style, the Chicago Manual of Style,  and the AMA Manual of Style. See the main desk to check out the manuals.

Getting Extra Help

For Macon students, the librarians at Jack Tarver Library will be happy to assist you with citation checks. Come visit them at the reference desk, and they'll make sure your in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographic entries have been completed correctly according to the appropriate style. They also often know how to cite obscure items like graffiti, publications with corporate authors, and attributed quotes. You can also email us at library_reference@mercer.edu or call us at (478) 301-2055.