Published Mar 26, 2024 ⦁ 14 min read
APA Style Works Cited Generator: A User Guide

APA Style Works Cited Generator: A User Guide

Looking for a hassle-free way to handle APA style citations? An APA style works cited generator is your go-to tool, ensuring your references are accurate and formatted correctly, saving you time and effort. Here's a quick guide to what you'll discover:

  • The Benefits: Fast, accurate citation formatting in APA style, suitable for a variety of sources.
  • Understanding APA Guidelines: Key insights into in-text citations and reference lists.
  • Choosing the Right Generator: A comparison of popular tools like Citation Machine, EasyBib, Scribbr, and BibMe.
  • How to Use a Generator: Steps from selecting source types to generating and copying citations.
  • Advanced Features: From building bibliographies to syncing with citation managers.
  • Troubleshooting Common Issues: Solutions for site errors, incorrect formatting, and more.
  • Best Practices: Tips for verifying accuracy and keeping your sources organized.

This guide aims to simplify your research writing process by leveraging the power of APA citation generators, helping you focus more on content than citations.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are little notes in your paper that tell your readers where you got your information. There are two ways to do this:

  • Parenthetical citations are when you put the author's last name and the year they published their work in parentheses, like this: (Smith, 2022).
  • Narrative citations are when you mention the author's name as part of your sentence, and just put the year in parentheses, like this: Smith (2022) says...

If you're quoting someone directly, you should also include the page number right after their quote, inside the parentheses.

Using in-text citations the right way helps your readers know when you're using someone else's ideas and where to find the full details.

Reference List

At the end of your paper, you'll list all the sources you cited. This list should include:

  • The author's last name and first initials
  • The year they published their work
  • The title of what you're citing
  • Where it was published, like the name of a journal or a publisher
  • A link or DOI if it's online

Arrange this list alphabetically by the author's last name. Making your reference list this way helps your readers quickly find the sources you mentioned.

Getting both in-text citations and your reference list right is important. It shows you respect other authors' work and makes it easy for your readers to find those sources. APA style guidelines help you do this correctly.

Choosing an APA Citation Generator

When you're looking for an APA citation generator, think about a few key things to make sure you pick the best one for you:

Generator Accuracy Source Types Ease of Use
Citation Machine Very accurate with few errors noted. Double checks formatting against latest APA guidelines. Supports over 20 source types including books, journals, websites, and more obscure items like interviews and scientific papers. Simple and straightforward to use. Offers helpful guides for tricky citations.
EasyBib Mostly accurate but some users find mistakes in formatting, capitalization, and punctuation. Has all the main source types but lacks options for more unique materials like images or lectures. Pretty user-friendly but can feel a bit crowded. Importing citations can be a bit of a hassle.
Scribbr Known for being very accurate with a strong checking process. Keeps up-to-date to correct errors. Includes common sources and unique ones like slide decks and textbooks. Very easy and clean to use. Offers good how-to guides.
BibMe Sometimes makes mistakes in older APA editions and has some formatting issues. Covers important sources like books and journals but misses many specific item types. Okay to use but not as smooth as others. Importing and exporting could be better.

Accuracy Matters Most

Getting your citations right is super important in research writing. Even small mistakes can cost you points. So, choosing a citation generator that gets things right is key.

Citation Machine and Scribbr are good because they check their work and keep their systems up-to-date. Less accurate generators might not fix mistakes or check their citations as carefully.

Covering All Your Source Bases

Depending on what you're studying, you might need to cite all kinds of sources - from books and articles to things like YouTube videos or photos. Make sure the generator you choose can handle everything you need to cite.

Some tools, like Citation Machine, can even help with really specific stuff like patents or sheet music. Check that the generator has what you need before you start using it.

Considering Convenience Factors

A good APA generator should be easy to use. You don't want to struggle with a confusing interface. Some tools have clear forms and guides that make it simple to enter your source information.

Also, being able to easily move your citations to where you need them, like into a reference manager, is a big plus. Some generators make this easier than others.

Picking a generator that's accurate, supports all the sources you need, and is easy to use can make your research writing a lot smoother. With less to worry about for citations, you can focus more on writing a great paper.

Using an APA Citation Generator

Selecting Source Type

When you're using an APA citation generator, start by picking what kind of source you need to cite. You'll see options like:

  • Book: This covers all sorts of books, whether they're on paper, online, or even audio versions.
  • Journal Article: Use this for articles from academic journals.
  • Website: This is for web pages or entire websites.
  • Video: Choose this for things like YouTube videos or documentaries.
  • Image: For citing pictures, drawings, or artworks.

Look through the list and pick the one that fits what you're citing. If you're not sure, choose the closest match. Some generators have an "Other" option for stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else.

Entering Source Details

Next, you'll fill in details about your source. This usually includes:

  • The author's name(s)
  • When it was published
  • The title
  • Who published it or where it came from

For websites, you'll also need the URL and when you last looked at it.

Find this information on your source. For books or articles, check the first few or last few pages. For websites, look at the top or bottom of the page.

Make sure you enter everything correctly. The generator needs accurate info to make a right citation. Double-check what you've put in before moving on.

Generating & Copying Citations

After you put in your details, the generator will make a citation for you. You'll get:

  • An in-text citation that you put in your paper when you mention this source. It looks like this: (Doe, 2020).
  • A full reference that goes at the end of your paper. It's longer and has more details, like this: Doe, J. (2020). Citing made easy. Journal of Citation Studies, 34(2), 42-58.

Check the citation to make sure there are no mistakes. If you find any, go back and fix your entries. Once it looks good, copy and paste both parts into your paper.

Using a citation generator makes it easier to give credit to sources in your papers. With just a few steps, you can get the citations you need.

Advanced Features

APA citation generators have some cool extra tools that make working with your references even easier.

Building Your Bibliography

These generators can help you keep all your citations in one place. This is super helpful for:

  • Keeping track of all your sources
  • Sorting your references in order
  • Turning your list of sources into a document for your paper

With these tools, you can:

  • Add citations while you're doing your research
  • Edit or delete entries if things change
  • Move references around easily
  • Pick different citation styles if you need, like MLA or Chicago
  • Download your bibliography with a simple click

Having all your sources in one spot makes managing them way easier.

Connecting to Word Processors

Some citation tools can link right to programs like Microsoft Word. This means you can:

  • Put in-text citations into your paper quickly
  • Add references without much hassle
  • Make bibliographies right in your document
  • Switch between citation styles without a sweat

This makes writing and citing sources less of a headache because everything you need is right there.

Syncing with Citation Managers

Some generators work well with programs that help you organize your research, like Zotero or Mendeley. These programs let you:

  • Keep your sources in order
  • Organize your research in a way that makes sense to you
  • Add notes to remember important details
  • Put citations into Word
  • Make a bibliography for your paper

Linking your citation tool with these programs means you can:

  • Move citations from the generator to the manager and back
  • Keep everything updated across both tools

This setup saves you time and makes writing papers a bit easier. Choosing a citation generator with these features means you've got a really helpful tool for your research.


Troubleshooting Issues

Having trouble with APA citation generators can be a bit annoying, but here are some common snags you might hit and how to fix them.

Site Errors or Bugs

If the citation tool isn't working right or keeps showing errors, first see if they've mentioned any problems on their website or social media. They often let users know if something's up.

If it's just you having trouble, try these steps:

  • Refresh the webpage
  • Clear your browser's history and cache
  • Try using a different web browser
  • Open a private browsing window

Still not working? Reach out to their help team and explain what's going wrong.

Incorrect Formatting

Make sure you picked the correct type of source and typed in all the details right. Small mistakes can mess up the format.

Look at your citation and compare it to the official APA examples. If something's not matching up:

  • Go back and fix any mistakes in your source info
  • Pick a different category if you chose the wrong one
  • Try making the citation again

If it's still off, let the site know. They might need to fix something.

Can't Find Obscure Sources

Some tools might not have every single type of source. If you're trying to cite something unusual, like a mobile app or a painting, check their help section first.

If you can't find what you're looking for, pick the closest match and fill in as much info as you can. It might not be perfect, but it'll work.

You can also suggest they add new source types. They might include it in future updates if enough people ask.

Issues Exporting/Importing

Having trouble moving your citations? First, make sure you're allowed to export or import. Then, double-check you're following the right steps listed on the site.

If you're importing and it's not working, make sure your file is the right type. Some sites only accept certain formats. If everything seems correct but it's still not working, there might be small errors in your file. Try fixing these yourself first.

If you're stuck, contact the help team and give them details about what's happening. They can usually help sort it out.

By tackling these issues head-on, you'll make citing sources a lot smoother next time around.

Best Practices

Here are some tips for using APA citation generators the right way and keeping your sources organized:

Verify Accuracy

  • Always double-check the citations the generator makes. Sometimes they can make mistakes with the format or miss some details.
  • Use the official APA Style guide or Purdue OWL website as a reference to make sure everything looks right. Fix any errors you see.
  • If you keep finding mistakes, try using a different generator that's known for being more accurate, like Citation Machine or Scribbr.

Cite Responsibly

  • Use generators as a tool to help you, but don't rely on them to do everything.
  • Make sure you actually read and understand each source you're citing. Use them in your paper in a way that makes sense.
  • Don't just cite a bunch of sources because it's easy. Focus on citing the main ones that are really important to your paper.

Keep Organized Records

  • Start saving your citations as soon as you find your sources. Don't wait until the last minute. Keep them organized in folders by topic.
  • Write down why you cited each source and how you plan to use it. This will help you remember later on.
  • Save your citation files in more than one place so you don't lose anything. Using citation manager software can also help keep things organized.
  • If you have any handwritten notes about your sources, make sure to add them to your digital files when you're done.

By following these tips, you'll use citation generators correctly and make sure you're giving proper credit to the sources in your paper. Putting in this extra effort will make your work look more professional.


Using an APA style works cited generator is like having a helpful tool that makes sure your references are set up right. Here's a quick look at why they're so useful:

Saves You Time

Writing out all the details for your references can eat up a lot of time. With a generator, you get everything done fast, so you can focus more on your writing.

Creates Accuracy

It's easy to make mistakes when you're trying to get all the details right by yourself. These generators make sure your citations are spot on.

Supports All Source Types

No matter what you're citing—a book, a website, a YouTube video, or something less common like a painting—these tools can handle it.

Keeps Things Organized

You can keep all your citations in one place, move them around easily, and get a list whenever you need it. This helps keep your work tidy.

Offers Added Features

Some generators come with extra tools, like helping you build a bibliography or connect with programs that help you organize your research.

Prevents Plagiarism

By making sure your citations are correct, you show which ideas are yours and which come from other people. This is important for keeping your work honest.

With these generators, you can quickly make sure your references are right, which means less worrying about details and more time for writing great papers.

How do you cite a style guide in APA?

When you're citing in APA style, just use the author's last name and the year it was published. Like this: (Field, 2005). If you're quoting them directly, also include the page number, like this: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For stuff without page numbers, like websites or e-books, use a paragraph number instead.

What is the best APA 7 citation generator?

Scribbr's citation generator is great because it automatically creates accurate references and in-text citations for free. It follows the newest rules from the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual (2020).

How to do work cited in APA format?

When citing sources in APA format, use the author-date method for in-text citations. This means you include the author's last name and the publication year in the text, like this: (Jones, 1998). Then, at the end of your paper, make sure to add a full reference for each source in your reference list.

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