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Citation Styles & Tools

A brief explanation of citation fundamentals and a guide to useful resources.

About Zotero


Zotero is a free, open source software developed to help manage sources and citations. By using Zotero you can:

  • Organize sources into collections for projects
  • Attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations
  • Create bibliographies using Word or Open Office

Zotero has their own guide on how to use the tool and a number of video tutorials through their site.

Getting and Installing Zotero

Zotero will run on any operating system. Installation only takes a few seconds.

1) Go to Zotero's website and click the red "Download Now" button. You'll want to download the standalone for managing your sources and a browser connector for adding material you find on the web.


2) Once you download the Firefox plugin, you need to restart Firefox. You'll see a small Zotero button at the top left.

3) You'll probably also want to install the Microsoft Word citation plugin or the OpenOffice plugin. These allow you to easily cite items from your Zotero library in your papers.

Problems installing? Check the Zotero installation page.

Using Word Plugin

The Zotero Word plugin allows you to pull intext citations into your paper from your Zotero library during the writing process, and then generate a bibliography of those citations used.

1) Go through Tools > Templates and Add ins in Words to enable Zotero. 

2) Once enabled, you'll need to restart Word before it shows up as one of your tabs.


3) While writing you can now use the Add/Edit Citation feature to insert a citation for material in your Zotero library. You'll need to select a citation method (APA, MLA, etc.) before continuing and citations will be in that format moving forward.


Once you've finished writing, use the Add/Edit Bibliography feature to generate a bibliography of all the articles, books, or materials you've cited in your paper using Zotero's in-text citation feature. Zotero will remember what you've cited and create a bibliography, references, or works cited section.