Student Relish

Referencing tools to save your life

Ok maybe the title is a bit of an exaggeration. These tools won’t save your life, but they’ll save you time, effort, and the stress of making a bibliography the old-fashioned way.

Citing and sourcing is the hands down the worst part of any school assignment. But it doesn’t have to be. The below 5 tools will change the way you think of bibliographies (ranked from easiest to most user-intensive).


1. Citethisforme

PROS: easy-to-use, automatic citation writer, fast, has Harvard-style referencing (which is essential for UK students) and FREE!

CONS: your bibliography will only be available to you for a couple of days, and then it will time out and you’ll have to restart. But if you get in the habit of copy-pasting the bibliography into your working document for your assignment as soon as you produce it, you’ll be fine.

2. RefME

PROS: easy-to-use, saves your bibliographies to your account and you can write multiple bibliographies all at once, has Harvard-style referencing, FREE, comes in the form of a mobile app (that can scan books to find the reference) or online (easier for the actual essay-writing part).

CONS: doesn’t have the extensive searching ability of Citethisforme (meaning that you can find more sources on Citethisforme than on RefMe, so you’ll have to do more manual adds on RefME).

3. Neil’s Toolbox

PROS: Harvard-style referencing, easy to use, FREE!

CONS: You have to fill out the citation form for each citation you want to use…which can be long and boring. But if you’re not good at citing and want to learn how to do it, this is a great tool to get you started.


4. QUT Cite Tool

PROS: This Queensland University of Technology site walks you through all the citing and referencing rules of Harvard style. Excellent for double-checking your bibliography, proof-reading the citations in your essay, and for learning how Harvard style works.

CONS: Won’t do any actual citing or referencing for you. It’s purely an educational tool.

5. Dairy Science

PROS: Has the most diverse range of citation options (for example: CD-ROM, Birth/Death/Marriage Certificate, Congress Hearing, Painting, etc…)

CONS: Won’t do any actual citing or referencing for you, but it will help you to reference those hard-to-reference sources that the others won’t.


We hope you find this list helpful and that your referencing skills improve as a result!

Best of luck with your papers/exams/assessments/essays/etc.


Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Categories: Student Relish