APA is a citation norm and writing style published by the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. APA Style is typically used in the field of social sciences, but you can also find it on the web because it has been developed to aid reading comprehension and improve the clarity of communication.

The rules of APA Style are described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which has over 250 pages and covers everything from manuscript structure and content to writing clarity and conciseness to punctuation, spelling, capitalization, the use of italics, abbreviations, numbers, metrication, statistical and mathematical copy, equations, and other mechanics of style.

apa citation machine

Unsurprisingly, not many people are keen on reading over 250 pages that talk about nothing else but various aspects of the writing process. The good news is that it’s possible to write in accordance with the APA Style even without reading the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. How? With the help of APA citation tools.

APA citation tools allow you to generate valid APA citations of books, scientific papers, websites, online videos, and you about everything else without being familiar with APA Style. Some can even check your document formatting to ensure that your headings, tables, and figures are all as they should be. To help you start writing without any unnecessary delay, we’ve selected top 7 free APA citation tools that you can download and use right now.

 

1. Zotero

apa citation

Zotero is a free and open-source reference management software whose purpose is to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research. It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it supports APA Style as well as more than 8,000 other citation styles. To save you time, Zotero automatically senses research on the web, allowing you to import a scientific article or a news story with a single click. Everything you put in Zotero can be optionally synchronized across your devices, so your research material is always readily available.

How to use Zotero:

  1. Go to: https://www.zotero.org/.
  2. Click the Download button.
  3. Select the version for your operating system.
  4. Open the downloaded file and follow the instructions.
  5. Go to: https://www.zotero.org/support/quick_start_guide.
  6. Read the Quick Start Guide to learn how to collect, organize, and cite research resources using Zotero.
 

2. EasyBib

bibliography maker

EasyBib is an online bibliography generator that supports APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles. For $9.95 a month, you can upgrade to EasyBib Plus and enjoy unlimited suggestions to improve your writing style, grammar, and sentence structure, unlimited checks for unintentional plagiarism, unlimited citations directly to your paper, and multiple styles and source types to choose from to create accurate citations. If you’re working on your first APA paper, EasyBib Plus is definitely worth the money as it can be a real lifesaver.

How to use EasyBib:

  1. Go to: http://www.easybib.com/.
  2. Click “I only want to create citation.”
  3. Choose your preferred citation style using the buttons at the top of the page.
  4. Choose your source type and enter the URL of your source into the source field.
  5. Press the Cite button to generate a valid citation.
 

3. Mendeley

apa format

Mendeley is a proprietary application for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online. Academics use it to generate references, citations, and bibliographies in a whole range of journal styles with just a few clicks, receive personalized recommendations to stay up to date, share documents with groups of colleagues and annotate them together. Mendeley works on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it has a handy web importer that allows you to quickly add articles from any supported website directly into your reference library, as well as a plug-in for Word, LibreOffice, and BibTeX.

How to use Mendeley:

  1. Go to: https://www.mendeley.com/.
  2. Click the Download now button.
  3. Download the version for your operating system.
  4. Read the official guide and watch video tutorials to learn how to generate APA citations with the application.
 

4. BibMe

apa citation

BibMe is a no-frills bibliography maker with a plagiarism, citation, grammar, and punctuation checker. It offers basically the same functionality as EasyBib, only in a different package. Even the previous version of BibMe costs the same: $9.95 a month.

How to use BibMe:

  1. Go to: http://www.bibme.org/.
  2. Click “I only want to create citation.”
  3. Choose your preferred citation style using the buttons at the top of the page.
  4. Choose your source type and enter the URL of your source into the source field.
  5. Press the Cite button to generate a valid citation.
 

5. Qiqqa

cite generator

Qiqqa is freemium reference management software for researchers who cite hundreds of research documents in a variety of citations styles. The software can automatically identify and categorize research material to make it easier to find what you’re looking for, and it keeps all your documents secure and accessible across all your devices. Aspiring researchers will appreciate Quiqqa’s ability to highly the most influential papers in a research niche.

How to use Qiqqa:

  1. Go to: http://www.qiqqa.com/.
  2. Click the Download button located in the top menu.
  3. Download Qiqqa for your operating system.
  4. Read the official manual to learn how to use the software to manage research material and generate APA citations.
 

6. Citation Machine

apa citation generator

Citation Machine is an online citation generator aimed at students and professionals who need to cite their sources in APA, Chicago, or any other popular citation style. The service allows you to upload your paper and have it checked for citation errors, grammar mistakes, and plagiarism.

How to use Citation Machine:

  1. Go to: http://www.citationmachine.net/.
  2. Click “I only want to create citation.”
  3. Choose your preferred citation style using the buttons at the top of the page.
  4. Choose your source type and enter the URL of your source into the source field.
  5. Press the Cite button to generate a valid citation.
 

7. Papers

free apa citation

Papers by ReadCube is a reference management software for macOS and Windows. You can use it to collect and curate research material, read papers with highlight support, and keep everything in sync across all your devices. Papers supports over 7,000 citation styles, including APA. You can use the application for free for up to 30 days, and a license costs €59 or €34 for students.

How to use Papers on a Mac:

  1. Go to: https://www.readcube.com/papers/.
  2. Click the Download for macOS button.
  3. Open the downloaded file.
  4. Follow the instructions.

How to use Papers on a Windows computer:

  1. Go to: https://www.readcube.com/. ReadCube is a sister app of Papers.
  2. Click the Try ReadCube button.
  3. Open the downloaded file.
  4. Follow the instructions.
 

Conclusion

Writing in APA Style doesn’t have to be torture. There are many excellent free APA citation tools that can generate valid APA citations for you with a click of a button and save from reading the 250-page official style manual for APA Style.