Chapter 13: Works Cited

Document Your Research As You Go! (or, How Not to Cry When Creating a Bibliography)

Writing an essay begins with gathering evidence — reading, looking for themes and patterns, following leads to other texts, and taking notes. As you read the work of other scholars and think about your approach to the topic, make it a habit to keep track of where you found the ideas and themes that spark your interest. Always note the author, date, and title in your notes to ensure you can find that source again. Keeping careful track also reduces errors in your final bibliography, which is a key part of your essay. Details are important. Citations include names of people, titles, dates and volume numbers. Formatting styles including punctuation.

These details are easy to keep track of when you use a citation manager. Citation managers (a.k.a. reference managers) are software programs that allow you to save and organize your citations, and quickly create bibliographies for your assignments. Using a digital tool will save you so much time when referring back to your sources and writing your paper and preparing your bibliography.

Activity: Review the TMU Libraries’ information on citation managers and  choose the one that best suits your working style

Wikipedia has a detailed page comparing citation managers (some of which are free)

TMU Libraries’ Zotero Guide


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Write Here, Right Now: An Interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and Research Copyright © 2018 by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.