What Is RefME’s Reference Generator?

RefME’s open-access generator is an automated citation machine that turns any of your sources into references in just a click. Using a reference generator helps students to integrate referencing into their research and writing routine; turning a time-consuming ordeal into a simple task.

A referencing generator accesses information from across the web, drawing the relevant information into a fully-formatted bibliography that clearly presents all of the sources that have contributed to your work.

If you don’t know how to reference a website correctly, or have a fast-approaching deadline, RefME’s accurate and intuitive reference generator will lend you the confidence to realise your full academic potential. In order to get a grade that reflects all your hard work, your references must be accurate and complete. Using a citation machine not only saves you time but also ensures that you don’t lose valuable marks on your assignment.

Not sure how to format your citations, what citations are, or just want to find out more about RefME’s reference generator? This guide outlines everything you need to know to equip yourself with the know-how and confidence to research and cite a wide range of diverse sources in your work.

Why Do I Need To Reference?

Simply put, when another source contributes to your work, you have to give the original owner the appropriate credit. After all, you wouldn’t steal someone else’s possessions so why would you steal their ideas?

Regardless of whether you are referencing a website, an article or a podcast, any factual material or ideas you take from another source must be acknowledged in a citation unless it is common knowledge (e.g. Winston Churchill was English). Failing to credit all of your sources, even when you’ve paraphrased or completely reworded the information, is plagiarism. Plagiarising will result in disciplinary action, which can range from losing precious marks on your assignment to expulsion from your university.

What’s more, attributing your research infuses credibility and authority into your work, both by supporting your own ideas and by demonstrating the breadth of your research. For many students, crediting sources can be a confusing and tedious process, but it’s a surefire way to improve the quality of your work so it’s essential to get it right. Luckily for you, using RefME’s reference generator makes creating accurate references easier than ever, leaving more time for you to excel in your studies.

In summary, the citing process serves three main functions:

  • To validate the statements and conclusions in your work by providing directions to other sound sources that support and verify them.

  • To help your readers locate, read and check your sources, as well as establishing their contribution to your work.

  • To give credit to the original author and hence avoid committing intellectual property theft (known as ‘plagiarism’ in academia).

How Do I Cite My Sources With The RefME Referencing Generator?

RefME’s reference generator is the most accurate citation machine available, so whether you’re not sure how to format in-text references or are looking for a foolproof solution to automate a fully-formatted bibliography, this referencing generator will solve all of your citing needs.

Crediting your source material doesn’t just prevent you from losing valuable marks for plagiarism, it also provides all of the information to help your reader find for themselves the book, article, or other item you are citing. The accessible interface of the reference generator makes it easy for you to identify the source you have used - simply enter its unique identifier into the citation machine search bar. If this information is not available you can search for the title or author instead, and then select from the search results that appear below the reference generator.

Don’t know how to reference a website? The good news is that by using tools such as RefME’s reference generator, which help you work smarter, you don’t need to limit your research to sources that are traditional to cite. In fact, there are no limits to what you can cite, whether you are referencing a website, a YouTube video or a tweet.

To use the reference generator, simply:

  • Select your style from Harvard, APA, OSCOLA and many more*

  • Choose the type of source you would like to cite (e.g. website, book, journal, video)

  • Enter the URL, DOI, ISBN, title, or other unique source information to find your source

  • Click the ‘Cite’ button on the reference generator

  • Copy your new citation straight from the referencing generator into your bibliography

  • Repeat for each source that has contributed to your work.

*If you require another style for your paper, essay or other academic work, you can select from over 7,500 styles by creating a free RefME account.

Once you have created your RefME account you will be able to use the reference generator to create multiple references and save them into a project. Use RefME’s highly-rated iOS or Android apps to generate references in a flash with your smartphone camera, export your complete bibliography in one go, and much more.

What Will The Reference Generator Create For Me?

RefME’s reference generator will create your citation in two parts: an in-text citation and a full citation to be copied straight into your work.

The reference generator will auto-generate the correct formatting for your bibliography depending on your chosen style. For instance, if you select a parenthetical style the reference generator will generate an in-text citation in parentheses, along with a full citation to slot into your bibliography. Likewise, if the reference generator is set to a footnote style then it will create a fully-formatted citation for your reference list and bibliography, as well as a corresponding footnote to insert at the bottom of the page containing the relevant source.

Parenthetical style examples:

In-text example:
A nation has been defined as an imagined community (Anderson, 2006).*
Alternative format: Anderson (2006) defined a nation as an imagined community.

*The reference generator will create your references in the first style, but this should be edited if the author’s name already appears in the text.

Bibliography / Works Cited list example:
Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined Communities. London: Verso.

What Are Citation Styles?

A citation style is a set of rules that you, as an academic writer, must follow to ensure the quality and relevance of your work. There are thousands of styles that are used in different academic institutions around the world, but in the UK the most common are Harvard, APA and Oscola.

The style you need to use will depend on the preference of your lecturer, discipline or academic institution - so if you’re unsure which style you should be using, consult your department and follow their guidelines exactly, as this is what you’ll be evaluated on when it comes to marking. You can also find your university’s style by logging into your RefME account and setting your institution in ‘My Profile’.

Citing isn’t just there to guard against plagiarism - presenting your research in a clear and consistent way eases the reader’s comprehension. Each style has a different set of rules for formatting both the page and your references. Be sure to adhere to formatting rules such as font type, font size and line spacing to ensure that your work is easily legible. Furthermore, if your work is published as part of an anthology or collected works, each entry will need to be presented in the same style to maintain uniformity throughout. It is important to make sure that you don’t jump from one style to another, so follow the rules carefully to ensure your reference list and bibliography are both accurate and complete.

If you need a hand with your citations then why not try RefME’s reference generator? It’s the quickest and easiest way to cite any source, in any style. The reference generator above will create your citations in the Harvard referencing style as standard, but it can generate fully-formatted references in over 7,500 styles - including university variations of each style. So, whether your lecturer has asked you to adopt APA referencing, or your subject requires you to use OSCOLA referencing, we’re sure to have the style you need. To access all of them, simply go to RefME's website to create your free RefME account and search for your specific style such as MLA or Vancouver.

How Do I Format A Reference List Or Bibliography?

Drawing on a wide range of sources greatly enhances the quality of your work, and reading above and beyond your recommended reading list - and then using these sources to support your own thesis - is an excellent way to impress your reader. A clearly presented reference list or bibliography demonstrates the lengths you have gone to in researching your chosen topic.

Typically, a reference list starts on a new page at the end of the main body of text and includes a complete list of the sources you have actually cited in your paper. This list should contain all the information needed for the reader to locate the original source of the information, quote or statistic that directly contributed to your work. On the other hand, a bibliography is a comprehensive list of all the material you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process. Both provide the necessary information for readers to retrieve and check the sources cited in your work.

Each style’s guidelines will define the terminology of ‘reference list’ and ‘bibliography’, as well as providing formatting guidelines for font, line spacing and page indentations. In addition, it will instruct you on how to order each list - this will usually be either alphabetical or chronological (meaning the order that these sources appear in your work). Before submitting your work, be sure to check that you have formatted your whole paper according to your style’s formatting guidelines.

Sounds complicated? Citing has never been so easy; RefME’s reference generator will automatically generate fully-formatted citations for your reference list or bibliography in your chosen style. Sign in to your RefME account to save and export your bibliography straight into Microsoft Word, Evernote, EndNote and more. If that sounds like too much work, you can cite as you write by upgrading to RefME Plus to access our new RefME for Word feature.

How Do References Actually Work?

Although the reference generator will create your bibliography for you in record time, it is still useful to understand how this system works behind the scenes. As well as saving you time with its referencing generator, RefME provides the learning resources to help you fully understand the citing process and the benefits of adopting great citing standards. The ‘Why Cite?’ video below explains the origins of citing and the reason why this sometimes-complicated system exists.

The referencing process:

  • Find a book, journal, website or other source that will contribute to your work

  • Save the quote, image, data or other information that you will use in your work

  • Save the source information that enables you to find it again (i.e. URL, ISBN, DOI etc.)

  • Format the source information into a citation

  • Copy and paste the citation into the body of the text

  • Repeat for each source that contributes to your work.

  • Export or copy and paste the fully-formatted citation into your bibliography.

The ‘How to Cite’ video below further explains this system and provides some insightful supporting knowledge to ensure that you get the best out of RefME’s reference generator, and that you clearly understand the value you are adding to your work by using it.

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