Sunday, July 30, 2006

Citations and

A search on a word etymology (which I'll finish next time I lay hands on the OED) led me to Interestingly, I discovered that also gives proper MLA, Chicago, and APA citations at the bottoms of their entries. I've tried several, and all came out accurately, so it seems pretty reliable.

As an example, let's look at the entry for "Beowulf." Scroll to the bottom and you'll see a box with "Copyrights" and little bubbles that say "Cite." If you click on one of the bubbles, such as the one for "Literature Information about Beowulf," you'll come to this page. Note also that you can change the citation style ... and it even reminds you to use a hanging indent. Nice!

If I were a freshman, and needed to cite some general information, I'd probably use this site just to be sure I had the citation correct. It probably doesn't have the ethos for anything beyond basic, general info, but at least it offers a good model.


  1. Wow, I can't believe I've missed out on for so long! Clicking on your link was the first time I actually went there and I'm impressed. I think before I always unconsciously thought it was the same as and wrote it off as not worth my time. Guess I was wrong.

    Oh, and while the citations are nice, they don't put in the indents, so a student would have to be careful about that if they used it.

  2. Like Frank, I can't believe that I missed!

    I'd actually encountered it before and seen the Wikipedia material there and had therefore assumed that it was a ripoff of the Wikipedia site. Now, I see that it's much more.

    Good job, Scott.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. Citation machine tells you not to copy their citation. I did a copy and paste and, except for coming out gray, it worked fine. I wonder what that is about?

  4. I put in a book I had at hand and got this:

    Copy the citation below and paste it into your document.
    Fanger, Donald. The creation of Nikolai Gogol. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979.
    Use your word processor to format your citations as illustrated below. Do Not Copy this Citation
    Fanger, Donald. The creation of Nikolai Gogol. Cambridge,
    Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979.

    So they're not telling you not to copy the citation at all, they're telling you to copy the first (unindented) version and then format it; then they show you what it should look like and warn you not to copy that, presumably because depending on your browser it may or may not come out correctly formatted. (As you can see, the second one looks exactly like the first in this comment box.)

    --language hat

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