Citation and writing styles

Reference Management Systems

Bloomsburg University pays for access to these reference management tools, which help you organize and cite your research when writing.

There are also quite a few free reference management systems. Two of the more popular ones (often used by BU faculty) are these.

Writing and Citing Help

Print Style Guides

When to Cite Sources

For Research Papers and Other Writing Projects

When citing sources in research papers, use a conventional style, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, or Turabian. Check with your instructor as to what style to use. Each style specifies a uniform way of citing sources that will:

  1. Give an orderly appearance to your bibliography or reference list
  2. Provide all the essential elements of information that a reader will need to locate the source.

For Speeches

When giving a speech, cite your sources orally.  Provide enough information to allow an audience member to locate the source.  Typically, you should include:

  • author or creator  
  • title of the work
  • date

Additionally, consider offering a brief statement about your source’s credibility by stating the source’s connection to the topic.


For PowerPoint Presentations


When you use PowerPoint, be sure to cite sources for any direct quotations or images appearing on a slide.  Write the information in a small font in a textbox at the bottom of the slide or under the image. 

If you use a graphic from the Internet, you should cite it, too, unless it is in the public domain (freeware).

Your instructor may also expect you to include a bibliography slide at the end of your slideshow.   Your bibliography should not take the place of appropriate oral citations offered during your presentation.

Comparing Reference Management Software

Use any of the programs below to help you with your citing and managing your research.

Software Developer Open source EXPORT FORMATS


EndNote Online Thomson Reuters No    PubMed, RIS, SciFinder Available to current BU students through Library’s Web of Science  subscription. More information here.
Mendeley Mendeley No    BibTeX, PubMed, RIS Free. Desktop & Web components, iPhone and iPad
RefWorks RefWorks No    BibTeX, PubMed, RIS, SciFinder Available to BU (both current and alumni) students through Library subscription. More information here.
Zotero Center for History and New Media at GMU Yes BibTeX, PubMed, RIS Free. Firefox extension or standalone connectors for Chrome and Safari. 

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