Reference management is the method by which you keep track of the references you use in an essay. It can be done in many ways, including keeping a document (such as in Microsoft Word or Google Docs) or spreadsheet (such as in Excel or Google Sheets) to keep a list of everything you have read during your research and cited in your essay.
There are also software tools specifically built to be reference managers, such as Zotero. In this guide you will find information about Zotero, however there are many reference management tools available, including Mendeley, and EndNote.
It is recommended to keep track of your references at the reading stage of research, rather than waiting until you have finished writing your essay to begin collating your references. Referencing as you go along is much easier and prevents mistakes in your referencing.
Throughout your time at college, you will read hundreds of pieces of research while studying and writing essays. Maintaining a record of these is good academic practice. It is also useful for you to keep a record of articles and books you have referenced in a particular essay, as they may be good sources for another module or your dissertation.
A reference management tool, such as Zotero, can store all of your references for you. It can also store your PDFs of articles. You can use Zotero to generate your reference list automatically for you at the end of your essay. You can even use the Microsoft Word or Google Docs plugin to help you cite correctly within the body of your essay. You can set Zotero to generate your references in the style that is required for your essays, APA.
You can download Zotero by clicking here.
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