Mastering the art of citations

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Mastering the art of citations

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Citations 2.1 Full Reference 2.2 In-Text Citation
  3. APA Format 3.1 Formatting the Author's Name 3.2 Formatting the Date 3.3 Formatting the Article Title 3.4 Including Source URL
  4. Simplifying the Citation Process 4.1 Son of Citation Machine 4.2 Selecting APA or MLA 4.3 Using the Quick Lookup 4.4 Making the Citation
  5. Types of Citations 5.1 Web Page Citations 5.2 AV Media Citations
  6. Common Challenges and Solutions 6.1 Missing URL Information 6.2 Overwhelm with Citation Choices
  7. Conclusion

Tips for Easy Citations: Mastering the Art of Properly Citing Sources


Citing sources is an integral part of academic writing, but many students find it intimidating and confusing. This article aims to demystify the process of creating citations and provide students with useful tips for easy citation. By understanding the different components of a citation and utilizing helpful tools like the Son of Citation Machine, students can simplify this process and ensure their work is properly attributed.

Understanding Citations

Before delving into the practical tips for creating citations, it's essential to understand the two main components of a citation: the full reference and the in-text citation.

Full Reference

The full reference provides all the necessary information for readers to locate and verify the source. In APA style, it typically includes the author's last name, the publication date, the article title (italicized), and the source URL. It is important to arrange multiple references alphabetically by the author's last name on a separate page at the end of the document.

In-Text Citation

The in-text citation serves as a clue for readers, indicating the source of the information and informing them that a full reference will be provided at the end of the document. In APA format, the in-text citation consists of the author's last name followed by a comma and the year of publication, formatted within parentheses. In cases where a specific date is unavailable, the author's last name is enclosed in parentheses.

APA Format

Properly formatting citations according to APA guidelines is crucial to ensure accuracy and consistency. Let's explore the key elements involved in formatting citations in APA style.

Formatting the Author's Name

When citing an author's name, it should be written as the last name followed by a comma and the first initial. For example, Smith, J. If there are multiple authors, the names should be separated by commas, and the last author's name should be preceded by an ampersand (&).

Formatting the Date

The publication date is an essential component of the citation. In APA format, the year is listed first, followed by a comma and the month and day (if available). The date information should be enclosed in parentheses.

Formatting the Article Title

The article title plays a significant role in identifying the source. It should be italicized and capitalized, except for articles, conjunctions, and prepositions that are three letters or shorter.

Including Source URL

In the digital age, providing the source URL or web address is crucial when citing online sources. It should be included as the final component of the full reference.

Simplifying the Citation Process

Thanks to technological advancements, creating citations has become easier and more accessible. One tool that can greatly simplify this process is the Son of Citation Machine. Let's explore how to use it effectively.

Son of Citation Machine

The Son of Citation Machine is a helpful website that can generate properly formatted citations. Start by selecting the citation style you're using, whether it's APA or MLA. For this tutorial, we will focus on APA.

Selecting APA or MLA

Once you've chosen APA as your citation style, you'll see it reflected on the website. Look for the APA option on the left sidebar and click on it. This ensures that the generated citations follow APA guidelines.

Using the Quick Lookup

The Son of Citation Machine has a convenient feature called the Quick Lookup. Simply copy and paste the URL or web address of the source into the designated box and click the search button. If the information is available in the database, it will populate the necessary fields automatically.

Making the Citation

After retrieving the source information, the Son of Citation Machine allows you to make the citation instantly. Click on the appropriate citation type, such as web page or AV media, and fill in the required fields as accurately as possible. Then click the "Make Citation" button, and the citation will be generated in the correct format.

Types of Citations

Different types of sources require specific citation formats. Let's explore the two most common types of citations: web page and AV media.

Web Page Citations

When citing a web page, fill in all the relevant information in the provided fields, including the author's name (if available), the publication date, the article title, and the URL. The Son of Citation Machine offers a user-friendly interface to input this information accurately.

AV Media Citations

Citing audio-visual media, such as videos, requires specific formatting. In addition to the standard citation details, select "AV Media" as the citation type and specify the medium as "web" to ensure the correct formatting.

Common Challenges and Solutions

While citation tools like the Son of Citation Machine simplify the process, some challenges may arise. Here are two common challenges and their respective solutions:

Missing URL Information

If the source URL is not available in the Son of Citation Machine's database, it will notify you with a message. In such cases, you can manually fill in the required information using the provided form. It's recommended to refer to APA guidelines for accurate formatting.

Overwhelm with Citation Choices

The Son of Citation Machine offers a wide range of citation choices, which can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. To alleviate this, focus on the two most common types of citations discussed earlier: web page and AV media. Mastering these two forms will cover the majority of citations students encounter.


Mastering the art of citing sources is essential for academic success. By understanding the components of a citation, utilizing tools like the Son of Citation Machine, and following APA guidelines, students can confidently attribute their sources and demonstrate their academic integrity. Remember, practice makes perfect, and with time, citations will become second nature. Happy citing!


  • Learn how to create citations easily and accurately.
  • Understand the components of a full reference and an in-text citation.
  • Follow APA format for proper citation formatting.
  • Simplify the citation process with the Son of Citation Machine.
  • Master the citation formats for web pages and AV media.
  • Overcome common challenges and confidently cite sources.


Q: What is the purpose of citations? A: Citations serve two main purposes: to properly attribute the source of information and to enable readers to locate and verify the original source.

Q: Why is APA format commonly used for citations? A: APA (American Psychological Association) format is widely used in the social sciences and offers a clear and consistent format for citing sources.

Q: Can I use the Son of Citation Machine for other citation styles? A: Yes, the Son of Citation Machine supports various citation styles, including MLA, Chicago, and more. Simply select the desired style before generating the citation.

Q: What should I do if a specific author or publication date is not available? A: In such cases, follow APA guidelines for citing anonymous sources. Enclose the author's last name in parentheses and use "n.d." (no date) for the publication date.

Q: Are there alternative citation tools to the Son of Citation Machine? A: Yes, there are other citation generators available online, such as EasyBib, Citation Machine, and BibMe. It's always recommended to cross-reference the generated citations with APA guidelines for accuracy.

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