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Writing & Citation Guide  

A guide to writing research papers and the main bibliographic styles, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, ASA, etc.
Last Updated: Jun 11, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

RefWorks & Citation Tools Print Page


RefWorks is a web-based product that allows individuals to enter, import, and then to organize citations into formats using a wide variety of citation styles.


This resource is available to all current IWU students, faculty, and staff.  

Sometimes you may be asked for a IWU group code.  Please check with the Help@Ames Desk at (309) 556-3900 for this information.

If you need assistance setting up an account, importing citations from a database, or would like a short personalized training session contact Crystal Boyce at or (309) 556-1551.

Login to RefWorks!




    Write-N-Cite lets you use your RefWorks list of references to place notes (parenthetical notes, footnotes, and endnotes) in your research paper.  Below are the basic steps for using Write-N-Cite; see also the Write-N-Cite guides in the RefWorks and Write-N-Cite -- Handouts section above.  

    On all campus computers on which you log in:  

    1.  RefWorks account:  If you haven't already done so, create a RefWorks account (as detailed in the separate information about RefWorks) and add citations for the sources you'll be citing in your research paper.

    2.  Your research paper:  Open Word and your research paper document.

    3.  Open Write-N-Cite:   Click the computer's START button, select Programs, then Editors & Viewers, then RefWorks, and then Write-N-Cite.   Log in with the RefWorks user name and password for the RefWorks account that you created.

    4.  Viewing your references:  A window will open, showing all the references you've saved to RefWorks.  To see just the ones in the folder you want to use, click View and choose that folder.  

    5.  Inserting a note:  In your Word document, place the cursor where you want to insert a note.  Then, using the Write-N-Cite window, click on the Cite link next to the appropriate source. 

    5.  Page numbers, etc.:   after the placeholder note is in the your document, click the Edit Citation link and type in the specific page number.

    6.  Final formatting:  To have Write-N-Cite put the notes in the proper format for the style you're using (e.g., Chicago, MLA, APA....), in the Write-N-Cite window, click Bibliography.   That will convert the notes to the proper style and will add a list of the sources cited so far, formatted in the appropriate style, at the end of your paper.


    RefWorks Tutorial - Powered by ProQuest

    This is a link to a series of short videos designed to introduce you to using RefWorks. All told, the videos take about 20 minutes to go through. Watch below, or go directly to YouTube to navigate at your own pace and view other tutorial options.

    Comparing Citation Tools

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
      Some things to consider about how you like to work will make it easier to decide which tools to use.
      ~Do you use mainly lab computers or your own computer or both? If you mainly use lab computers, stick to software installed on the standard build.
      ~Are you a Mac or Windows user or both?
      ~How important is it to you that things look nice and appear organized? Some of the most robust tools can also look intimidating, which is counterproductive if you consequently avoid using them.
    • Wikipedia - Comparison of reference management software

    Other Citation Tools

    Note: some of the following bibliographic management tools are free, others offer basic service for free with a cost for full service, and others charge for any service. [RefWorks, which Ames Library supports, is provided for free to Illinois Wesleyan University students, staff, and faculty, and to alumni who started an account while they were a student here at IWU.]

    • KnightCite
      For MLA, APA, and Chicago styles, use this online tool to enter your sources' information, choose the appropriate style, and have the reference formatted.
    • Zotero
      An online tool that lets you import citations and documents from all kinds of online sources; organize them; and create reference lists in various output styles.
    • EasyBib
      Another online tool, with MLA info for free, but costs to subscribe to have it process other styles. However, includes some sample pages (for free) of APA, MLA, Chicago, etc., at
    • Mendeley
      "Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research." [Mendeley website]
    • EndNote
      "....use EndNote to search online bibliographic databases, organize their references, images and PDFs in any language, and create bibliographies and figure lists instantly." [EndNote website]
    • Reference Manager
      Like other bibliographic manager tools, captures citations, organizes them, etc.
    • University of North Carolina's Citation Builder
      Use this online tool to enter your sources' information and create citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago style.
    This service is maintained by The Ames Library. Please contact us with any problems or suggestions.

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