We've all had to write an essay or research paper at some point, and undoubtedly the hardest part about it is always the citation, right? If you ask me, it's a huge pain in the arse. Even more so if you're gathering your facts from a huge variety of sources.
You could spend more time citing than actually writing. Especially if you're confused by the many different styles of citation.
I once had MLA for one class and APA for another. To top it off, I had to go Chicago style for my school's newspaper. As you could imagine, it was pretty easy to confuse (and even accidentally combine) them without constantly verifying my grammar books.
If you're just as confused as I was, Google Scholar will help automate it for you. Google Scholar is a free resource to find scholarly reviewed articles and books, but a newly integrated feature provides citation for the three major citation styles (APA, Chicago, and MLA).
Best of all—it's really simple to use. If you already have the book or article already in hand, you can simple search for the title and/or author and see the results that come up.
Once you find the result you are looking for, there will be a "Cite" link below the result. Just click on that and all of the formatted citations will appear, ready for you to simply copy and paste!
Now, you can use this for any scholarly publications, along with regular old books and magazine articles. However, you won't find any movies or videos here, but you can use my old favorite citation tool, Son of Citation Machine, to help you figure out how to cite unfamiliar items such as speeches, radio shows, and presentations. It's great if you have a source, but don't know how it should be cited.
If you are in law school or simply need to cite a court case, Google Scholar has an expansive database of legal documents. You can search on the federal level, state level, and even select particular courts.
Google Scholar is a great place to rid yourself of the citation headache, so be sure to check it out for yourself—and spread the word!