Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free tool that collects, manages, and formats citations and bibliographies. You can attach PDFs, notes, and images to your references; arrange your sources into collections for different projects or classes; and tag them for easy searching or to jump-start chunks of your writing. Insert citations to Word or Google Docs as you write, and create a formatted bibliography or works cited page with one click!
Check out our Zotero "step by step" guide to try it out yourself, sign up for a library workshop to get started, or make an appointment with a research librarian for troubleshooting and pro tips—it's especially useful to get started with it early in a big project. Questions? Ask a librarian, at the reference desk or virtually!
Need to hone your writing or oral presentation skills? Amherst College's Writing Center Associates are available to meet with you to discuss your specific class assignment, honors thesis, application essay, creative writing project, or speech.
Citation is an important element in research and creating new knowledge: crediting the scholarship and community ideas that you're building on, and creating a path for your readers to follow your process. The basic principle is to include all information necessary to track down a resource, but different citation styles format that in different ways:
• Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide online; also consult the print manual at REF Z253 .U69 2017 [humanities & some social sciences]
• MLA Style Quick Guide and MLA guidelines from the OWL at Purdue; also consult the print manual at REF LB2369 .G53 2016 [humanities]
• APA guidelines from the OWL at Purdue; also consult the print manual at REF BF76.7 .P83 2010 [social sciences]
• ACS Style Guide basics from UW-Madison [chemistry]
There are several tools that can help you keep track of and organize your sources, and format notes and bibliographies in your papers. Zotero is the freely available tool we recommend, developed specifically for academic research, that helps you collect, manage, annotate, and cite your sources. It's available in all computer labs on campus, and you can download it on your own computer.