In my years in college, the times I spent in the library were probably the most boring. The second most boring and frustrating times were spent writing research papers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing, but research papers? Not usually. That’s why when I come across tools that make both my time in the library and my time doing research papers easier, I get excited.
Enter Cite This for Android. This handy little app makes formatting the citations for the books for researching very simple. Seriously, all you’ve got to do is create a project, add a reference, and scan a bar code. You can even choose which popular format you’ll need it exported into.
With collecting and citing references done this easily, see if you can imagine how else you can shorten your stint in the library. Maybe you can collect the citation information, find the pages in the book you want to reference, and grab pics of them with your phone for reading later in the dorm or at home. Either way, Cite This can make those citations easy (and slightly more fun).
Create a Project
Once you install the app (really inexpensive at $0.99 in the Play Store ), you’ll be brought directly to where you can create a project. Name it something that will remind you of the paper you are currently working on. This project will contain all of the references of that specific paper.
You can have more than one project going on at the same time. They’re all kept in an easy to navigate list. College can be a real chore, with most of your classes each giving you projects to work on at the same time, but the app makes it easy to keep all of your references separate and organized.
Next you can start adding references. (What kind of research paper doesn’t refer to any outside sources?) You begin this process by tapping the Plus sign in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
You are givenfour different choices as to how you want to enter the ISBN information on the book. You can do an article search, scan a bar code, manually enter the ISBN number, or type in the whole citation yourself.
The easiest way is by scanning the book’s barcode.
You can also add the ISBN number manually and the citation should still be pulled for you. Do this if you can’t find a barcode on or in the book that can be scanned.
Either way you do it, you can see how Cite This makes the process simple. It’s nice have the other options to fall back on, though.
The app gives you five different choices when it comes to the format of the citation: Chicago, Harvard, APA, AMA, and MLA. You should make yourself familiar with your school or organization’s requirements here.
Really, making sure you type in the citations correctly according to standards set forth for you is probably the most time consuming part of citing your sources. This is where Cite This really shines because it’s all done for you. Just choose the right format!
You can see and edit your references for each project via a very easy to read list. As you can see, it looks very similar to the list of projects. It’s all very neat and clean to look at and read.
You can also open each of them to see all of the information on each source in the book record. Many books will even let you see a photo of the front cover of the book. This is a good way to see an overview of a book you’ve referenced. It may help jog your memory for something, too.
Export the List of References
What’s the point of creating projects and adding references if it’s all stuck on your phone? That’s where exporting comes in. Exporting the citations is almost just as easy as entering and managing them. Just tap on the list icon in the upper right hand corner of the reference list screen.
A small window should pop up asking for your email address.
Don’t be nervous about entering your email — all it’s for is sending you the information contained in your Cite This project you’re trying to export. Now you’ll have all of your reference information saved for you where you can’t lose it.
When you receive the email in your inbox, you’ll have a .enw file attached which you can import into EndNote by double-clicking. If you’d rather not do things that way, you also have the text contained in the body of the email for easy copy and pasting. Whichever way you do this, you know you have all that research information saved in your inbox so don’t delete it until you’re done.
When you’re in school and writing all kinds of research papers (and doing other projects on top of it all), it’s nice to have the tools to make it as easy as possible.
Cite This, in all reality, is a very simple app. It doesn’t do a whole lot and you may never use it after school. What it does do is make just that one part of school easier. And if that’s all it does, it’s good. Who knows, it may even make writing those papers fun! …Okay, let’s not get too carried away.