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Resources for sociology courses and research in the Public Service and Community Studies department.

Citation in Sociology

Sociology researchers primarily use ASA (American Sociological Association) or APA citation styles. MLA is also sometimes used. With that said, it's always best to ask your professor if they have a preferred style that they would like you to use. Below is a link to the library's larger citation guide along with some quick tips for the three citation styles discussed above to get you started.

Citation Styles

Free Citation Management Tools


  • Free tool with both web-based functionality and a desktop client. 
  • Open Source software, not affiliate with any publisher. 
    • Because this software is open source it is the recommend citation manager by the library staff. 
  • Excellent for capturing websites in addition to more scholarly publications.
  • Not designed to be used across multiple public or shared computers. 
  • Excellent LibGuide from Illinois State University with step-by-step instructions for using Zotero:

EndNote Basic

  • Free, web-based version of EndNote with limited functionality. 
  • Provided by Clarivate Analytics and Web of Science
  • For full functionality you would need to purchase EndNote, which is costly. 


  • Free tool with web-based functionality, a desktop client, and mobile app
  • Provided by Elsevier, providers of Science Direct. 
  • Plug-in allows you create citations directly in Microsoft Word
  • Has a social network-type component.

We encourage you to do your research and find the citation manager that works best for you. For a more in-depth comparison of the options, check out this Comparison Chart from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. 

As always, if you need help managing your citations you can ask a librarian for help!