Citing References: The Easy and Fast Way, Save Time

Cite as you write.

  1. Do not procrastinate and do this at the end. Cite as you write! Trust me, I’ve procrastinated and it is very tedious.
  2. Search for the same article (or start your search – highly recommended) on Google Scholar
  3. Click on the quote (“) button below the description of the search result (between the star and “cited by…” buttons)
  4. Copy the format you are using, e.g. APA (most common).
  5. Paste into a shared Google Doc that your peers are using
  6. Double check the citation for errors and conformity to your citation format
  7. Move on to the next article, rinse repeat!


  • Ask your librarian if it is possible to link your school’s databases to show up in article searches on Google Scholar, that way you can directly search Google Scholar and instantly get the articles AND the citation.
  • Filter for recency using custom date range
  • Use the Related Articles link to see if you can get lucky finding similar articles to support your research
  • Save the article PDF in a shared Google Drive folder to easily reference it later; label it with the same convention, e.g. “Smith, 2019, My Occupational Therapy Study”
  • Use the Purdue Owl website (if citing with APA) for reference on how to cite in-text or for the reference list
  • In my opinion: You should not bother with citation software or databases. They take time to register and there is a learning curve. They also need to be updated and well organized. But your experience may vary!