How much time do you spend checking your references for the correct style? If you don’t want to lose marks for incorrect referencing then your answer would be a lot of time and it’s tedious, but you have to do it. Right? ...By Paula Todd.

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What if we told you there was an easier and quicker way?

Monash has the license for EndNote so all students have free access to the full version which is downloadable from the Library website.   By learning how to use this software you can save a lot of valuable time but the key is to understand the referencing style listed in your unit guide or on Moodle, THEN use the software.  A bit like the theory of using a calculator to solve a mathematical problem, you need to understand the formula before applying it.

OK so you know your referencing style, how is EndNote going to help you? If you use databases or Library Search, then you can export the details of the article or book into your EndNote library in your chosen referencing style.  But this isn’t the end of the story, you can then use the ‘cite while you write’ function in EndNote to put your in-text citations into your essay or report and at the same time EndNote will automatically start creating your reference list at the end of your paper.  No more typing references.

How do you start?

It’s best to book into a class (Monash login required) to get started as the librarians will give you lots of tips and tricks to make EndNote run smoothly.  Once your EndNote library is set up then most databases will have an export function to add references straight into your library. 

You can also attach the full text PDF’s of articles to your EndNote library as well which can save time when you are writing your assignment as both the article and its citation are in the same place.  With EndNote you can also highlight and annotate PDF’s which makes relevant parts of the article easy to spot when typing your assignment and you want to check what has been written.

EndNote software in use

Another really cool feature is the Group option so that references for a particular purpose can be arranged together which is useful as your EndNote library gets bigger and you want to easily see which references go with each assignment or project.

EndNote software in use

If the idea of having your EndNote library in the cloud to access anywhere appeals to you then check out EndNote Online. You can also use this version of EndNote to share references in your library with friends or for use in group assignments.  More on this type of sharing in a later blog.

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About Melissa McKenna

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