In academia, one of the key reasons students don’t cite work is because they either don’t understand how to or don’t want to go through the trouble to do so. After all, citing work for a research paper is a complicated, confusing and time-consuming process. This has lead to countless incidents of accidental plagiarism and more than a few pathetic excuses.
Well, the excuses are running dry as RapidCite.com is changing the game.
RapidCite.com is a free Web page that creates a works cited section for the user. All the researcher has to do is type in the information for the books or sources they used and then export the results into a Word file. It’s that simple.
The site supports MLA, APA and Chicago styles for citation and can be used on almost any kind of source including print, electronic and audio/visual. It even has the ability to pull information on a book from its ISBN number, eliminating the need to search through the book for publication dates and other information.
However, all of this power does come with a few caveats. The main one is that the site is quite literally overloaded with ads. As you navigate around the site, you almost feel as if you have to work around them to get anything done. Also, the neatest feature, the ISBN lookup, doesn’t automatically input the information into the fields. Copying and pasting is still required which feels oddly frustrating.
Still, the site is very powerful and should go a long way to eliminating accidental plagiarism and reducing the number of excuses malicious plagiarists can concoct. It should be listed in the syllabus of every course that deals heavily with research papers and should be in ever student’s bookmark folder.
After all, a tool this power and this free, even with its few flaws, is a rare gem indeed.