Go to http://www.zotero.org/ and click on the red Download button.
1) Visit https://www.zotero.org/download/ and follow prompts for your browser and operating system. Download and install Zotero 5.0 for your operating system (Mac or Windows or Linux) on your laptop. Also install the Zotero Connector for your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari).
2) Click Register in the top right of the zotero.org page to create a free online Zotero account for syncing online."
3) Installing Zotero should also install a Word add-in that lets you integrate Zotero with MS Word. When you open Word, you should see a Zotero tab in the ribbon, or a Zotero toolbar on older versions of Word.
If you do not see this, or if you ever need to reinstall the Word add-in, go to Zotero, open Preferences, go to the Cite tab, click on Word Processors, and click on Install (or Reinstall) Microsoft Word Add-in.
4) To set up syncing between your local Zotero library and you online Zotero account, open your local Zotero Preferences, go to the Sync tab, and enter your account information. You can also choose whether to sync automatically, and whether or not you wish to sync full text PDFs.
5) Zotero comes with a handful of popular citation styles installed. To add additional styles, go to Preferences, pick the Cite tab, and click Styles. Then click on Get additional styles... and find the style you need by searching in the large list of styles presented, and then click it to add the style you want.
Here are some other sites that compare citation manager features:
Where to acquire software:
If you want information about where to find and how to install these programs:
For Zotero, go to the Zotero Installation Instructions linked to on the sidebar under the Migrate to Zotero link
For Mendeley, you can download and install it by following the link here
To create a free EndNote Basic account, go here
The full version of EndNote that you would install on your computer is not free software. You can purchase it from the Computer Showcase in either Shapiro or the Duderstadt Center; more info here, or see these pages for purchase info:
You may also wish to check to see if your school or department will provide you with an EndNote license. Some units on campus provide software for their affiliates. For example, LS&A provides EndNote licenses for LS&A faculty and students; move information on that is here.