Apr 13, 2011

Let Microsoft Word Cite your Sources for You

I don't know about you, but I am tired of citing sources the old fashioned way. Building my bibliography or works cited page entry-by-entry is terribly time consuming.  Are you still looking up the format of every citation you need to place in your document? Well stop it. If you have Word 2007 or newer, you can let the software both format and insert the citations for you. Think of all the time you will save! In this tutorial, I will explain how to use the references feature to full advantage!

  1. With your document open in Microsoft Word, click the References tab.
    (The References tab is located on the ribbon for PCs and in the toolbox for Mac).

  2. Click Manage Sources. The References window opens.

  3. Click New. The Create New Source window opens.
    (The + sign in the lower left hand corner of the toolbox on a Mac).
    Figure 1: Create New Source window
    4. Locate Type of Source.  
    5. Click the arrow. A drop-down menu appears. 
    6. Select the type of source you wish to cite. 
    7. Enter the appropriate information in each of the subsequent fields located in the Create New Source window. (* beside the field description indicates mandatory fields).
    8. After all of the fields are completely filled out, click OK.
    The source entered appears in the Citations list in the Reference window.
      **Repeat steps 3-8 for each of the sources you wish to cite in the document.**
    9. Click a source to highlight it.
    10. Click Add. The selected source appears in the citations list for this document.
    11. Locate Citation Style on the References tab.
    12. Click the arrow. A drop-down menu appears.
    13. Select the citation style needed for the document.
    14. Locate Bibliography
    15. Click the arrow. A drop-down menu appears. (For Mac users, Insert -> Document Elements -> Bibliography).
    16. Select either Bibliography or Works Cited depending on the citation style used in the document. A completely formatted list of citations appears at the end of the document.
Figure 2: Complied Works Cited list

    17. For an in-text citation, place the cursor at the exact spot the citation needs to appear.
    18. Locate Citation on the ribbon. (In the toolbox for Mac users).
    19. Select the source you wish to cite. The appropriate in-text citation appears in the document.
Figure 3: In-text Citation

Congratulations! You let the software do the dirty work for you. Now you will not have to waste hours citing your sources. What a great time saver!

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