How to Create a Bibliography or Works Cited Page in Word

In Word bibliography features are available to make the process simpler. Also in Word works cited features are available. Learn about them here.

How to create a bibliography or works cited page in Word

If you need to write a research paper, chances are you'll also be required to include a bibliography. Or you might be asked to include a works cited page or a list of references. These are all just different names for the same thing: a list of sources—such as books, articles, or even websites—that you used to research and write your paper. A bibliography makes it easy for someone else to see where you found your information. A short bibliography might look something like this:

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You could create a bibliography manually, but it would take a lot of work. And if you ever decide to add more sources or use a different reference style, you’ll have to update everything all over again. But if you take the time to input your sources into Word, it can create and update a bibliography automatically. This can save you a lot of time and help ensure your references are accurate and correct.

We’ll use Word 2013 to show you how to create a bibliography, but you can use the exact same method in Word 2010 or Word 2007.

Step 1: Choose a reference style

When you're creating a bibliography, you'll need to follow the guidelines of the required style guide. Different academic disciplines use their own styles guides, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. Fortunately, Word comes with several built-in style guides; all you need to do is select the one you want to use, and Word will help you format your bibliography correctly.

To do this, click the References tab, then select the desired style in the Citations & Bibliography group.

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You can use this same method to change the reference style at any time.

Step 2: Add citations and sources

Whenever you use information from one of your sources, you'll need to give credit—or cite them. This is known as making a citation. You'll include citations whenever you use information from a source or when you quote a source directly.

To add a citation, select the desired location for the citation in your document, click the Insert Citation command on the References tab, and select Add New Source.

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A dialog box will appear. Enter the requested information for the source—like the author name, title, and publication details—then click OK.

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The citation will appear in the document, and the source will be saved. You can quickly add another citation for the source by clicking Insert Citation and selecting the source from the drop-down menu.

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Step 3: Insert the bibliography

Time for the easy part! Once you've added all of your sources, you can create your bibliography in just a few clicks! Just select the Bibliography command, then choose the desired style.

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The bibliography will appear at the end of your document. Your sources will already be formatted to match the selected style guide. You should still double-check each of your sources against your style guide to make sure they're correct. If you need a quick reference for MLA, APA, or Chicago formatting, we recommend the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

If you add more sources to your document, you can easily update your bibliography—just click it and select Update Citations and Bibliography.

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No matter how many sources you include in your document, Word's built-in tools make it easy to create and organize a bibliography. If you want further guidance with the process, check out this tutorial from Microsoft on how to Create a Bibliography.