How to Add Citations and Bibliography to a Google Doc

Are you looking for a way to add citations or a bibliography to your research paper or college essay in Google Docs? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Add Citations and Bibliography to a Google Doc

We live in an age where citing sources is crucial. Whether you are a student, blogger, or business owner, it’s essential to include citations and bibliographies when writing blog posts, articles, or research papers.

You’ll want to acknowledge other people’s works and ideas to strengthen your work’s integrity while protecting yourself from possible legal action for plagiarism or copyright infringement.

This article will show you how to add citations and bibliographies in Google Docs so you can ensure that all of your sources are properly documented.

Why Add Citations and a Bibliography to a Google Doc?

The bibliography and citations are critical pieces of any research paper. If you want your work to be taken seriously, you need citations that show where the information came from. They lend you credibility and give credit to the information’s originator.

Citations also allow your readers to identify your sources for further investigation more easily. They direct readers back to the original work itself so that they can judge the reliability and accuracy of what’s been said about it. Citations also help other researchers avoid duplicating work or repeating old mistakes.

In scientific writing, this information can include references to data from experiments or studies and reports created by others, as well as any direct quotes from those reports. In journalistic writing, that might mean citing news sources or other authors who have commented on a particular event.

Your bibliography is an alphabetical listing of all the books, articles, and other sources you have cited in your paper. It can also include maps, diagrams, songs, visual images, and more.

The bibliography helps readers follow complex arguments by assisting them in tracing cross-references between different parts of the text. A reader can quickly access any item referenced and read more on a given theme or subtopic. A good bibliography also permits researchers to find work they weren’t already aware of that supports their case.

That said, creating bibliographies and citations by hand can take a lot of time, which is why many people use citation generators like Endnote or Zotero. Unfortunately, these programs don’t always work as intended.

That’s why it’s safer to add citations and bibliographies with Google Docs’ built-in tools when using it as your word processor.

How to Add Citations to a Google Doc

There are two ways you can add citations to a Google Doc: using the Citations tool or the Explore tool.

Let’s go over how each of these tools works.

Citations Tool

The Citations tool is a feature of Google Docs that allows you to cite sources within your document. It helps you generate the citation in APA, MLA, or Chicago format.

Here’s how to use this tool to add a source:

  1. Open the document of interest and click on “Tools.”
  2. Select “Citations” from the dropdown menu. That should open a sidebar on the right side of your screen.
  3. Select the style you’d like to use (MLA, APA, or Chicago) from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on “Add citation source.”
  5. Select the source type from the dropdown menu and the medium used to access it. For example, you could go with “Book” as your source type and “Website” as the medium.
  6. Enter more details about the source in the fields provided, including the first and last names of the author, title, and publisher.
  7. Once you’ve double-checked all entries, click on the “Add Citation Source” button at the bottom of the sidebar. At this point, the source will be added as a citable item.
  8. Repeat steps 2 through 7 for each of your sources.

How to Add an In-Text Citation

The Citations tool allows for standard formatting of in-text citations that are used in many different style manuals. It can dramatically reduce formatting time when preparing a document.

Here’s how to add an in-text citation:

  1. Open the document of interest and navigate to the position in the text where the citable item will appear.
  2. Open the Citations sidebar and hover over the item you’d like to cite.
  3. Click on “Cite.” The source should now appear sandwiched within the text of your document.

How to Edit the Citation Source?

Sometimes you’ll make mistakes when adding a source. For example, you might select the wrong source type or even misspell the author’s name.

Luckily, it’s very easy to edit any of the citations added using the Google Docs Citation tool.

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Citations sidebar. You should be able to see a list of all your citations.
  2. Click on the three dots next to the item of interest and select “Edit” from the popup menu.

Explore Tool

Want quick access to the web, Drive, or images without having to leave Google Docs? That’s exactly what the Explore tool offers. It’s perfect for when you have a not-so-clear idea of what you’re looking for and need to take a brief tour through the web.

Here’s how to create a citation using the Explore tool:

  1. Open your document and click on “Tools.”
  2. Select “Explore” from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, click on the star-shaped icon at the bottom of your document.
  3. Enter a word, phrase, or the URL of the website you’d like to use and perform a search. At this point, you should see a list of all potential sources.
  4. To open any of the sources on the list, click on the corresponding hyperlink. Each hyperlink opens on a new page.
  5. To use a source on the list, hover over it and click on the quotation mark in the top-right corner.
  6. Click on the three vertical dots at the top of the citations sidebar to change the citation format.

Sources added via the Explore tool appear as footnotes with the selected formatting.

How to Add a Bibliography in Google Docs

Adding the bibliography to a Google Doc is quick and easy. Here’s how:

  1. Open the document and position the cursor where you want the bibliography to appear.
  2. Open the citations sidebar and click on “Insert bibliography.” At this point, Google Docs algorithms will generate a centered bibliography title with a list of citations formatted in the selected style.

Enhance the Integrity of Your Work

If you’re using Google Docs to organize your research, it’s important to make sure that your citations and bibliography match up with what appears in the text of your paper. That can enhance your work’s credibility and integrity and help you avoid formatting mistakes because everything is automated.

Whether you’re an undergraduate student drafting your dissertation proposal or a professor who needs help aligning research with common research formats required by academic standards, Google Docs offers built-in tools to help you achieve your goal.

Have you tried adding citations in Google Docs using any of the tools discussed in this article? How did it go?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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