How to Cite and Reference Using Microsoft Word

Most academic writings need to be backed up with evidence from credible sources such as textbooks, peer-reviewed journals, and website articles. To do so, the writer is required to provide the details of the author and the source. This involves putting in-text citations and references using specific styles like APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, etc. Though citing and referencing a paper can be done manually, Microsoft Word provides a built-in citation and reference feature that makes it easy for you to cite sources and insert a reference or bibliography list. In this article, we provide you with a step-by-step procedure for Using Microsoft Word to cite and reference a document.

Insert citation: Go to the References tab on your MS Word and click Insert Citation, Add New Source. Select the appropriate Type of Source.

   citation tab

 Under Style, click the arrow down to select your preferred or instructed citation style.  

Insert source details: After making the above selections, it’s now time to provide the details of your source. Below is an example of a journal article cited in APA style:

citing using MS word

After filling in the details, click OK. MS will automatically insert the citation. If you want to review or edit the source, just click the arrow down and proceed. If the source has more than one author, click the Edit button and add the names in their correct order:

edit a source

Repeat that process for all sources.

Generate the reference or bibliography list:

Click the Bibliography arrow down and select “Works Cited” if you’re formatting your paper in MLA. Choose “Bibliography” for any other style.  


This article will make your citation and reference process easy, faster, and more accurate. You can contact us if you need more help. We can also show you how to use Microsoft Word to create a Table of Contents, Table of Figures, Footnotes, SmartArt, Cover Page, Header, Footer, etc.