How to Find and Add Citations in Google Docs

788811 How to Find and Add Citations in Google Docs

Google Docs now has a built-in citation tool that allows you to easily search for, add, and format academic citations and bibliographies in your documents. This guide will show you how to:

  • Access the Citations tool
  • Choose a citation style
  • Add citation sources
  • Insert in-text citations
  • Create a bibliography
  • Edit citations
  • Delete citations

Accessing the Citations Tool

To access the Citations tool:

  1. Open a document in Google Docs
  2. Click Tools > Citations in the menu bar
  3. The Citations sidebar will open on the right side of your document

You can now use this sidebar to add and manage citations.

Choosing a Citation Style

Google Docs supports citations in 3 styles:

  • MLA 8th Edition
  • APA 7th Edition
  • Chicago Author-Date 17th Edition

When you first open the Citations tool, MLA will be selected by default.

To change the style:

  1. Open the citations sidebar
  2. Click the dropdown menu at the top
  3. Select APA, MLA or Chicago

The citation style you choose will determine the formatting of your in-text citations and bibliography.

Adding Citation Sources

To add a source:

  1. In the Citations sidebar, click + Add citation source
  2. Select the type of source you want to cite (book, website, journal article, etc.)
  3. Fill in the details about your source such as title, author, date, URL, etc.
  4. Click Add citation source when done

The source will now be saved in your list of citations on the sidebar.

Tip: Add all your sources to the Citations sidebar before inserting any in-text citations. This will make it easier to cite sources multiple times without re-entering data.

Inserting In-Text Citations

Once your sources are entered in the sidebar, you can cite them in the body of your document.

To add an in-text citation:

  1. In your document, place your cursor where you want the citation to go
  2. In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source
  3. Click the Cite button next to the source
  4. An abbreviated in-text citation will be inserted in proper format

Repeat this process to add citations anywhere needed in your document.

Creating a Bibliography

Once you have cited your sources, you can automatically generate a bibliography or works cited list.

To add a bibliography:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the bibliography to appear (usually at the end of the document)
  2. In the Citations sidebar, click Insert bibliography at the bottom
  3. The bibliography will be added in proper formatting

Anytime you edit, add or delete citations, you can refresh the bibliography to update it.

Editing Citations

To edit a citation source:

  1. In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source
  2. Click the More menu
  3. Choose Edit
  4. Make your changes to the source details
  5. Click Save source

Any citations from that source will be automatically updated.

Deleting Citations

To delete a citation source:

  1. In the Citations sidebar, hover over the source
  2. Click the More menu
  3. Choose Delete

All in-text citations from that source will be removed.

Additional Tips

  • Use the Explore panel in Docs to search for and cite online sources
  • Make sure to complete all recommended fields when entering sources for the most accurate citations
  • Wait until the end to add your bibliography so it includes all citations
  • Refresh your bibliography after adding, editing or deleting citations

The Google Docs citation tool takes the pain out of formatting academic citations and bibliographies. By following these steps, you can seamlessly integrate properly styled citations into your documents.

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