How to Add Citations in Word: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Adding Citations in Word

To add citations in Word, you’ll need to use the built-in citation feature. Start by opening the document you want to work on. Go to the "References" tab, click on "Insert Citation," and select "Add New Source." Fill in the required fields, and Word will automatically format your citation. This quick overview should give you a good idea of the steps involved.

Step by Step Tutorial for Adding Citations in Word

Adding citations in Word is a straightforward process that ensures your document is properly referenced. Follow these steps to make your citations:

Step 1: Open your document

Open the Word document where you need to add citations.

Make sure the document is saved and ready to go. It’s a good idea to have all your sources handy for quick access.

Step 2: Go to the "References" tab

Navigate to the "References" tab in the top menu.

The "References" tab is where all the citation tools are located. This tab includes options for managing sources and inserting citations.

Step 3: Click on "Insert Citation"

Click the "Insert Citation" button in the "Citations & Bibliography" group.

This will bring up a menu with options to add a new source or choose from existing ones. If you already have sources saved, you can select them here.

Step 4: Select "Add New Source"

Choose "Add New Source" from the drop-down menu.

A dialog box will appear, prompting you to enter the details for your new source. Ensure you have all necessary information like the author’s name, title, and publication date.

Step 5: Fill in the required fields

Enter the source information in the provided fields and click "OK."

Word requires specific details to format the citation correctly. Double-check for accuracy to ensure your citations are correct. Once you click "OK," your citation will be added to the document.

After completing these steps, Word will automatically format the citation in the style you have selected, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Tips for Adding Citations in Word

  • Use the “Manage Sources” button to keep track of all your sources in one place.
  • Choose the correct citation style before adding your citations to ensure consistency.
  • Use the “Insert Bibliography” option to automatically compile a bibliography at the end of your document.
  • Double-check each citation for accuracy to avoid mistakes.
  • Utilize the “Edit Source” option to make changes to your citations as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What citation styles are available in Word?

Word offers a range of citation styles, including APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard. You can select your preferred style from the "Style" drop-down menu in the "References" tab.

Can I edit a citation after adding it?

Yes, you can edit a citation by clicking on it and selecting "Edit Source" from the menu that appears. This allows you to update any information as needed.

How do I add a bibliography?

To add a bibliography, go to the "References" tab and click on "Insert Bibliography." Word will automatically generate a bibliography based on the sources you’ve cited.

Is it possible to use citations from previous documents?

Yes, you can import sources from other documents. Use the "Manage Sources" button to import and reuse citations from your master list.

What if I make a mistake with my citations?

If you make a mistake, you can always go back and edit your citations. Use the "Edit Source" or "Manage Sources" options to correct any errors.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Go to the "References" tab.
  3. Click on "Insert Citation."
  4. Select "Add New Source."
  5. Fill in the required fields and click "OK."


Adding citations in Word is a simple but essential task for anyone working on academic or professional documents. It not only gives credit to the original authors but also strengthens the credibility of your work. Whether you’re writing a research paper, a thesis, or a report, knowing how to add citations correctly is crucial. This step-by-step guide should make the process much easier for you.

Remember, accurate citations are a cornerstone of good writing. Take your time to enter the correct information and double-check your work. With these tips and steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating well-referenced and professional-looking documents. If you’re interested in learning more, Word’s help section and various online tutorials offer additional resources to further improve your citation skills.