Skip to main content

Managing references: Word's References tool

A guide to some of the systems you can use to help with referencing

Word has its own, basic referencing system available via the 'References' tab on the ribbon. This lets you add references to a document and then create a bibliography at the end of the text. References are stored in a master list, which can be used to add references to further documents.

Note: this system is not as powerful as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero.

First steps

  1. Create your document.
  2. To insert a citation in the text go to the 'References' tab on the ribbon and click on 'Insert Citation' and 'Add new source'.
  3. Select the 'Type of source' and fill in the boxes.
  4. Add all the citations to your document.
  5. When you have finished, go to the end of your document and click on the 'Bibliography' option. Select from one of the preformatted options or just insert the bibliography to format yourself.
  6. To change the style of your references from the default 'APA' style click on the 'Style' list and select another. Although you can't edit these styles, you can as a final step, convert the bibliography to editable text. See the guide below for instruction on doing this.

Further guidance

Microsoft References introductory video

Microsoft don't seem to produce their own video on using this tool, so this one has been taken from YouTube. Although it isn't for the latest version of Word, it gives a clear explanation of the basics, which haven't changed.