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How to use Microsoft Word's works cited tools: Sources, footnotes, and more

Anthony Domanico | Sept. 26, 2014
Keeping track of all the sources you used to write your research paper is a lofty task, but fortunately for you, Word 2013 has several built in tools to manage your references.

Regardless of whether you use footnotes or endnotes, Word makes it incredibly easy to add these to your paper. You can add footnotes or endnotes in the Footnotes section in the References ribbon, but be sure to place your cursor where you'd like the superscripted number referencing the footnote to appear before clicking on the tools.

For footnotes, click on the Insert Footnote button, then type in either your reference or add notes and supporting materials. To navigate between footnotes within your paper, simply click on the Next Footnote button. To add endnotes, click on the Insert Endnote button and add your notes and/or citations.

For either option, you can also use the Insert Citation button in the Citations & Bibliography section (covered in the previous section) to add appropriate references to your footnote or endnote.

Insert a proper bibliography
Before Word 2007 added a References section, adding a bibliography was an arduous, manual task that was often one of the worst parts of completing a research paper. Now, adding a bibliography to your paper is as simple as two mouse clicks.

In the Citations & Bibliography section of the References ribbon, click on the Bibliography drop down menu to pull up the three options for a bibliography. Stylistically, all three options look identical with the exception of the heading, since different fields of study can't seem to agree on what to call the bibliography.

Depending on the requirements for your particular paper, choose either the bibliography, references, or works cited type of bibliography to add it to the end of your paper. Each option will be perfectly referenced according to the style guide you choose in the style drop-down menu.

If you add references into your paper after you insert the bibliography, click on the Update Citations & Bibliography button at the top of the References page. The button will appear once you mouse over the word "References." Reselecting the Style option will also refresh your bibliography's sources.

The only other thing you may need to do is insert a page break immediately before the references to ensure it's always on the last page of your document. You can do this by clicking Page Break in the Pages section of the Insert ribbon.


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