How to Cite Sources and Include a Bibliography in Google Docs

If you’re creating a paper or essay in Google Docs, don’t forget the bibliography. You can add sources and insert a bibliography easily.

When you’re writing a research paper, college essay, or similar document, you probably need to include a bibliography. Luckily, Google Docs gives you a convenient way to include one. Add your sources and insert a bibliography in the formatting style you need.

How to Add Your Sources in Google Docs

Google Docs offers a handy way to include a list of citations. You can use this list to cite sources directly in your document or simply include them in the bibliography.

  1. Go to Tools > Citations in the menu.
  2. The Citations sidebar will open for you to begin adding sources. If you plan to cite them directly in the document, you can select a citation format at the top. Or you can select this afterward when you insert the bibliography. Choose from MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.
  3. Click Add citation source.
  4. Select the Source Type in the drop-down list. You can choose from options like book, journal article, newspaper article, or TV series.
  5. Choose the Accessed by option next. You’ll see choices like print, website, and online database, depending on your Source Type.
  6. Complete the details for your source which also vary according to the type of source you use.
  7. Click Add citation source when you finish.

Add a Citation Source in Google Docs

Continue the same process to add your remaining citations. You’ll see them listed in the Citations sidebar.

To cite a source within your document, place your cursor where you want the citation and click Cite for the source in the list.

Cite a Source in the Text

To change or remove a source, click More Options (three dots) and choose Edit or Delete.

How to Insert the Bibliography in Google Docs

When you’re ready to insert the bibliography in your document, put your cursor in the location where you want the bibliography.

  1. Open the Citations sidebar again from Tools > Citations.
  2. If you did not select a citation format when you created your source list or want to use a different one for the bibliography, select it from the drop-down at the top. Again, you can pick from MLA, APA, or Chicago style formatting.
  3. At the bottom of the sidebar, click Insert bibliography.

Insert a Bibliography in Google Docs

Edit or Update the Bibliography

  • Once the bibliography is in your document, you can make edits to it like any other text. Change the words, adjust the font style, or make whatever changes you need.
  • To remove a bibliography, select all of the text for it and hit your Delete key.
  • If you need to change the format style, you’ll have to insert a new bibliography. Choose the format from the top of the Citations sidebar and click Insert bibliography to include one with the style you need.
  • If you add more sources to your document and want to update the bibliography to include them, you’ll need to insert a new bibliography. Currently, Google Docs doesn’t provide a simple Update button.

Bibliography in Google Docs

The Easy Way to Add a Bibliography in Google Docs

Gone are the days of manually creating a bibliography in your papers. With built-in tools like this, you don’t have to worry about figuring out the correct format or style. So remember this convenient way to insert a bibliography in your next Google Docs paper.

And if you use Microsoft Word as well, check out our how-to for adding citations and creating a bibliography in Word.

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