How to Write Google Docs Citations: A Step-by-Step Guide

Citing sources in Google Docs is an essential skill for students and professionals alike. It gives credit to the original authors, avoids plagiarism, and adds credibility to your work. Follow this quick guide, and you’ll be citing like a pro in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Write Google Docs Citations

Google Docs makes it easy to include citations in your documents. This section will take you through the steps to add citations correctly.

Step 1: Open the ‘Tools’ Menu

Click on the ‘Tools’ menu at the top of your Google Doc.

In the ‘Tools’ menu, you’ll find various options to enhance your document. For citations, you’ll be using the ‘Citations’ feature.

Step 2: Select ‘Citations’

Choose ‘Citations’ from the dropdown menu.

The ‘Citations’ tool is specifically designed to add and format citations in your document. It supports various citation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago.

Step 3: Choose a Citation Style

Pick a citation style (MLA, APA, or Chicago) from the sidebar that appears.

Each citation style has different formatting rules. Your teacher or publisher will usually tell you which style to use.

Step 4: Add Citation Source Information

Click on ‘+ Add citation source’ and fill in the details of your source.

Be thorough when entering your source information. The more accurate your details, the more reliable your citations will be.

Step 5: Insert the Citation

After adding your source, click on the ‘Cite’ button to insert the citation into your document.

Your citation will now appear in the proper format, according to the style you selected. You can edit or delete it if needed.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your document will have properly formatted citations. This adds a professional touch to your work and ensures that you’re giving appropriate credit to the sources you’ve used.

Tips for Writing Google Docs Citations

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your citations are spot-on:

  • Double-check the spelling of authors’ names and titles; accuracy is key.
  • If you use a direct quote, include the page number in your citation.
  • Keep your citations consistent; stick to one style throughout your document.
  • Use the citation tools built into Google Docs for convenience and accuracy.
  • Regularly save your document to avoid losing any citation information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find all the information for a source?

Try to find as much information as possible, but if some details are missing, include what you have. Consistency and accuracy are important, but incomplete citations are better than none.

Can I cite sources in footnotes using Google Docs?

Yes, you can. In addition to the ‘Citations’ tool, Google Docs offers a feature to insert footnotes. You can manually add citation details there.

How do I cite a website without an author?

In such cases, start with the title of the article or webpage. Follow the rest of the citation format for the style you are using.

Can I change the citation style after adding citations?

Yes, you can change the style even after you’ve added citations. Google Docs will automatically update your citations to the new format.

How do I remove a citation?

Click on the citation in your document, then choose the ‘Edit’ or ‘Delete’ option from the citation tool sidebar.


Here’s a quick recap of the steps:

  1. Open the ‘Tools’ menu.
  2. Select ‘Citations’.
  3. Choose a citation style.
  4. Add citation source information.
  5. Insert the citation.


Mastering how to write Google Docs citations is a breeze once you get the hang of it. With the built-in citation tool, Google Docs does most of the heavy lifting for you. Remember that citing sources is not just a formality; it’s about joining a larger conversation within your field or subject area. Plus, it’s the ethical thing to do. So next time you’re wrapping up that research paper or article, give the citation tool a spin. It might just become your new best friend in the writing process.

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