Research Papers Scary No More

Updated: Sep 29

Citations? In-text citations? Works Cited? It all sounds scary but not with this step by step! Even if you normally write on your desktop, I recommend uploading it to google drive to do citations - it makes it SO Easy! homeschool language arts, virtual classes, free resources



“Easey Peasy Lemon Squeezy. Google Drive For the Win!”

A wonderful student showed me this great tool last year! (You know who you are and Thank You!)


What do all those big words mean?

Nearly every time we write an essay we talk about things we have learned and we cannot just pretend we are all knowing! We have to say where we read things.


to cite: means to quote or refer to


works cited (aka bibliography): since most of our works cited are not books we don't call it a bibliography any more. This is the list at the end of your essay that tells the reader where you got all the important information from - note it only goes on this list if you actually use something from the book or website. If you researched there but didn't tell any information from it then it does not go in your works cited.


in-text citations: the bit in brackets after you give a piece of information or a direct quote that tells the reader which source on your works cited that you got the information from


Super Beginner's Tutorial


  1. Open your Google Doc and format it to MLA standard... there's a tutorial HERE if you need one! Type your essay. As you go you will add sources and citations.


Here is an example I found online. Thanks, American Council for the Blind for this great essay.


When you come to a fact (every single fact needs a source!), you will add the source to your paper... I hope you kept good track of what information came from where!


Click Tools, then citations

Then you see a new column on the right called "citations" click the down arrow beside MLA (8th ed) to see your options.


We'll just leave it at 8th ed. but just so you know - APA and Chicago style are there too!










Click + Add citation source - then click the down arrow and choose where you read the information. Probably a website! click that!


Go to the empty space that says "search with a URL and paste the website link there (it's called a URL). Make sure that it is the page you think it is and click continue.


For this tutorial I'm just using the link for this entire essay, but this essay SHOULD have links for each fact in it - like most webpages it's written by an "expert" and hasn't listed links.


In my classes, I'm not worried if the citation isn't entirely fille in (so don't worry if it says it's missing information) Just click Add citation source.


Now the source is just in the document's memory. It doesn't show up on your essay anywhere!


ADD an in text citation. Go to that first fact and put your cursor at the end of it. (click there)

Then go to the right column and hover over the source that the information came from - it will look like this.



Just click that blue word that says "Cite"












Just like magic it will enter the correct in text citation right into your essay!


What if you have more facts from the same source?

-just go to the sources list and hover over the correct source and click cite - you can use it again and again (but you should try to have multiple sources!)


Now ... You have finished your essay - you have added all your facts and for EVERY SINGLE FACT you have added an in-text citation. You're ready to hand it in, but you need a Works Cited at the end.


Go to the end of your essay and start a brand new page. Either press enter/return until it starts a new one or click CTRL + ENTER at the same time.


Click on this new page so your cursor is there.


Go to the right hand Citations column. At the very bottom is a blue button that says insert works cited.




Just click it! MAGIC... You have a works cited.


This might not seem like magic to you, but you have not spent hours at a typewriter finding the details, and formatting the with all the correct punctuation, and hanging indents only to discover you did it all with the author's name in the wrong place and now you have to type it all again! yeah... you might think I'm old, but it wasn't THAT long ago!

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