Easy Peasy Citations and Works Cited in Google Docs

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Google Drives For the Win!

A wonderful student, who shall remain unnamed, showed me this great tool this week! (You know who you are - and Thank You!)

Here is the super beginner's tutorial on how to do works cited and in-text citations in your essay!

Open a Google Doc and format it for MLA standard

CLICK HERE for a handy tutorial for learning to do that!

Now it looks something like this (thanks to brailleworks.com for this splendid writing):

Now it looks like this

Add your Sources

A source is where you find information. You have to keep track of where you find each of your facts.

Here's how to add a source to Google's memory.

Go to the Menu and choose Tools, then Citations

Now you get this pop-up on the right-hand side. Click the down arrow and choose the type of formatting your instructor has chosen. (For my classes choose MLA)

Click the blue + Add citation source.

Another pop-up appears - click the down arrow and choose your source type.

HOT TIP: essays should have more than one type of source! Try to find a book or other source to add to your online research

Note: If you choose Book - you have to say where you read it (Accessed by drop-down menu) Options are print (a physical paper book, online (e-book) or online database (not sure I've ever seen one of these)

Most of your sources will be websites, so I'll show that one (and that's where I found this great writing!)

Unfortunately, it does not auto-fill your boxes for you - so you have to go to your website and fill in all the information you can find. If you can't find something just leave it blank. Be sure to check the footer (very bottom) of the website for copyright (you can use this date as a publishing date too if one isn't listed)

Accessed day/month is when you read it

Now my source looks like this:


As you write your essay add your sources and cite them immediately! Do not leave this until the end - it will be so much more work trying to figure out which fact came from which source. In your essay outline, you should have noted the source for each fact so it's right there at your fingertips!

Add In Text Citations In-Text Citations are just notes in the text (writing) of your essay that cites (tells where) you go got your information.

Let's pretend that I have used just a little information from this site (and not the entire text). Remember - every single idea, fact, or stat you take from a source needs to have a citation (that is the part that tells the reader where it came from)

I want to show that the first paragraph of information came from this website (although in reality it all did - but your essays won't be like that) You will have lots of different citations in your essay.

First: put your cursor in the essay where you want the citation to be added (at the end of the idea/fact that you took from that source) Then move your mouse and hover over the source you got that information from - it will pop up a cite button - it will look like this.

Click the "cite" button and it will automatically add the in-text citation to your essay! It's magic!

Add Works Cited to the End of Your Essay

Works Cited is just a list of all the works (books, websites etc) that you cited (used information from).

This is some serious easy peasy here! You should have a number of sources listed on the right hand menu of sources and now you're ready to add your Works Cited.

See the fancy blue button at the bottom? "Insert Works Cited"? Just make sure you are at the END of your essay - on a brand new page - and Click it!

MAGIC! Your Works Cited will appear at the end. (or wherever your cursor was!)

So Easy, Right?! YOU CAN DO THIS!


This is a great thing to do as you're researching too! You can use this technique for your outline document to help you keep track of all your sources and which facts come from which source!

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