Create a Reference Page in Microsoft Word

Citations and references are a key component of academic writing. Keeping track of citations in a paper and then providing a reference page are basic requirements of most college- and graduate-level writing assignments. Style guides exist as useful resources for the most common formats–such as the American Psychological Association, the Modern Language Association, and the Chicago Manual. Ashford University uses the APA Style Guide (6th Ed.) as the model for its writing assignments

Microsoft Word has many features that make writing documents easier: creating headers and a Table of Contents, mail merging, footnotes, and others. Word also allows a writer to manage sources, insert citations, and create a reference list. This topic covers how to create an APA-style References Page using Microsoft Word.

Learn it!

You start in the References Ribbon using the Citations and Bibliography group.


[Image Source: Microsoft Word]

Watch this screencast ( about using the buttons in the Citations group to:

  1. Insert a Citation
  2. Add/Edit Sources
  3. Create a References page

[Transcript – Managing Citations in Word]

You can also refer to the Microsoft tutorial or another screencast video (from KnowledgeWave, 2012).

Do it!

Try it out for yourself. Open a previously-created paper and replace the hand-typed citations by inserting new citations and adding your sources. Then, create a “Works Cited” bibliography in Word.

Compare this bibliography with the guidance provided by your accepted Style Guide.

  • Where does it match?
  • Where does it need editing?
  • What document type or fields should you enter for each source type?



[Image Source: Microsoft Word]

The computer is not always right! Word might not create your citations or references perfectly so you might have to edit them (e.g., changing the heading “Works Cited” to “References”). The accepted style guide–for Ashford University, that means APA 6th Ed.–is the final word on what “perfect” means.

You can edit the bibliography easily by changing it to static text. Click inside the bibliography, then the books icon on the left, and click on “Convert bibliography to static text”.

In closing…

  • Use the Citations & Bibliography group on the References Ribbon
  • Insert Citation to use an existing source or add a new one
  • Manage Sources to edit your list of sources, for a document or the Master list
  • Insert Bibliography to add a References list of works actually cited
  • Edit to match your accepted Style Guide





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