Create a bibliography

Word 2016 2013 2010 2007 2003
If you use citations in your Word documents, you might need the bibliographic items for each source that you have referenced. Microsoft Word offers a useful tool to create a list of these bibliographic references, also named as bibliography, references or works cited, as a list of the citations added in the document.

Before you create the bibliography, make sure you have replaced all placeholders with a proper citation (for more details, see how to create a citation, how to create a multi-source citation). If you inserted a placeholder for a citation, the source would not appear in the bibliography. However, if you later replace the placeholder with source information, the bibliography will be automatically updated, and the new source will be added to the bibliography.

Create a Bibliography, References and Works Cited

To create a bibliography, follow the next steps:

   1.   Place the cursor where you want to insert the bibliography.

Usually, the bibliography is placed at the end of the document.

   2.   On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click the Bibliography button and then do one of the following:

Citations and Bibliography in Word 365
  • Choose one of the built-in styles in the drop-down menu.
  • Select Insert Bibliography at the bottom of the list:
    Bibliography Word 365

    Note: If you choose the Insert Bibliography option, you will need to add a heading.

Word creates the Bibliography, References, or the Works Cited based on the sources. For example, the Bibliography in the IEEE style (see more about styles below):

example of Bibliography in Word 365

Note: The automatically created bibliography, it does not matter how you created it, contains all sources of the document, even if some were removed or added by mistake. See how to manage sources for the Bibliography, References, and Works Cited for more details.

Citation and bibliography formats

Depending on the selected style, the Bibliography, References, and Works Cited look quite different. For example, the Works Cited using the APA style:

example of Works Cited in Word 365

To change the style, on the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, open the Style drop-down list:

Reference Styles in Word 365

Choose the format you need:

  • The American Psychological Association (APA) style is used for academic documents such as scholarly journal articles and books and in many social sciences.
  • The Chicago style is used in history and economics and some social sciences.
  • The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is most often used in the arts and the humanities, especially in English studies, modern languages and kinds of literature, comparative literature, literary criticism, media studies, cultural studies, and related disciplines.
  • The American Sociological Association (ASA) style is used for writing university research papers in the field of sociology.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) style is used for writing research papers, commonly used in technical fields, particularly in computer science.
  • Oxford, Harvard, and others.

The specified format for citations and a bibliography can be the requirement for some types of the document.

Note: You do not need to create a bibliography to see how it will look for selected style. After choosing the bibliography style, you can preview the format in the Bibliography list:

example of the Bibliography list in Word 365

See also this tip in French: Comment créer une bibliographie.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.