How To Add Citations In Google Docs

Last Updated on July 23, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add citations in Google Docs.

How To Add Citations In Google Docs

When writing a research paper, it is important to include citations for any sources you reference. Citations are a way to give credit to the original author of the source and is essential to avoid plagiarism.

Google Docs makes it easy to add citations to your paper with just a few clicks. You can either manually add a citation, or you can have Google Docs automatically generate citations for you.

Google Docs has a built-in citation tool that allows you to cite a variety of sources from books, websites, journals, and more.In this guide, we will show you how to add citations in Google Docs. We will also show you how to use the Citation tool to insert in-text citations and to create a Works Cited section for your research paper.

How to Insert Citations in Google Docs

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to insert citations in Google Docs.

Step 1

First, open the document with the text you want to add citations to.

Step 2

In the Tools menu, click on the Citations option.

Step 3

Before adding a new citation, determine what citation formatting you wish to use. So far, Google Docs offers support for MLA, APA, and Chicago Style citations.

In this guide, we’ll select the MLA formatting option.

Click on Add citation source to add your first citation

Step 4

Select the source type for your citation. For example, if you want to cite data sourced from an official government website, you’ll need to select “Website” as the source type. In our example, we’ll choose “Book” as our source type.

Next, select how the source was accessed. For books, the options include “Print”, “Website”, and “Online database”.

For this example, we’ll select “Print”.

Step 5

Next, you have the option to provide additional information about your citation source to help Google Docs automatically fill out your citation. For books, you can provide an ISBN number that is unique to your book. For data sourced from websites, you can provide a URL of that website.

After providing a URL or ISBN number, you can now click on Search.

Step 6

Google Docs will be able to search for various details about your book such as the title, author, publisher, and the year it was published. Providing URLs will allow Google Docs to provide the article title, website title, author, and date published.

Click on Continue to proceed.

Step 7

You will see multiple text fields showing the information Google Docs needs to create a citation. You can manually enter your own data or rely on the data Google Docs pulled up earlier.

Click Add citation source to proceed.

Step 8

You should now have at least one citation in the Citations panel.

Step 9

Click on the Cite button to add an in-text citation for the given source.

The citation will appear right after wherever your cursor is currently placed.

Step 10

You can also click the Insert Works Cited button to add a Works Cited section that is typically required at the end of every paper.


This guide should be everything you need to learn how to add citations in Google Docs.

Click this link to make a copy of this sample document to try doing it yourself!