How do I insert a citation using the Microsoft Word Referencing tool?

Once you have chosen the correct referencing style for your document (see How can I set up the Referencing tool in Microsoft Word?), you can start adding your sources.

  1. Click in your assignment where you need to insert a citation (this is normally at the end of a sentence that you've quoted / paraphrased, or after the surname of an author you've mentioned).
  2. On the References tab, click Insert Citation and then Add New Source….

Insert Citation drop-down with Add New Source highlighted


  1. The Create Source window now opens and you can choose which type of source you want to use by clicking the drop-down Type of Source menu (this could be Book, Journal Article, Web Site and so on).

Create Source window with Book selected in the Type of Source drop=down menu


  1. You now need to enter the information you have for the source in each field. You don’t need to fill in every field – just those that are required for your source. See Quote, Unquote for guidance on the Leeds Beckett Harvard referencing requirements, as these are not quite the same as the default options offered by the 'Harvard Anglia' system in Word.

Create source window with book fields filled in


You can click on Show All Bibliography Fields if you want to add more information. If your source has an organisation as an author rather than a person (e.g. BBC or NHS), then tick the Corporate Author option.

  1. Click OK when you are finished and you will now see a citation in your work:

"The evidence we use serves to do much more than just support and illustrate our arguments" (Greetham, 2018).

  1. If you need to edit the citation, for example to add a page number if it’s for a direct quotation, then click on the citation and choose Edit Citation from the drop-down menu.

Edit Citation option chosen from the drop-down list


You can then add your page number(s) and also remove anything else from the citation that’s not needed, for example if you don’t require the author as this has been mentioned in the body of the text.

Edit Citation window with page numbers added


  1. If you want to add the details of a source into your collection of references, but you don’t yet want to add a citation into your document, you can do this at any time by clicking Manage Sources in the References tab.

Citations & Bibliography section with Manage Sources highlighted


Click on New… and add the source information as above. You can then add a citation when you’re ready by clicking Insert Citation and choosing it from your list of sources.

See How do I create my bibliography using the Microsoft Word Referencing tool? for the next steps of adding your sources.

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