How to use Microsoft Reference Plugin

In the research world, referencing is as important as the research itself. Referencing in academic writing enables you to recognise the work of other authors and researchers you used in creating your own. This form citation is required for all university assignments, including course work, general ideas presentations and research.

Additionally, referencing allows you to give credit to the original author from whom you acquired ideas that are relevant to your research. By citing another scholar’s work, you acknowledge the researcher’s intellectual property rights. Microsoft Word’s built-in referencing tool was created to assist researchers in citing experts in their field.

Microsoft Word has a rudimentary reference system accessible through the ribbon’s “References” tab. This enables you to include references in the document you are working on and generate a bibliography at the end. With this tool, the references are organised in a master list that can be used as additional documents or attachments.

The “References” Tab

Navigating to the reference tab on your Microsoft word, it can easily be seen that It also contains resources for researchers and professionals in a variety of fields. The References tab even allows you to create a table of contents, cross-references, and choose between MLA, APA, and ISO referencing styles. You can easily insert a citation, footnote or endnote and bibliography into your document using the in-built reference plugin from this tab. Additionally, you can convert your Works Cited into a collection of records for future reference. The rest of this article will show you the practical steps to use the various functions in the reference tab for citation and referencing.


How to use Microsoft Reference Plugin

How to insert a Footnote

• Position the cursor after the word or phrase to which the footnote should be added.

• In the Footnotes group on the References tab, click the Footnote button. Next to the text, a superscript footnote reference is added, and a footnote divider is placed at the bottom of the page.

• The next step is to enter the text for your footnote.

How to use Microsoft Reference Plugin

How to Conduct a Review of the Created Footnotes?

• Click Show Notes in the Footnotes group.

• If the document contains both footnotes and endnotes when the Dialog box appears, select the type of footnote or endnote you wish to review and click OK.

How to select a reference style

• Decide on your desired reference style before you begin your research.

• Prior to establishing citations, choose the style of your work, for example, APA or MLA.

• Navigate to the References tab and click on the dropbox shows shows “APA” to Select the appropriate style in the Citations & Bibliography category

How to use Microsoft Reference Plugin

Adding a New Citation Source to your work

• Position the cursor where you want the citation to appear.

• Click the Arrow next to the Insert Citation button in the Citations & Bibliography group.

• Select the Add New Source option.

• In the resulting dialog box, choose the kind o citation from the Type of Source list and complete the necessary information.

• When finished, click OK.

NB. Word saves each citation you generate in a Master Citation List. This implies you may reuse it by selecting it from a list.

How to Cite a Source from Your citation List

• Select Manage Sources from the Citations & Bibliography group.

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• From the Master List, choose the relevant citation and click Copy. This will automatically include the reference in your paper.

• Position the cursor in the location where you wish to enter the citation.

• Click the arrow next to the Insert Citation button in the Citations & Bibliography group.

• Select the citation to be added by clicking on it.

• You may reuse a citation by repeating the procedures in bold characters throughout your text.

Editing the Sources for Citations

• Select Manage Sources from the Citations & Bibliography group.

• Click Change on the citation you want to edit.

• To preserve your changes, click OK again.

How to use Microsoft Reference Plugin

How to Compile a Bibliography MS word Reference plugin

• Position the cursor where you want the bibliography to appear.

• Select Biography from the Citations & Bibliography group.

• Then, choose the type of bibliography you wish to create.

• Word does an auto-insert.

Additional Functions In the Reference Plugin

Table Figures

• Assign each figure a caption.

•Insert the insertion point in the location where you wish to create the caption for a figure.

•Select Insert Caption from the References tab’s Captions group.

•Enter a caption for the image and click OK.

• Position your cursor in the area where you want to put a table of figures.

• In the Caption’s group on the References tab, select Insert Table of Figures, choose the table’s format, and click OK.

Table of Contents

• Begin by opening a document. The document should include content structured using the Home tab’s header styles.

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• Position the cursor in the location where you want to put a table of contents.

• Click the Table of Contents button in the Table of Contents group. You’ll see many different designs available for creating a Table of Contents.

Disadvantages of using the MS word Reference plugin

Concerning the disadvantages, I already said that you would need to be very familiar with your style guide to utilise this function in MS Word. While tinkering with it, I discovered that the functionality produced several style-related mistakes in the citations. For instance, my version of Word does not adhere to the APA’s guideline about the use of “ et al.” in subsequent citations of sources with three to five authors. Additionally, as APA requires, it utilises hyphens rather than en dashes for page ranges.

Furthermore, Word’s Citations feature will not fix mistakes in the information you provide for your sources. For instance, if you utilise the incorrect capitalisation style in the titles of your reference list (headline- vs sentence-style capitalisation), it will not correct it for you. The bottom truth is that this is not a fast cure. You will still require an eagle eye to revise your citations.

Additionally, I ran into an issue with Chicago notes and bibliography format. Chicago citations are automatically formatted as author-date in my version of Word. If you wish to utilise, still, your notes and bibliography, you may use Word to generate a bibliography, but you will need to add footnotes or endnotes separately and remove the author-date citations that display when you input citations for your bibliography.


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