Assignment Help Tip: Generate Reference List in Your Assignments Automatically

One thing which perplexes college students is how to format the reference list in their assignments correctly. We all know how our professors can be extremely finicky when  it comes to references. They are ever ready to deduct marks if you miss even a minute detail such as page number. To add to students’ confusion, different professors may use different referencing styles altogether.

Thankfully, you can find help if you are using Microsoft Word 2007 or higher on your computer. Although there are several online tools available as well, we strongly recommend you to use the tool available in Microsoft Word. It is fully compatible with your Word processed assignments and it can store the references for future use as well.

In this blog, we will demonstrate how you can use Microsoft Word 2010 to automatically format your references in any of the popular referencing styles. This tutorial uses Word 2010 but the steps will be similar for other versions as well.

Step 1: Click on the References tab in your Word document.

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Choose the referencing style which is asked for in your assignment. We have chosen APA Sixth edition in this example.

Step 2: Choose Manage Sources and click on “New”. From the “Type of Source”, choose the desired type. We have chosen Journal Article in this illustration.

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Step 3: Fill out all the fields given (Author, Title, Journal Name, Year and Pages). For example, if you want to enter information for the following resource

Chan, P., Finnegan, C., & Sternquist, B. (2011). Country and firm level factors in international retail expansion. European Journal of Marketing, 45 (6), 1005-1022.

In the Author’s field, enter “P. Chan; C. Finnegan; B. Sternquist”. Notice that multiple authors are separated by a semi colon (;).

In the Title’s field, enter “Country and firm level factors in international retail expansion”. Notice that only the first word (Country) is capitalised. However, if the title contains two parts separated by a colon (:), the word starting the next part is also capitalised. For example, if the title were “Country and firm level factors in international retail expansion: A study from Finland”. Notice how the first word after colon (A) is capitalised.

In the Journal Name’s field, enter the name of the Journal followed by its volume and issue numbers. In this example, you will enter “European Journal of Marketing, 45(6)” OR “European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45, Iss. 6”. Notice how every major word is capitalised in this field.

The rest of the fields are self-explanatory and you can fill them without guidance.

Step 4:  Repeat the above two steps for all your resources to be used in the assignment.

Step 5: To enter an in-text citation, place your mouse cursor where you want to enter the citation and click “Insert Citation”. Choose the entry which you want to enter at that place. In this example, it will look like the following

(Chan, Finnegan, & Sternquist, 2011)

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Step 6: To generate a reference list automatically, place your mouse cursor at the end of the assignment and click “Bibliography” and choose either “Bibliography” or “Works Cited.” It will generate the Works Cited page automatically. In this example, we have generated a random reference list and your reference list will look something similar to the following.

Works Cited

Chan, P., Finnegan, C., & Sternquist, B. (2011). Country and firm level factors in international retail expansion. European Journal of Marketing, 45 (6), 1005-1022.

Gibson, O. (2013, May 30). Sepp Blatter: how Fifa’s great survivor has stayed on top. Retrieved from The Guardian Web site:

Hausman, A. V., & Siekpe, J. S. (2009). The effect of web interface features on consumer online purchase intentions. Journal of Business Research, 62(1), 5-13.

Jackson, T. (2013). Seeing the Middle East through different inflections: Implications for cross-cultural management research. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 13(2), 133-36.

Nissin Foods. (2013). Annual Report . Tokyo, Japan: Nissin Foods Holdings.

Note that your reference list is automatically formatted. If you wish to change the referencing style, just change the “Style” to your desired format say Chicago Fifteenth Edition and your in-text citations and Reference list will get updated automatically.

What’s more, all your reference entries are stored in the Word. So if you wish to use the same reference in future, you do not have to enter the information again. You can just use the “Search” feature to find an earlier reference and copy it into your reference list as shown

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This is how you can use Microsoft Word to handle referencing in your assignments. We will continue to give more useful assignment help tips to the students in this blog. So keep checking it out for latest updates.

If you are looking for an expert to do your assignment, you can send us your query at [email protected]. We usually respond in 1-6 hours.