Life hacks for paper citations

Roe Walker, Reporter

The bane of every college student’s existence is dealing with the variety of ways professors require sources to be cited in papers. While most professors use the APA or MLA format, there are others who require their students to use Turabian and Chicago.

Reference sites such as Purdue University’s online writing lab can be of great help but wouldn’t life be so much easier if your paper could be formatted for you?

As it turns out, every version of Microsoft Office since 2007 has the capability of compiling sources into a bibliography, works cited page or table of contents automatically. It is also capable of doing it in the proper MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago formats.

Along the top of your screen in Microsoft Word there are several different tabs, like Home or Insert. When you select References, you can choose to insert a bibliography or works cited page and where to insert a Table of Contents page.

When you select the option to insert citations, you will have a choice of whether you want to add a new source or add a new placeholder. A source is what contains all of the information needed for the reader to look up the source. A placeholder is the in-text citation, or an insertion to direct your audience to the work cited page or bibliography at the end.

It is also useful to note that if you are writing different papers which use some of the same sources, Microsoft Word will save those sources for you. I would strongly recommend that you play around and get used to this, or you can go online to find help. One really useful site is Google Scholar, as you can look up the citations for articles that you can then copy and paste into your works cited page.

In the end, there may be many issues and fears with writing a good research paper. You may not be able to stop a paper from being boring, much longer than needed or stressful, but you can alleviate the burden of formatting your sources for every paper.

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