Using Word for your bibliography

There’s a lot on the internet about reference management that are used to gather references and to create a bibliography in your paper or dissertation. Endnote, Zotero and others have their defenders and detractors, but many don’t know that Microsoft Word contains a bibliographic manager. There is a good explanation and simple instructions about how to use it in the article: ‘MLA, APA, Chicago — Microsoft Word formats bibliographies for you‘; also here (more up-do-date versions of Word), and ‘Add a citation and create a bibliography‘.

Word 2016 is pre-loaded with ten styles including MLA, APA, Chicago, IEEE, and GOST. MLA and APA styles are available to download at – search for e.g. MLA Styles, APA Styles (there’s also examples here of papers formatted in these styles).

While using the in-built Word bibliography system might be appealing, you should carefully assess whether this meets all your requirements – can the bibliography be exported to other software if you want to do this, can the bibliography be saved as a separate file for backup purposes, will this bibliography grow with your thesis? I’ll be writing some more about this as I explore this Word feature myself.

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