How to do your reference list at one click?

by Will Martins/ Updated February 22, 2019

During your studies, you will write a lot of essays and research papers. Obviously, don’t forget about your term papers, as well! All of these works require specific format to be followed, otherwise, they won’t be accepted by the university. I know, the formatting and referencing your papers may seem like a real pain in the neck, especially when you’re not familiar with a certain style of formatting. Of course, you can learn all the instructions and implement all the requirements of the format manually. But,

  • It will take a lot of time;
  • You might still make a mistake;
  • You will have to create in-text citations and list of references separately.

And even if you take your time and learn a certain format, you will have to go through the same process, once the paper formatting changes (which happens very-very often). So, what do we do in that case? Don’t worry, I got you covered.

Word can do it, but…

I’m not gonna lie, your text editing software is most probably capable of creating the in-text citations and bibliography page. Not sure if any software can do it, but Microsoft Word is capable of generating citations and reference page for you. Here’s how you do it:

If you got an older version of Word or some other software, Googling this helps a lot. However, there’s an array of limitations demonstrated by Word in creating references:

  • It has only the most popular citation and formatting styles (for example, my version of Word cannot do AMA);
  • You have to know full information about the source you’re trying to cite and you must input it manually (it’s not that convenient, I assure you + it takes time);
  • You will not be capable of transferring your references to another file, so you’ll have to create another list of references once more;
  • There’s still a probability that it might not format the source correctly (happened to me once, never used the Word for citing since then);

So, all in all, you may use Word for this, but I won’t recommend it.

Online generators are the best!

Once again, go to your favorite online search engine, type in “reference maker” and voila! You’ve got an array of online tools and services that will generate the references for you. I won’t recommend any particular of these generators (because they have not paid me for advertisement) but let me assure that it makes almost no difference which one you choose. Basically, they do the same thing and it’s up to your preference, which one you choose.

What I like about these online tools:

  • You just need to include either an author of the source or its title and the reference maker will find all required info about it and generate a reference according to your style;
  • They offer a really wide array of different styles (I mean, there are hundreds of formatting styles in certain reference makers);
  • Always accurate and correct (these tools are based on really great formatting algorithms and they give you the correct references);
  • You can save your bibliography for future papers (which is handy, right?);
  • They are fast! (all it takes is just one or two clicks to format a source)


As you can see, you can really save your time and efforts making correct citations and references for your papers. Moreover, you don’t really have to study by heart the citation styles and remember them for the rest of your life. All you have to do is to either use your MS Word to create and generate references and bibliography page or to find an online reference generator.

I highly recommend using the online tools because they will find you the source and format it accordingly just using its title or an author. Moreover, these online tools can significantly help you if you’re in need of sources for your paper. So, if you’ve got a paper to do but no source, you can look up the relevant sources according to the needed title. And then you’ll cite them using the same tool.

It’s fast, convenient and does not require you to learn the formatting instructions. Therefore, go use it and save time for something more valuable!

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