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Zotero for Managing and Using Citations: Creating Bibliographies

In Text Citations & a Bibliography

The Pay-Off

The reward for putting all of that information into your Zotero Library is the ability to use the items in the text of your paper and have it automatically create your bibliography or works cited section.  It is very important to cite the works that gave you inspiration or evidence for your paper, it just shouldn't take so long to do it correctly.  That's where tools like Zotero can help.

Zotero Tools

When you install Zotero desktop, it will also add the Zotero tools to MS Word, if you have it.  If you install the Zotero Connector it will automatically add the Zotero tools to Google Docs.  However, as wonderful as any of these tools are, you still need to know some of the basics of the citation style you are supposed to use.  We have books to help and I often point students to the Excelsior OWL for easy access to some of those details for APA, Chicago, or MLA citation styles.

The tools look slightly different depending upon if you use Word or Google Docs.

In MS Word:

Zotero tools in ms word


In Google Docs:

Zotero tools in google docs


Adding Citations to a Document

The process of adding citations is the same for both MS Word or Google Docs. As mentioned above, you need to know the basics of the citation style you will use and one to know as you start this process is knowing the answer to this question:

Where should the citation be inserted? 
Is it inside the period or outside the period at the end of the sentence? Maybe it needs to go in the middle of the sentence?

Find and Insert the Citation

  • Put the cursor where it belongs.
  • Click on Add/edit citation
  • Select the citation style you want to use for this document.
  • The search bar will appear where you can search for an author name or a word from the title.  Look through the list and select the one you need and hit enter. It looks like:
    Zotero search bar
  • Continue adding citations where you need them.  If you need more than one citation in the same location, keep adding them to the search bar, then hit enter.


Inserting the Bibliography

  • Create a new section at the end and type either References or Works Cited.
  • Add a new line under that so that your cursor is on that new line.
  • Click Add Bibliography and it will create it.