Citations are an important aspect of any school paper, whether it’s in college or otherwise. Expository, persuasive, research, or even informal essays all need to properly credit the sources from which they draw information, and Google Docs hasn’t always been the strongest at providing tools to help with this. Back when I was helping people set up their Chromebooks and get all geared up for the back-to-school season, I had many students ask me how they could inject these citations into their work before turning it in.
At that time, I had to refer them to PaperPile and similar extensions. However, over the past few years, Google has improved its approach to this and has provided tools for managing citations in Docs. Until now though, it’s largely been a manual process of copying and pasting them in the document from a Google Search on a separate tab, so far as I’ve understood it.
Now, the latest update to the company’s document editing and collaboration service brings an Explore-style tool whereby you can search for books and online sources right from within the document itself. Taking that a step further, you can also automatically insert them with one click! I should mention that not all information fields will populate, and it will depend on the source.
For those unfamiliar, “Explore” is a built-in tool that lets you find websites, text, images, and more on Google Search right inside of the document by clicking the bottom-right icon. Then, you can insert them…