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RefWorks (Software Instruction)

RefWorks online software simplifies the process of research, collaboration, data organization, and writing by providing an easy-to-use tool for citation, bibliography, and reference management. Learn how to build a collection of references.

Using RefWorks in your papers - Write-n-Cite

Write-N-Cite (WNC) is a plugin for Microsoft Word that lets you run a simplified version of RefWorks inside Word. This is used for OLDER versions of Word. (for Word 2019 and later use RefWorks Citation Manager).

Write-N-Cite for Word

Step 1. Sync My Database

Before you start working with references in Word make sure to sync Write-N-Cite to your RefWorks account. 

1. Click on the Sync My Database 

Step 2. Select Reference Style

There are many styles that are used and it will depend on your discipline and assignment which you should pick. Common styles include APA 6th and APA 7th, MLA, and Chicago. 

NOTE: If you want to use APA 7th edition, Please select/search "APA 7th - No title casing, American Psychological Association, 7th Edition".


1. Click the Style dropdown on the RefWorks toolbar.

Select the desired style, the recently used will be listed first. If you don't see your style click Select Other Style to see all styles. 

If you decide to change styles halfway through your document,

2. Select the new style from the list

3. Select Reapply Output Style to update existing citations to the new style.

Step 3. Insert Citation

Insert Citation into a Word Document

1. Write your quote; place the cursor where you want your inline citation to appear (bottom arrow)

2. Click Insert Citation on the RefWorks Toolbar

Note: Write-N-Cite remembers previously used citations and will put them in the quick list. ex. Dobbins, Maureen, 2017. (top arrow)

3. Click Insert New to add a new citation to the document.







4. in the Insert/Edit Citation box, 

   a. Select the folder
   b. Select the reference  (highlighted in blue )
   c. See a preview of the inline citation (arrow)

Note: you have the ability to make some changes to the citation at this stage if necessary. It is recommended that you ensure that your reference is correct in RefWorks prior to starting your document.

   d. Click OK










5. The inserted citation is highlighted in grey. When the bibliography (or Reference List) is generated all citations used will be included. 



Step 4. Create Bibliography List

RefWorks Write-N-Cite will generate an automatic Reference or Bibliography list based on the citations that you have inserted in the document. it will be formatted based on the style selected.


Add a bibliography list

1. Write your document and insert citations
    (see Step 2)

2. Place the cursor at the end of the document.
    The list will be inserted where your cursor is placed.




3.  Select Bibliography Options; Select Insert Bibliography


  • you cannot format the bibliography until its created. 
  • you must remove the bibliography using the remove function; deleting it with your keyboard as you would text will not remove the coding from the Word document. 



4. the bibliography will be added, it will be formatted based on the style selected (ex. APA 6th ed. - the list is shaded for visibility in the example only.)










Format a bibliography list

The bibliography list is generated as is appropriate for that particular style. However, you can override the formatting.

NOTE: if your style has changed do not use Format Bibliography, instead select the correct style then select the Reapply Output Style to globally make the citations and bibliography list change to the newly selected style.

1. Select Bibliography Options; Select Format Bibliography










2. By default, the formatting options are locked. Click the lock to unlock to toggle the formatting on. (Click again to re-lock) 


You can click the Return to Defaults button at any time to return the settings to the default for the selected style.



3. Click OK when complete





Remove a bibliography list

A bibliography list cannot be simply deleted, it must be removed. Not removing the bibliography list properly may affect the ability to add a new list at a later time.

1. Select Bibliography Options; Select Remove Bibliography to properly remove the list.