Grade 5

Citations in Google Docs

Digital Citizen


Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way for students to keep track of citations to their articles. When students are using Google Docs to write their papers, they can easily link and cite the articles used for references. 

The research and writing will take several class periods. The instruction time for teaching the citation tool will take one class period. 

Students will:

  • Be able to create a citation within their written document giving credit when appropriate. 
  • Understand and respect the work of others.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Citation: A citation is a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.

  2. Footnote: A footnote is a piece of information printed at the bottom of a page.

To prepare for this lesson:

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

The teacher needs to teach citations and their purpose prior to having the students complete the activity. The students should already be assigned the writing and be ready to write in their document.

  1. The teacher will introduce what a citation is to the students.

  2. The teacher will assign a research paper to the students.

  3. The students will use Google Docs to write the paper.

  4. The students will highlight the text that needs to be cited.

  5. Go to Tools click Explore.

  6. Type in the search query on the right to find the source. 

  7. Select the result, then click on the quotations in the top right.

  8. A footnote citation will be added to the bottom of the Google Doc.

  9. The citation format can be changed using the three dots on the right.

Note: If needed, show the video tutorial to the students.

Different options for assessing the students:

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Digital Citizen
2a. Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
2b. Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
2c. Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
2d. Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:

Citation Tool in Google Docs Video Tutorial

Google Docs

What is a Footnote Video Tutorial

  • The citation tool is very useful for students needing to cite their written work.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.2.D Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.

The citation tool is very useful for students needing to cite their written work.

The citation tool is very useful for students needing to cite their written work.

This task card was created by Julie Hoehing, Lake Shore Public Schools, April 2018.