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LEAP 3: Panel Discussion

By the end of this class you will be able to:

  1. Locate the library research guide for this class
  2. Describe at least two characteristics of a quality source
  3. Evaluate some example resources in pairs or small groups
  4. Search for sources using the MRU LibrarySearch

Video Guides (Fall 2020)

  1. Academically Accepted Sources (2:14)
  2. Determining Quality of Sources (4:55)
    • Example #1.  The Opioid Crisis: A Reference Handbook
    • Example #2.  Opioid Addiction
    • Example #3.  Teens not being treated for opioid use disorders: Early intervention for adolescents is the key to heading off a cascade into lifelong addiction
  3. Tools for Searching (2:36) 
  4. Basic Searching in LibrarySearch (8:34)
  5. APA - The Very Basics (5:26)
  6. "Cite It" in LibrarySearch (2:25)
  7. "Cite" in MasterFile (3:03)

You are giving a panel discussion based on research on a topic that your group has selected. You will need to use the library's resources to find the information you need for the panel dicussion.

  1. Problem / solutions
  2. Demonstrate research
  3. Include visuals and graphics (chart, table, map, ...)
  4. Submit references
  5. One academic source NOT found through Google
  1. Open Google Drive - you can get here through MyMRU or you can also access through your own personal gmail
  2. Right-click on My Drive
  3. Choose Upload a File (find your file on the computer)

Before you begin to search

  • Write down your topic.
  • Underline the key ideas or terms. You will use these in your searching.
  • Brainstorm for synonyms. These are words or phrases that have the same meaning.
  • You now have a starting point when you start looking for information.


  • Quality refers to how trustworthy your source is.
    1. Purpose: Why did the authors write it?  How do you know that?
    2. Audience:  Who did the authors write it for?  How do you know that?
    3. Authority:  Who wrote the source?  How do you know that?
    4. Currency:  How recently was it written?  How do you know that?
    5. Reliability: Does your source provide details about where they got their information - such as references?
    6. Relevance: What does this source have to do with my topic?  How do you know?


  1. Accessibility refers to your ability to understand and summarize the ideas presented in your source.
    • For example, can you tell a classmate what your source is about without reading?  Think about a movie you've recently seen and a friend wanted to know about it?  What would you tell them?

Real or fake news? 

Try looking up the information at

When writing academically, your are expected to use the best sources available to you.  Keep in mind, that scholarly sources are less accessible (from an English language perspective) than non-scholarly sources.  Here are some important sources that meet the requirements of the presentation.

  1. Encyclopedias
  2. Books (print and ebooks)
  3. DVDs and Streaming Video
  4. Newspapers
  5. Magazines
  6. Journals

Less is more: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time

  • education
  • education university

Search phrases: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words

  • "post-secondary education"
  • very useful when you have a specific phrase containing common words

Search different spellings: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords

  • colleg* = college, colleges, collegiate
  • smok* = smoke, smoking, smokes, smoked, smokers

Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions

  • Date (last 10 years)
  • Peer-reviewed (for articles)

You can combine all the above in your search:

  • "post-secondary education" alberta advantag*

Why do we cite and reference sources?

  1. Citing helps your reader know that you're not making things up
  2. Citing makes you a more reputable source of information
  3. "Common knowledge" is not always accepted by the scientific community. Confirm common knowledge and cite your source
  4. Paraphrasing and summarizing demonstrates that you understand the material

How do I start referencing?  Use the "cite" option, found in many search tools, to put your source into APA format. 

What if there is no "cite" option?  Use the MRU citation guide (and ask for help at the service desk)

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Chris Thomas

Phone: 403.440.8501 (not currently available)
Office: EL4423E