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Cite Sources

These resources explain the hows and whys of citing sources in your academic work

Citation Styles and Resources


Current 7th Edition APA Resources
MRU Disciplinary/Program Specific Resources


Current 17th Edition Chicago Resources

Helpful sites

Why We Cite

In all academic assignments, you must properly cite all ideas and work you use that are not your own to ensure the integrity of your work. Citations also strengthen your work as they show the effort you put into your research, and add context to your argument.

Want to know more? Check out these resources:

Under the Code of Student Conduct, failure to cite properly is an academic offense and constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is copying someone else's work, words, or ideas and representing them as your own without giving credit to the author. 

Plagiarism in an academic offense; consequences can include failure of and expulsion from a course. 

Getting Citation Help

Get expert help with citation:

  • Use the Library's Ask Us Chat service for help with citation and assistance finding resources about citing
  • Student Learning Services provides in-depth help with citation. Book a one-on-one appointment to meet with a strategist online, or attend a webinar (registration is required).

A note about citation style guidelines: Many citation format guidelines are open to interpretation. For this reason your instructor is the final authority of the subject of citation for any given assignment.

Detecting plagiarism for faculty

MRU definition of plagiarism

From the Student Conduct Guide:

Plagiarism refers to a form of academic misconduct occurring when an individual purports that a piece of work has been authored by him/herself when indeed the work has been created by another individual. In particular, students are expressly prohibited from submitting:

  • the words, ideas, images or data of any other person as a student’s own in any academic work which is a component of a course or program of study at the University;
  • information or data which have been altered or contrived in any way that is intended to mislead; and
  • work which includes misleading references to material or references that do not accurately reflect the sources used by the student. 

Preventing plagiarism

What you can do to make plagiarism less likely in your classroom (Council of Writing Program Administrators, 2003):

  • Support the research and writing process. Build activities, such as peer review and submission of early drafts, into the class structure.
  • State it in writing. Policies and expectations for documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism should be provided to students in writing.
  • Create original assignments. This reduces the likelihood that stock papers on the topic will be available on the internet.
  • Teach students proper citation methods. Ensure that students understand proper methods of citation.
  • Discuss the challenges. Discuss the particular challenges involved with writing and citation and suggest strategies for students to overcome them.
  • Engage students suspected of plagiarism. Meet with students who are suspected of plagiarism to determine whether the misuse of sources was intentional.

Identifying sources of plagiarized material

If you suspect that plagiarism has occurred you may wish to identify the source of the plagiarized material. Below are a few detection methods to try.

  • Detection method 1: Search the web for a unique or distinct phrase
  • Detection method 2: Search the Library’s main search box  for items in the bibliography/reference list
    • If the item is not available through the MRU library or readily available on the web this may be an indicator that this work is not original. In this case you will want to have a discussion with your student about how they obtained the material.
  • Detection method 3: Interview your student about their research process.
    • A student who has done all their research themselves should be able to give a clear account of the material used in their paper and where the information was sourced.

How can the library help?

  • Library instruction sessions. Librarians can include discussion of the importance of proper citation techniques and provide students with tips on correctly incorporating research into their work. Contact your Librarian or connect with the chair of the Library to book a class.
  • Citation information. Citation information, including custom MRU handouts on various styles are available on this page.
  • Assistance tracking down potentially plagiarized information. Librarians are available to help instructors search for original sources of information if plagiarism is suspected. Contact your subject librarian.
  • Help plagiarism-proofing your assignments. Your subject librarian can help you develop assignments that make plagiarism less viable, like asking for bibliographies in advance, starting with annotated bibliographies and recommending topics that are less likely to have ready-made papers available. Contact your subject librarian

Citation Management

Citation management software

Citation management software allows you to save and organize items found via searching the library's databases. It also can be used to create reference lists and citations for papers. There are a number of software systems available

Two of the most popular free software management systems are Mendeley and Zotero. Below are some features that may help you decide between the two:

Reasons to choose Mendeley

  • Your research consists mainly of pdfs. Often this is the choice for researchers in the Sciences
  • Mendeley works well with Chrome and Safari and has a desktop version
  • 2 GB cloud storage
  • Mendeley has very well developed social collaboration tools. For example, you can find citations from similar users and search within its crowd-sourced research database
  • Desktop version is installed on all publicly accessible computers at MRU

Reasons to choose Zotero

  • Zotero works better if your research is both html and pdf. Often this is the choice for researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Zotero works well with Firefox. It also has a standalone desktop application
  • 300 MB cloud storage
  • Allows easy citation additions from websites like Amazon and Flickr
  • Well liked interface for tagging and writing notes to accompany citations

Assistance with Citation Management Software

If you have any difficulties installing the software contact ITS at or 403.440.6000

Further questions about citation management software? Contact your subject librarian.