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Citation Help

What is a citation?

The Academic Integrity Handbook, is a great guide for learning about citations, citation styles, and academic writing.

It is expected that you use other experts' and scholars' ideas and even quotations in your writing; however, you must explain where you got this information by using citations. A citation is the information about a source that you used.  The goal of citation is to point the reader back to the original source of the information. Citations also inform your professor that you have used suitable sources of information in your work. 

When to cite?

Whenever you are presenting words, ideas, images, or data from someone other than yourself, include a citation for that work. You must also include a citation when paraphrasing or summarizing, as the idea is still coming from another source.

Citation Styles

The Library keeps the current physical versions of the manuals in the reference section. The CBU Writing Center also has online quick guides for each style.

Guide Websites

Citing Knowledge Keepers and Elders

Unlike other personal communications, Knowledge keepers and Elders are cited both in-text and in the reference list. NorQuest College Library created templates for MLA and APA style. Also its important that when you approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings you remember to follow cultural protocols. If you are unsure of what the cultural protocols are, please ask them ahead of time. 

Reference List

APA Style

  • Last name, First initial., Nation/Community. Location including Treaty Territory if applicable. Personal communication. Month Date, Year. 

MLA Style

  • Last name, First name., Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. City/Community they live in if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Date Month Year. 
APA Style Cardinal, D., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. personal communication. April 4, 2004.
MLA Style Cardinal, Delores., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. 4 April 2004.

In-Text Citation

APA Style "Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... (2004)." OR  "The nature of the place was... (Cardinal, 2004)."
MLA Style "Delores Cardinal described the nature of the..." OR "The nature of the place was... (Cardinal)."


Citation Guides


For larger research projects such as thesis, Zotero is an open access reference management software. Using it you can collect, organize, cite, format your references, and share your research sources. Download it on the Zotero site and register for an account. Zotero is easy to use; make sure you download the software plus the browser add on.


For an instruction session on installing and using Zotero for you or a class, contact one of the liaison librarians.

Instructional Videos and Downloads: