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Why Cite?

We cite sources to acknowledge the work of others, as well as to avoid academic dishonesty or plagiarism.

Laurentian's Psychology Department has made available a comprehensive set of guidelines on How NOT to Plagiarize that is based on one prepared in 1988 by Margaret Procter, Coordinator of Writing Support, for distribution at the University of Toronto. It deserves to be read by every student since at Laurentian academic dishonesty is a very serious offence.
Plagarism and How to Avoid It

The Process of Citation

The intent of the citation process is to list a resource that you utilized, such as a book, article or website, in an open and transparent way that makes it easy to locate.
Thus the citation for a book normally gives such key attributes as:
  • title,  author, place of publication, publisher, date, and page number.
For journals, you would give:
  • journal title, article title, author, volume number, issue number, date, and page numbers. Note that you do not have to list the place of publication.
For government publications, you would list the document in terms of the agency that created it, e.g.:
  • the country, state or province, the ministry, department and/or committee, and so on.
In general, with these kinds of publications, the more bibliographic detail you can provide, the better. The same is true of local or "alternative" publications as well as archival materials, all of which are frequently hard to locate in library collections.

MLA Style

In Philosophy, the standard citation format is MLA (Modern Language Association).  See:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a terrific website for learning how to cite using the MLA manual.


Zotero is a free, web-based citation manager that allows you to: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment 

Getting started with Zotero: