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Academic Writing and Citation Support

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Hi there! Welcome to Writing and Citation Support for TRU students.

This site was created for all TRU students; abroad, international and domestic. On this site you will be able to find numerous helpful tips and advice on how to successfully write an academic essay or report. However, we recommend that you check with your professor to make sure the resources you are using are appropriate for the essay or assignment.

In the Researching Tab you will see many different guides on your academic topics, and also some guides on how to find good sources.

   On the Researching Subpages, you will find advice on how to pick your topic, plan your search for resources, and explain the different types of sources you may want to use in your essay.

In the Writing Tab you will find some essay templates, information on developing a thesis, and other writing tips.

     On the Writing Subpages, you will find an ESAL (English as a Secondary Additional Language) page which has advice for international students and will give guidance on writing essays in North America. You will also find an Essay Examples page which will provide numerous examples of reports and essays within the different disciplines (Business, Science, Physics, and many more)

The Citation Tab has an interesting video which teaches how to use citations. You can also find links on different citation formats.

    On the Citations Subpages, you will find worksheets and activities to practice the skill of citing, essay examples for MLA, APA, CSE, and Chicago, descriptions on when, how, and why to use quotations, and videos to show you how to create a proper paraphrase.

The Plagiarism Tab has a video which teaches you how to avoid plagiarism when writing a report or essay.

   On the Plagiarism Subpages, you will find basic information on plagiarism, what it is, the different types, and practice sheets on how to avoid plagiarism.

Research Home

Writing Home

Essay Writing Resources

Writing is one of the hardest challenges a student may face while at university, and is also one of the most important skills to learn. Proper essay writing skills are important for jobs in business, science, journalism, and so many other fields. The resources below can help you organize your ideas into a great essay format.

10 Major Grammatical Errors

Grammar and punctuation may be a difficult topic for most people, but we have some resources here which can help you.These documents can explain what the grammatical error is, and how to fix it. There are ten common grammatical errors found in university level writing.

Inter-Discipline Essay Examples for Students

Depending on which discipline you are studying, you will need a different template and format. Writing a report in science is nothing like writing a report in business, and writing an English essay is nothing like writing a physics essay; they all have different formats, rules, and categories. Below you can find essay and report examples which will give you an indication of what the report or essay should look like. Inside of the examples you may also find citation explanations and tips and tricks on writing, taking notes and researching within that field.

English as an Additional Language

Writing Help Resources

Culture and Writing

Writing procedures and processes may have many differences between other cultures.  North American essay writing requires a thesis statement, introduction, and conclusion, topic sentence, connecting sentence, citations and reference page. Many of these things might be unfamiliar to students who come from another country. As a student coming to TRU from a different country, it is hard to know the rules which need to be followed in these situations. You may not be aware of the citation rules that are enforced in Canadian schools, or maybe you know about them but don’t really know how to follow them. Citations are taken very seriously in Canada, and it is worth taking some time in order to understand how to use them.

TRU Culture Video

Citation Home

APA vs. MLA Citations

About APA Writing Style -- powered by ehow

Citation Style

Written for TRU students by the librarians at TRU. Citations are a very important aspect of writing in Canada. A citations basic function, the entire reason for it being used, is to show the person who is reading your paper where your idea stops, and where another person's idea begins. You might be wondering "Why do I have to add another person's idea to my essay?" You can use other people’s ideas in order to show what they have done or created, so that you can compare it with your own idea or work. Citations are very important to understand in university because if an instructor doesn't understand that something is not your idea, you may be charged with plagiarism (see plagiarism page). People who are found plagiarizing, are usually given a grade of zero for the course or assignment.

Different disciplines have different citation formats. English classes usually use MLA, Social Science classes use APA, and Science classes use CSE. Please ask your teacher which style they want you to use.


Citation Training

The link here is a website which will test you before and after you study a module on citations, plagiarism, quotations, and paraphrasing. This is a great way of seeing how much you have improved and learned.


RefWorks is a web-based citation management system used for

  • Collecting and organizing references.
  • Create bibliographies.
  • Sharing resources with colleagues.

Activity 1

Activity provided with permission from AmyGF Via SoftChalk Cloud

Match the special situation with its requirement: Move the bottom labels and match them to one of the labels that are lined up on the side.

Activity 2

Activity provided with permission from AmyGF Via SoftChalk Cloud

Identify the information needed for citing this sample web page in the MLA Format: Click the information that is asked for at the bottom of the activity.

Activity 3

Activity provided with permission from AmyGF Via SoftChalk Cloud

Match the in-text documentation to its citation: Move the bottom labels and match them to one of the labels that are lined up on the side.


What is difficult about quoting?

Sometimes it may not be clear about where a quotation should go, or when to use it. A quotation should be used in order to support your information or should be used as an idea which is important to acknowledge in your essay. The sentence you quote should be able to add something to your essay; an opinion, idea, or something which should be refuted.

But something that is always the same is that you should always put a citation before or after you quote another person's idea.

Quotation Instruction and Practice

Quotation Video

This video will help you learn all about citations, summarizing, quotations and citing information from the internet.

To find videos from McMaster on numerous other topics [click here]


Paraphrasing Video

This video has been provided with permission from the creator.

Paraphrasing for ESAL Students

This video has been provided with permission from the creator. For more videos like this one, click:

Paraphrasing Questions

Why don't I just quote it?

Quoting isn't the best way of showing your instructor that you understand and know about the material you have researched. By using paraphrases you can put the author’s ideas into your own words which can demonstrate that you understand the information you have read.

What is difficult about Paraphrasing?

Many people believe that by just changing a few words, you can create a paraphrase. However, paraphrasing is much more than that and requires more work. You need to change many words, alter the structure and change the order but you also need to make sure to keep the idea of the original author intact.

How can I write a good paraphrase?

Read the sentence and then look away and try to write down the main points in your own words.

  • Read the sentence you want to use many times so you understand what the sentence is really saying.
  • Identify the main points then look away and try to write it in your own words.
  • Try to move the sentence style around and state the sentence in the opposite order. 
  • At the end of the paraphrase, make sure that you put down a citation.
  • Now check your paraphrase to make sure that you have retained the true meaning.

Don’t copy the style or wording of the original author, use synonyms but also switch around the sentence structure and write it in your own style.

Example of a Paraphrase


To the extent that a woman's self-image is challenged or threatened by an unattainable ideal of an impossibly thin female physique, she may well become susceptible to disruption of her self-regard, and may be more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Paraphrase APA

If a woman interprets the media's representation of thinness as the ideal she must achieve, her sense of self-esteem might be threatened and even damaged, making her more likely to exhibit disordered eating patterns (Polivy & Herman, 2004, p. 2).

Don't forget to include a reference at the end of your paper

Polivy, J., & Herman, C. P. (2004). Sociocultural idealization of thin female body shapes: An introduction to the special issue on body image and eating disorders. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 23, 1-6. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.134.3.460

Essay Examples

Are you unsure about how citations should look in an essay?

Here are some essays that can give you an idea of what citations should look like within an essay. Make sure you click on the correct citation style, as they are not all the same.

Plagiarism Home