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SWK 200 - Explorations in Social Work

This guide provides information resources to support the Explorations in Social Work assignments.

Why Cite?

There are lots of reasons to provide references to the sources that you use:

Your audience may want to know how to investigate your topic further. By providing your resources you are helping others who are interested in the same topic.Also, you want to give proper credit and attribution to published researchers or writers. Plagiarism is a serious offense.  

Here is a definition of plagiarism:   Plagiarism is appropriating someone else's words or ideas without acknowledgment. To understand plagiarism we must consider two questions: (1) How is plagiarism like or unlike theft— (2) Why is plagiarism considered wrong; why should we acknowledge the originator of an idea.                                             (Encyclopedia of Ethics. London: Routledge, 2001. Credo Reference. 17 April 2009 <>.)

Just like in college writing, speeches should provide your audience with verbal cues to the information you have used: the SOURCE where you found your information. (This might be an interview, scholarly article, book,or  website, etc.); the AUTHOR, when available, and the DATE when your source was published or accessed (for web sources and interviews).

  1. Use quotation marks to attribute words of another person on your note cards. You can express quotations in your speech in several ways.
  2. Provide credit or citation such that the audience can trace back to the original source.
  3. Paraphrasing the main ideas WITH correct attribution.  A paraphrase will replace some of the words while keeping the main idea of the original work. 

For helps in citing properly you may wish to visit OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab 

Purdue OWL Website

Purdue OWL provides information and examples for citing correctly using the MLA and APA formats. Here is a link to Purdue OWL home page and a discussion of plagairism which applies to writing and speaking assignments alile.

Purdue OWL Home Page:

Is It Plagiarism Yet?


Zotero Tutorial

Hands-On with Zotero    

Having troubles?  Scroll to the bottom for some troubleshooting tips.

1) What is Zotero? Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. Essentially, Zotero allows you to cite sources in papers properly and then create a list of references once a paper is complete. 

2) What are the benefits of Zotero?’s free! It’s simple (after you get the hang of it). It’s cloud-based. It’s multi-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux)

3) How do you install it?

(Disclaimer: this is Windows- and Office-based and may be slightly different if using a Linux or Mac operating system)

Although there is a stand-alone version of Zotero with plug-ins to various browsers, the version I prefer is used with the Firefox web browser as it eliminates the need to have Zotero Standalone.

Firefox has “plug-ins” which is how Zotero works in Firefox.  Open Firefox and then to download the Zotero plug-in for Firefox. 

Now that you have Firefox and the Zotero plug-in, you’ll want to register.  This will only take a few minutes and is the standard username and password deal. Registration allows you to access your sources anywhere once you have the Zotero software.

One more step: using Firefox download the Microsoft Word plug-in Firefox extension (there are plug-ins for freeware office suites as well-see the Zotero website for more details). This Firefox plug-in communicates with Word and allows the Zotero citations to be imported into your papers.  Consequently, Firefox must be opened/running when writing a paper for Zotero to work!

4) So, how do you use it?

First, you can compile sources into your cloud-based Zotero storage in several ways.  You can add sources manually, but the document icon as seen in the web address bar to the left of the star is the quick and easy way to add sources from Google Scholar, PubMed, Amazon, etc.           

When you click the document icon to save the citation, you will see a message at the bottom right of your browser that pops up and looks like this:

You can do this for just about anything - websites, texts, articles...almost anything you can find online.  You can also organize your citations into folders like I’ve done:

Now, that you have some resources, it’s time to finally put them into your paper.  When you open Word, you’ll notice on the ribbon (i.e., at the top of Word), you have a new tab called “Add-Ins”.

Clicking on Add-Ins will reveal all of the Zotero buttons such as “insert citation” and “insert bibliography”.

To start adding sources, simply select the “insert citation” button.  An option to choose what style you prefer will appear.  Select your preference (If you don’t see the style you need, you can always check the thousands of additional styles found in the Zotero repository). 

Once you select your preference, you’ll have a Google search-like bar pop up.

Just type in some information that Zotero would use to identify your source (author name, article title, etc.), select the proper source from the drop down menu, and hit enter.  Voilà!

When you are finished with a paper and want to enter your references, just click the “insert bibliography” button that was back under the Add-Ins tab at the top of Word. 

Voila!  You have your finely formatted paper with less work.

5) Your turn!

Download what you don’t have, register, do some quick searches, and play with Zotero and Word...GO!

6) What else does Zotero offer?

Group work, etc.

7) Limitations of Zotero

Not 100% accurate - you need to double-check the information! 

Doesn’t teach students much about APA, MLA, or the other citations styles...just how to click.


1) Make sure Firefox, and the two Zotero extensions are up-to-date.

2) Make sure when you are downloading the two Zotero extensions, you are using Firefox.

3) Make sure Firefox is open when you are trying to cite materials in Word.

4) Check out this cite and this video for more troubleshooting tips