Format Guides

To find the latest version, go to our Current Students - Academics webpage.
*Please use the format directed by your instructor.

 APA style image

Typically used for*:    Psychology, Education


Typically used for*:    Most disciplines at Briercrest (History, Biblical Studies, Theology, etc.)

MLA Style Image

Typically used for*:   Literature

  • Automated reference generators - It can get overwhelming to cite different sources properly. Some students have found online tools to be helpful. (*Please be sure to check over what's generated to see that it matches up with the Format Guides above--sometimes automated citation generators can capitalize the wrong words or miss italicizing the right ones. But still some find it is easier to check and correct than to create from scratch.)
  • Zotero - may seem complex at first because it does more than just create citations. It can also help organize your research materials and prepare footnotes and in-text citations (redirecting to an external site).
  • KnightCite - creates up-to-date citations for Reference Lists and Bibliographies maintained by Calvin College (redirecting to an external site).
  • BibMe -  another one out there! (redirecting to an external site).

Organization and Time Management

  • Time management - Whether a freshman or an upperclassman, life at Briercrest can get overwhelming. A valuable life skill that you get to learn and develop is time management (and dependence on God). Below are a few helpful tips and suggestions to get you started:
  • Procrastination - You will soon learn that this is not high school. Waiting until the last minute will likely result in immense stress, lack of sleep, angry outbursts, strained relationships, disappointment, and a poor learning experience. Get the most out of this opportunity by kicking the habit--the procrastination habit.
    • [Currently unavailable]
  • Graphic Organizers -When blocks of text or an overload of thoughts become overwhelming, it can be helpful to visualize and organize these ideas. Here are a few tools to help transfer the abstract to concrete visuals:
    • Padlet - helpful for viewing various thoughts, able to add media attachments (redirecting to an external site)
    • Education Place - useful for paper templates if online tools aren't your thing (redirecting to an external site)


  • Briercrest Quick Format Guides - One cannot underestimate the importance of the format guides. Please do your professors a favour, check these out and put them into practice. Need extra help? Check out the Writing Centre.
  • Adaptive and Assistive Technology (pdf) - All-in-one document that offers some suggested resources for adaptive and assistive technology to assist with reading, writing, note-taking, and vision. 
  • Note-taking skills - Not always the most popular activity, but when you have to study for your upcoming mid-term or final exams you will be immensely grateful for your lecture notes. In fact, your classmates who were too cool to take notes in class will also be gratfeul for your lecture notes. Here are some note-taking tips and strategies:
    • Note-taking - Mount Royal University (pdf)
    • SoundNote (redirecting to an external site) - an Apple app that tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you do not have to worry about missing any details. 
    • Daily Notes + Tasks (redirecting to an external site) - an Apple app that takes notes in class or while reading a book. This app is organized into tabs, a page for each day; it is useful for daily journals, task management, note taking, etc.
  •  Memory and concentration - Did you know that you can actually improve your memory and concentration? No longer will you have to lament that you "Just can't remember" or "Just can't concentrate." It will take determination and discipline, but it's possible!
  • Memorizing Scripture - Have a Bible verse you need to remember? Or a whole book? Or just want to store up the word of God in your mind and heart? Here are some online tools and resources that you might find helpful:
  • Research - In case you didn't know, Briercrest students not only read a lot for class but they research through stacks of books for their papers. Getting started as soon as you can is one key to minimizing the stress and to actually enjoy what you are learning. A few helpful tips:
  • Writing - There is a lot of this too. But don't sweat it, by the time you reach your fourth-year you will be saying, "Only 1000 words? How am I supposed to fit all my research into that word count?" But until (and even) then here are some resources to help you out (more available on the Writing Centre page). And remember to check out the Writing Centre on campus too!
  • Plagiarism - In the academic world, plagiarism is akin to theft and fraud. It is a serious offense. Sometimes it is done intentionally during that procrastination panic ("Oh man, that paper is due tomorrow?! I haven't even chosen a topic yet and I need 1500 words!"). And sometimes it is done out of a lack of know-how and confidence ("My own words? I don't know how to do that. I ain't smart enough, man."). Either way, it is still an academic crime (no joke). But what is it exactly and how can you avoid being an academic offender (and/or being dismissed)? To find out more check out:
  • Class Presentations - Not all classes will require this, but if yours does here are some tips:
  • Working in Groups - Some love it, some loathe it. Regardless what you think about working in groups, you will likely find yourself having to work with people at some point in your life so take these opportunities to practice and develop your interpersonal and communication skills, leadership and management abilities, and of course the fruits of the Spirit (see Galations 5:22-23).
  • Exam Preparation and Test Taking - This can trigger major anxiety for many students, but exams are simply an opportunity to see what you have learned. And if you have worked hard throughout the semester, studying will basically be review. Of course, if you haven't been keeping up with classes or spending that extra time to ask about and better understand the material, exam time will be a little tough. Here are some resources to help you be better prepared:

More Reading and Writing Tools (links to audiobooks, free books, etc.)

  • Reading Tools -  Most technological devices (e.g. cell phones, tablets, and computers) are equipped with 'talking' technology that will 'read aloud' content from texbooks or other documents - and it is free!
    • Text to speech feature in Word (redirecting to an external site)
    • Natural Reader (redirecting to an external site) - a Text to Speech software that can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, or emails into spoken words. It can also convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV.
    • Word Talk (redirecting to an external site) - a free text-to-speech plugin developed for use with all versions of Microsoft Word. It speaks the text of the document and highlight as it goes. It also features a talking dictionary and as well converts text to speech to save as WAV or MP3 files. 
  • Books online (to use with text-to-speech features)
    • (redirecting to an external site)
    • (redirecting to an external site)
    • And the more obvious - Chapters/Indigo and Amazon
  •  Audio Books
  • Writing tools
  • wordQ (redirecting to an external site - a software that helps to recommend words to use when you can't quite recall how to spell that word you want to use. Works with Microsoft Word, Google docs, and more.
  • Transcribing tools
    • Siri (redirecting to an external site) - a voice recognition program that allows you to dictate to write messages, take notes, search the web…and more. It converts your words into text.
    • Dragon Dictation (redirecting to an external site) - an iOS app
    • SoundNote (redirecting to an external site) - an iOS app that will help you to take notes during class lectures. It tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you do not have to worry about missing any details. 
    • Daily Notes + Tasks (redirecting to an external site) - an iOS app that takes notes in class or while reading a book. This app is organized into tabs, a page for each day. It is useful for daily journals, task management, note taking, etc.
    • Microsoft Windows (redirecting to an external site) - speech recognition already part of the system
    • Free Voice to Text (redirecting to an external site) - speech recognition software 


On-Campus Resources

Other Helpful Links