The left sidebar contains much of the functionality for the user. It includes links, help, printing and exporting functions, citing functions, and more. These are explained in greater detail below.

The left sidebar - Navigation

The left sidebar on the website provides many potentially useful functions for the user. Each of the items in the sidebar are explained below.

Main page

This link takes you to the Main Page. This is the "Home page" for the Stormwater Manual. From here you can link to the Table of Contents or find some general information about the website, including access to guidance on using the website, Acknowledgements, a summary of recent important updates, and feedback.

Table of contents

This link takes you to the Table of Contents for the Manual. From here you can cursor down to the section of the Manual you want to view or use the Page Contents in the upper right part of the screen to display the contents of the page, from where you select the section you want to view.


The wiki allows different subjects to be placed into different categories. This allows a user to view just the topics within a particular category. For example, Fact sheets could be a category that includes all the fact sheets contained within the website. A user could click on category and open the page with all categories. The user would then select the category called Fact sheets to display links to the different fact sheets within the website. The number of categories will continue to grow as the website becomes populated and organized.


The link takes you to a short list of events. NOTE THE MPCA DOES NOT ENDORSE SPECIFIC EVENTS. Only events in which the MPCA participates are listed.

Recent changes

The wiki stores all previous versions of the website. Any change results in the previous version being stored. Users can therefore view any previous version of the website. This page does not specify changes that were made. However, the user can choose specific dates when previous versions existed.


The Help page contains two basic groups of information. First is a link to this guidance document, which provides help on a variety of topics. The second category of information is for editors of the wiki. Examples include links to math and formatting instructions.

The left sidebar - Toolbox

The Toolbox contains links to pages that primarily used by the editors of the website. Except for Cite this page and certain features of Special pages, these are not explained in this guidance. However, What links here may have utility for some users. This page provides a summary of and links to other pages that have links within the page that you are on.

Special pages

This page primarily contains information for the website editors. However, two useful tools include Categories (explained above), and Article feedback, which is found under Other special pages. It is here that website users can view their comments, comments from others, or editor responses.

Cite this page

Citing the Minnesota Stormwater Manual is an authoritative source of information but is being continually updated. Although this material has been or is being peer reviewed, as with any source you should be cautious when relying upon it.

The Minnesota Stormwater Manual uses the same software for creating citations as Wikipedia does. As such in creating this help section we are relying on heavily on information from Wikipedia’s help section on this topic. We think this is good guidance even though you will see many places Wikipedia is used as examples.

A wiki is an unusual medium, and as such doesn't conform well to the usual book-citation formats. Wiki is not paper, so you will need to use an electronic-citation format instead. The exact format will depend upon the citation guide that you are following, but here are a few general principles to consider:

  • A special citation tool is available to assist you. On the left of every article, there is a "Cite this page" link. Clicking it will bring you to a listing of relevant information, as well as automatically generated citations in several styles. Note that it is still your responsibility to ensure the citation meets all requirements.*You should not cite any particular author or authors for a Minnesota Stormwater Manual article, in general. Minnesota Stormwater Manual is collaboratively written.
  • Your citation should normally list both the article title and ‘’Minnesota Stormwater Manual’’, much as you would for an article in a paper publication. Every article should be a separate citation.
  • Most citation styles will likely require the full article URL. You can click "Permanent link" in the toolbox at the left of this page. This lets the URL include a unique identifier such that you can tie your reference back to the exact version of the article you are referencing. It may or may not be desirable to adopt this approach, depending upon the context of your reference. This lets you show what you saw and ignore any changes made after you accessed the page. If greater brevity is desired, you can use the regular URL, or optionally just the site URL (e.g. for an English article), because an article URL can be inferred from an article title.


The following examples assume you are citing the Wikipedia article on Plagiarism, using the version that was submitted on July 22, 2004, at 10:55 UTC, and that you retrieved the article on August 10, 2004, except as otherwise noted.

APA style

Citation in APA style, as recommended by the American Psychological Association: [1]

Note that in APA 5th Edition style, the following rules apply for the reference:

  • For reference books, which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries, the book title is preceded by the word In. It is not italicized, but the book title following it is.

  • The book title appears in sentence case. You capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.
  • The URL must go to the exact page that you reference.
  • No punctuation follows the URL.
  • The term or article title appears in the author position. Use sentence case for multiple-word terms or titles, where you capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.

The proper in-text citation is ("Plagiarism," 2004) for a paraphrased passage or ("Plagiarism," 2004, para. #) if you directly quote the material. Note that para. # represents the paragraph number in the page where the information appears. If there are multiple headings on the page, it is also acceptable to place the subheading and then a paragraph number within that heading.

For example, proper in-text citation for a direct quote of fewer than 40 words is:

"Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work (this could be his or her words, products or ideas) for personal advantage, without proper acknowledgment of the original work" ("Plagiarism," 2004, "Definition," para. 1).

If the quoted material is more than 40 words, use the block quote format instead.

As another example, the proper in-text citation for a paraphrased passage is:

Plagiarism is stealing the works of others ("Plagiarism," 2004).

APA Style requires that you provide a separate reference entry for each term you are citing in your paper because 1) you must provide a URL for each term that goes directly to the term, and 2) you must provide the publication date for each term separately. However, if you are discussing the "online encyclopedia" itself, not a term in the encyclopedia, you might need to reference the site itself. The proper citation of Wikipedia, the site, as referenced in APA 5th Edition Style is:

  • Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. (2004, July 22). FL: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from

    The in-text citation formation would be (Wikipedia, 2004).

MLA style

Citation in MLA style, as recommended by the Modern Language Association:

  • "Plagiarism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004.

Note that MLA style calls for both the date of publication (or its latest update) and the date on which the information was retrieved. According to the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook, there is now information required about any foundation involved. Also note that many schools/institutions slightly change the syntax.

In 2009, MLA released a revised version of their citation style which changed several things. One of these is the inclusion of either Web. or Print. after the date of creation. Another is that URLs are no longer required. Should you wish to include them, place them in brackets at the end of the citation.

An example with a URL:

MLA 7 says to leave out the URL unless the source cannot be located without it.[3]

Here is the same example with the URL omitted:

  • "Plagiarism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004.

Be sure to double check the exact syntax your institution requires.

For citation of Wikipedia as a site, use:

  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia’’. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2004.

MHRA style

Citation in MHRA style, as recommended by the Modern Humanities Research Association:

Chicago style

Citation in Chicago style:

Wikipedia contributors, "Plagiarism," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia’’, (accessed August 10, 2004).

Note that the Chicago Manual of Style states that "Well-known reference books, such as major dictionaries and encyclopedias, are normally cited in notes rather than bibliographies."


Citation in CBE/CSE style, as recommended by the Council of Science Editors:

Wikipedia contributors. Plagiarism [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2004 Jul 22, 10:55 UTC [cited 2004 Aug 10]. Available from:

Turabian style

The following are examples of how to cite Wikipedia articles according to A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th edition, by Kate L. Turabian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). ISBN 0226816265 (cloth), ISBN 0226816273 (paper).

Note on Turabian style: Please understand that Turabian does not have rules that cover anything like Wikipedia. These examples are based on "reading between the lines" and assimilating rules from various not-so-similar cases that Turabian does cover. If the party to which you are submitting your paper is particularly strict, you might want to find out if they have their own adaptation of Turabian that would apply in this case. Alternately, you could always consult with the party before the deadline to make sure it's acceptable.


"Plagiarism," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia;’’ (Wikimedia Foundation Inc., updated 22 July 2004, 10:55 UTC) [encyclopedia on-line]; available from; Internet; retrieved 10 August 2004.

Wikipedia contributors, "Marketing." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia’’ , (Accessed August 10, 2004)


Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.’’ Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Updated 22 July 2004, 10:55 UTC. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from Species. Internet. Retrieved 10 August 2004.

(According to Turabian 6th edition, ¶9.8, for entries in the bibliography, "the first line of each entry is flush left, and any run over lines are indented five spaces". This presentation does not follow that rule.)

Parenthetical reference

("Plagiarism," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia’’)


(Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia,’’ s.v. "Plagiarism")

Reference list

Plagiarism. 22 July 2003, 10:55 UTC. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Encyclopedia on-line. Available from Internet. Retrieved 10 August 2004.

(Indenting is like that of the bibliography.)

AMA style

Citation in AMA style, as recommended by the American Medical Association: [4]

The left sidebar - MPCA links

Links are provided to the MPCA homepage, MPCA's stormwater main page, and a webpage containing MPCA policies and disclaimers.

The left sidebar - Print/Export

This section of the sidebar allows the user to print, export, and build their own documents.

Create a book

Users can combine webpages (e.g. articles) using this utility. For example, if a user wanted to combine all the sections that provide information on credits for individual BMPs, this can be done by creating a book containing these webpages. The pages can be ordered in any manner. The user can save the book or create a PDF document containing the selected webpages.

The Minnesota Stormwater Manual uses the same software for the "Create a book" option found on the left navagation bar as Wikipedia does. Wikipedia has an excellent article on how to use this option. So with full create going to Wikipedia, click here for the Wikipedia article on how to create a book.

Download as PDF

Clicking on “Download as PDF“causes the current article you were viewing to be rendered as a PDF. The progress of doing the rendering is displayed and when it reaches 100 percent you are offered the opportunity to download the PDF file by clicking the blue Download the file.

The PDF file is then displayed and you can save it as you normally would save a pdf file.

Printable version

Clicking on this link takes the user to a version of the webpage that does not contain the headers, footers and toolbars found on any given page in the website. The view observed on the screen will be what the user obtains when they print from this page.

Exporting to a pdf or Word document

there are options for exporting information from the website. The simplest method is to export the information as a pdf document.

Exporting to MS Word.

Content of The Minnesota Stormwater Manual can be easily copy and pasted into a MS Word document using the standard means of copying and pasting into MS Word. Highlght the postion of the article you want to copy. Copy it then put the cursor into the MS word document and paste. The Minnesota Stormwater Manual does not have a utility to export to a Microsoft Word document. The copy and paste works very well including the photos and formulas. Be aware that tables copy and paste acceptably in most cases but the nature of tables in the wiki format and in word can cause some issues.

This page was last edited on 3 December 2022, at 18:57.