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Citation Basics in MLA 8: Taking Notes and Citing Sources with NoodleTools

NoodleTools Set-up guide

1. How to create a new account

At the Sign In page you have two options: 
St Luke's has Google Apps for Education and has installed the NoodleTools app, so enter your Google account email in the field on the right and click Sign In. 


Click Continue and fill out information for your account. Click Register.

After you register, you will see the Projects screen:


Go to the next section to learn how to start a new project.

2. How to start a new project and a source list


1. On the Projects screen, click New project.


2. On the Create a New Project screen that pops up, enter a name for your project and select the appropriate citation style and level. Click SubmitNOTE: Once you create a project, you will be able to switch seamlessly between styles and levels. So what you set up now can be changed later with one click.


3. The Dashboard screen appears. The Dashboard organizes your work environment for effective research. You can see assignments, create to-do lists, submit work, and act on feedback from teachers in an organized way, and all in one place.

4. To begin citing sources, click Sources in the navigation bar at the top.


5. On the Sources screen, click Create new citation and select the best match for your source from the choices given. 


6. On the next screen, depending on the citation type selected, a Show Me tutorial may be available to help you evaluate the source. The lessons are differentiated based on which level you are in: Starter, Junior, or Advanced. Below is an example of a slide from the Show Me tutorial for Website, Junior level.



7. Click Continue to go to the next screen.

8. Fill in the citation form with information about your source. If your source is a book, you can locate the book in WorldCat (via an ISBN number or title/author search) and it will automatically fill in the form with the book's details, checked and revised for accuracy by NoodleTools.



9. After you finish entering information about your source, click Submit to save your new citation.

3. How to share a project with your teacher
1. On your project's Dashboard screen, under Sharing, click Share with a project inbox.


2. In the Project inbox field, enter the name of the inbox (as provided by your teacher). When the first letter of the inbox’s name is entered, a drop-down menu will appear and the name of the drop box can be selected.


3. Enter your name so that your teacher can identify you (if not clear from your username).
4. If you already linked a Google Doc to your project via Paper in the top navigation, you can check Share linked Google Doc.
5. Click Done.
6. On the Dashboard screen you will now see the inbox’s name under Project inbox.


7. On the Projects screen, you will see a checkmark in the Shared? column.


5. How to set up a project collaboration with your classmates

1. On the project's Dashboard screen, under Student Collaboration, click Add students.


2. In the field that opens up, enter the collaborator's Personal ID. You can select Full collaborator if you wish to allow full add/edit/delete access, or Peer-reviewer if you want to share it as read-only (with just the ability to receive comments). If you need to add more collaborators, click Add more.


3. Click Done.

Printing your Bibliography/Reference List/Works Cited

1. See a quick tutorial on how to export your source list to Google Docs or Word Online


2. Formatting your source list


Before you print/export your source list and open it in your word processor or Google Docs, NoodleTools allows you to do some basic formatting. To see the formatting options, clickPrint/Export at the top of your source list and select Formatting Options…


Keep in mind that formatting options affect only the list that is open. Other projects in your personal folder will not change. The formatting options are:


  • List title
  • Page header (MLA and APA only)
  • Annotation spacing (MLA only)
  • Include or omit annotations
  • Other formatting


See below for more information on how to use these options.


List title

By default, MLA lists are titled “Works Cited,” APA lists are titled “References,” and Chicago lists are titled “Bibliography.” These are the most common titles, but you may want a title that reflects the contents of your particular source list. For example, if you have added annotations to your MLA list, a more descriptive title would be “Annotated List of Works Cited.”

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Under Formatting Options, click Works Cited.
  3. If you are creating an MLA style list, select one of the titles from the examples listed by clicking on the associated hyperlink, or create your own title by typing a title in and clicking Set Custom Title.
  4. If you are creating an APA or Chicago style list, no preset alternatives are provided. Simply type your own title in and click Set Custom Title.


Page header (MLA and APA only)

A “header” is information that appears at the top of each page of your paper. The MLA Handbook indicates that the header at the top of your source list should consist of your last name followed by a space and the page number. The APA Publication Manual states that the header should consist of a shortened version (50 characters or fewer) of the title of your paper (all capital letters, flush left), and the page number (flush right, continued from the body of the paper). If you are not writing a paper that will be published, a header is generally not required (you can ask your teacher if you aren’t sure). NoodleTools can add the header to your source list for you, correctly formatted (although you will still need to make sure that it also appears throughout your essay).

  1. Click Print/Export.

  2. Under Formatting Options, click None

  3. If you are creating an MLA style list, enter your last name and click Set Header.

  4. If you are creating an APA style list, enter a shortened version of your paper’s title and clickSet Header.


Annotation spacing (MLA only)

The MLA Handbook recommends that an annotation immediately follow the source reference, without any separation (see example in section 5.3.1 of the MLA Handbook). By default, NoodleTools displays annotations in this manner. However, your teacher may instruct you to separate annotations with an extra vertical space, for readability.

  1. Click Print/Export.

  2. Under Formatting Options, click Annotation follows citation on the same line.

  3. Click “Start annotations on a new line.”

  4. All annotations in your source list will be automatically updated.


Include or omit annotations

If you have included annotations in your source list but you do not wish them to appear in the version you print or export, you can omit them:

  1. Click Print/Export.

  2. Under Formatting Options, click Citations and annotations.

  3. Click Print citations only (omit the annotations).

Note that your annotations will no longer appear in your source list, even though you can still edit existing or add new annotations.


Other formatting

To change other document formatting, such as fonts and line spacing, wait until your source list is complete and then make the changes after you have opened your source list in a word processing program or Google Docs.


3. How to export as Word or RTF and add it to your research paper


1. Click Print/Export and choose to Word (which generates a .docx file) or as RTF. While Microsoft Word is often used, .rtf files can be opened in any word processor that supports that file format standard (nearly all word processors do).

2. When you choose to export to a .rtf or .docx file, there are a few possible workflows:


1. If your computer is configured to open Word or another word processing program automatically, your source list may immediately download and open within that word processor. This may or may not be the word processor that you have used to write the rest of your research paper. Regardless, to save the source list, use that word processor’s File > Save as… mechanism to save the document as you wish (for example, in Word, as a .docx file), to a location on your computer or network that you will remember.
2. If your browser is configured to prompt you before opening the file, a browser pop-up window will appear asking you whether you would like to save or open the file. Save the file to a location on your computer or network that you will remember.
3. A security message may notify you that the browser has blocked the site from downloading the file. Click the message and allow the download, then follow options 1 or 2 above.


Open the exported list and copy and paste it at the end of your research paper. It is customary to begin your source list on a new page, not on the last page of your research paper.


NOTE: Do not re-save a .rtf file as a .rtf file after opening it in Word. Doing so can cause formatting issues due to the way Word handles certain RTF codes. Instead, save as .docx.

4. How to export to a Google Doc or Word Online and add it to your research paper


See video at top of this page for a demonstration.


To export your source list to Google Drive or Word Online:

  1. Click Print/Export.

  2. Click Print/Export to Google Docs or Print/Export to Word Online. Note that only one of those options will be visible to you, depending on how you authenticate into NoodleTools (i.e. users entering NoodleTools via Office 365 will see the Word Online option).

  3. You may be prompted to select your Google or Office 365 account and/or grant access to allow NoodleTools to write a new document. Once complete, your source list will appear in a new Google Doc or Word Online document.

  4. Now that the file has been saved in a Google Doc or Word Online, open it and copy and paste the source list to the end of your research paper. It is customary to begin your source list on a new page, not on the last page of your research paper.

NOTE: If NoodleTools alerts that your Google or Office 365 account does not match the information in your profile, go to My account > My profile and make sure you are selecting the same Google or Office 365 account that is listed there. 

5. How to preview the source list (HTML)

NoodleTools allows you to preview your formatted source list as an HTML-based webpage:

  1. Click Print/Export.

  2. Click Preview as Web Page (HTML).

  3. A new window will open containing just your source list. If no window appears, disable your popup blocker and retry.

6. How to print your source list

The final version of your source list should always be printed after it is exported and viewed in your word processor or Google Docs. Do not print your source list from the Preview version because that webpage represents only a close approximation of the correct spacing and formatting.


7. Troubleshooting

Print/Export does not work.

Make sure your browser's pop-up blocker is turned off for NoodleTools.