As an English major, my friends often come to me with papers to be edited or just general questions about how to approach an essay. In high school, my best friend and I would sit side-by-side as I would generate some ideas for her poetry homework, and she would try to sort out my pre-calculus solutions. I don’t mind doing this for my friends; it’s flattering that they come to me for help because they think I have some type of expertise, and usually I can make helpful contributions.
Recently, however, I received a phone call from my friend Jamie, who is studying to become a dental hygienist at the University of New Haven. Since our childhoods, she has notoriously been great at science, and I’d been the one who excelled in English. I was used to her coming to me for some guidance. I was not prepared for this, however:
“Hey, I’m creating a diet plan for my nutrition class and need to cite using APA format. Can you tell me how to do this?”
I had only ever used MLA format, and had just learned Chicago-style in the previous semester. I was just as prepared to use APA as she was, yet I had more of the tools to research it than she did.
I told her I needed a little time to look into it, but I would get back to her.
I had lost track of my little handheld citation-booklet, which I think would be helpful to get another copy of and bring to appointments when I’m a Writing Center tutor. Instead, I sent her links to Purdue Owl and an online citation creator.
Purdue Online Writing Labs has been the site that’s been recommended to me since middle school for all of my citation needs. It gives breakdowns in APA, MLA, Chicago, as well as various research tips. For each style of format, there is am “Overview and Workshop” as well as “Formatting and Style Guide”. There are various sections off of each of these, with a plethora of information and examples of how to cite your work. This site is the most helpful thing ever.
For my own Works Cited pages, I usually use Easybib.com. If I am having trouble finding the information to create a citation for an online source, for example, I could put the website into the generator, and it can find for example, the date published or website title which may not be quite jumping out and obvious to me. This helps fill in extra information, or at least give an example of what to base your other citations off of.
Both of these sites are good tools & resources to keep on hand as a tutor, especially as someone who does not remember all the little citation rules off the top of your head!
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