Balboa High school

How to Avoid Plagiarism 

Check out this amazing prezi by Joe Hardenbrook of the Univ. of Wisc. 


Interactive Tutorials on the Research Process

(From Acadia University's Vaughan Memorial Library)

You Quote It, You Note It ! - Explains the basics of avoiding plagiarism by learning why, when, and how to cite.

Research it Right!  - Describes the steps of the research process from finding a topic to the final product.

Credible Sources Count!  - Outlines some questions to ask yourself when evaluating what you find on the web.

Searching With Success!  - Demonstrates how to better approach searching the web for information.

Research Process


Comparing Search Engines

Choose the Best Search for your Information Needs

A guide to help determine which search tools to use based on the information needed. Many of the recommended tools search for more reliable and scholarly resources.

Search Engine Tools

A well organized list that matches type of search with specific search tools



Click HERE to log-in to NoodleTools

Getting started with Noodle Tools

  • Log in to NoodleTools on the right side of the screen under Access via Google for Education 
  • Use your district email: for students or for teachers.
  • If this is your first time using NoodleTools, you may have to create an account.
  • Click “Create a New Project”, choose MLA and Junior or Advanced, and name your project appropriately for description.
  • Click on Bibliography, choose the type of citation, and fill in as much information as you can. Note that only boxes with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.
  • Click new under Notecards to take notes. Use all three sections of the notecard.
  • Organize your notecards into an outline from the Notecards tab.

Basic MLA Citation Format

There are many varied information sources.

Use NoodleTools to help determine which format to use for each.


Basic Format:

Contributor. Title. Secondary Contributors. Publication Information. Medium.


Contributor Format:

Usually the contributor is the author, but it may be an editor, director, artist, etc.

One author: Smith, John K. Title

Two authors: Smith, John K., and Tim Sampson. Title.

Three authors: Smith, John K., Tim Sampson, and Alex J. Hubbard. Title.

Four or more authors: Smith, John K., et al. Title.

Web Source:

The format will vary depending on the source! Best to use NoodleTools!

Add as much of the following as you can find in this order and structure.

(1)Contributors. (2)“Title of work.” (3)Title of overall website(4)Edition or version. (5)Website Publisher, (6)Date of e-publication. (7)Web. (8)Date accessed.

While MLA 7 doesn't require a URL, including it makes it easier to locate your source.  Use angled brackets at the end of your citation.


Adapted from EasyBib ImagineEasy Solutions, n.d. Web. 21 Dec 2012.


SFUSD Subscription Databases

Click HERE for log-in access when you are not at school.

(You must be logged into you district Google account)


Britannica Online

Britannica Image Quest

Britannica Annals of American History

Britannica Spanish Reference Center

Gale Student Resources in Context


SIRS Issue Researcher


What are Databases & Why do You Need Them?

What is a parenthetical or in-text reference?

A parenthetical reference is placed in the body of your paper and refers to one of the sources listed in your works cited.  You must write a  parenthetical reference whether you quote directly from the source, paraphrase it in your own words, or refer to an idea  from the material.

What typically goes in an MLA-style parenthetical reference?

If you create a citation using Noodle Tools, the entry will show you how to make the parenthetical reference!

What you need to include depends on what type of source the material comes from.You normally only need to include the author(s) (or title if there is no author) and page or paragraph number(s)

What other rules do I need to know to write a parenthetical reference?

Rule 1: Placement
The parentheses are usually placed at the end of a sentence, between the last word and the period. If you are quoting material directly, the parentheses should go between the closing quotation mark and the period:

"The chicken came before the egg" (Smith 21).

Rule 2: Sentence vs. parentheses
Only information that is not already contained in your sentence is necessary in the parenthetical reference. In the example below, the author's last name, Smith, is already stated, so only the page numbers are necessary within the parentheses:

Smith theorizes that the chicken came before the egg (21-33).


Adapted from NoodleTools MLA Paranthetical Reference -  follow link for more detailed instruction.

How Reliable is a Website?
Use the CRAAP test!
Currency – is the information too old?
Relevance/coverage – does it tell you what    you need to know?
Authority – who is the source of the information?
Accuracy – is the information true and reliable?
Purpose/objectivity – why does this site exist? Could it be biased?
Credit: The CRAAP acronym is from Meriam Library at California State University Chico.