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Citing Sources: NoodleTools

How to cite print and electronic sources using APA or MLA style.



A Bellevue University Library Guide 

What is NoodleTools?
NoodleTools (formerly NoodleBib) is a comprehensive and accurate citation composer.  It may be used to create MLA Works Cited Lists, APA Reference Lists, or Chicago/Turabian footnote citations, as well as in-text parenthetical citations for all styles. 

When to use:
All materials and sources used to write a paper need to be cited. The most common styles are MLA and APA.  Sorting through the rules for the various types of sources can be confusing and time consuming.  NoodleTools arranges bibliographic information that you submit into the proper format.

How to Access:
NoodleTools can be accessed from the Services menu at the top of the library homepage. Click on Manage your Citations: NoodleTools. From any off campus location, you will be prompted for your BU login when you click on NoodleTools.

How to Use: General Information

  1. The first time you use NoodleTools, you will need to set up a personal account. Click on Register, then choose a personal ID and a password.  Leave the subscription tpe as is and don't worry about the date of graduation.  Be sure to complete the Easy Login Retrieval information though, in case your forget your password. After you have completed the form, click on Register. You will use this login every time you access NoodleTools.
  2. After logging in, your My Projects page will appear; click on the New Project to start a new list.
  3. APA style is selected by default. If you are using MLA or Chicago style, be sure to select this before continuing. Though you can change styles after starting to generate your citations, there may be some errors.  See the Other Features below. 
  4. Leave the level set as Advanced. Give your list a brief identifying title then click on Submit.
  5. The Dashboard will be displayed. This page lets you create a "To Do List" to help organize your project and your time, or to choose sharing and collaborating options. However, this is not required, and if you prefer, you may start adding your citations immediately. To do so, click on the Sources tab at the top of the page then on Create a new citation.
  6. A pop-up box will appear that asks you how you accessed your source, such as from a database, a website, a print book, etc.  Once you click on one of these, a comprehensive list of specific types of sources will be displayed. Select the one that applies; the most common ones are listed first. This will bring up a form to enter all the necessary information. Fill it in carefully; suggestions will appear as you type, guiding you through capitalization and other rules. When you are finished, click on Submit
  7. NoodleTools will show you a preview of your citations as you add them. You can easily make changes if you notice a mistake. If you are not sure how to do the in-text citation, NoodleTools will help you with that too. Just click on Options to the far right of your citation.
  8. To add another citation, simply click on Create new citation again and repeat above steps. Your newest citation will be highlighted on the screen and automatically alphabetized.
  9. You may preview your list of citations at any time, by clicking on the Print/Export button located above your list of references. Then click on Preview as a Web Page.
  10. Be sure to check your citations over carefully, to double check that they are correctly formatted
  11. Your citations are sorted alphabetically by default, but you may use the drop down menu above the list to sort it another way.
  12. Your citations will be kept indefinitely until you choose to delete them. As you add more projects, they will be added to the list on your Projects page.

Citing Print Books

  1. After clicking on Create new citation, click on the Print or in-hand tab, then choose Book from the What is it? choices.
  2. If you are using a chapter or section of a book that has a different author than the book as a whole, expand the "Chapter or Section" area at the top of the page and fill in the required information. Otherwise, leave this area blank.
  3. Use the drop down menu to choose the role of the contributor (author, editor, etc). You may add spaces for additional contributors.
  4. If you are doing an annotated bibliography, add you annotation in the space provided, otherwise, skip this step.
  5. Proceed as above, filling in form and submitting.
  6. You can also use the Quick Cite option, located above the form, rather than filling in all the fields manually. The fields will be filled automatically after you provide an ISBN, title, or author. Simply submit and your citation appear on  the Sources page.

Citing Journal Articles from a Library Database

  1. Click on the Database tab, then on Journal
  2. In the top area, there are four choices listed: DOI, URL, Name of Database, and Database accession number.  When you click into the box provided, NoodleTools will describe each to help you decide which of these to use. You may have to ask your instructor which is preferable.
  3. Fill out the rest of the basic information. As with book citations, Help boxes will pop up as you go along to guide you. 
  4. For special types of publications, such as special issues, use the Advanced (Periodical) area.
  5. Add annotations only if you are required to do an annotated bibliography.

How to Print Your List:

  1. After you have previewed your list and are satisfied with it, import it into Microsoft Word (or any other word processor) by clicking on Export/Print, located above your list, then select Word or GoogleDocs. 
  2. There may be an information bar at the top of the page; click on it, then select "Download File."
  3. Always print from Microsoft Word or GoogleDocs and not from the preview page, as your list will be exported as an RTF file that is perfectly formatted with correct margins and spacing. The preview will not print out correctly.

Other Features:

  1. NoodleTools will also give you guidelines and suggestions for the corresponding in-text citation for each of your full citations. Just click on Options located to the right of the finished citation on your Sources page.
  2. If you need to change citation styles, for example from APA to MLA after you have already started compiling your citations, go to the Projects page, and click on Options to the right of the list you need to change; click on Change Style. A pop-up box will appear.  Check the style you need. NoodleTools will create a backup copy of tis list just in case you need to refer back to it.  Review the new citation after being converted as there may be some errors.  This box lists the things ou should especially check for accuracy.
  3. You may email your list by clicking on the Email button on the Sources page.
  4. Click on Analysis to see at a glance what types of references you used and how current they are, so you can determine if you have a good balance of sources.
  5. Use the Notecards tab at the top  of the page to create searchable electronic index cards. You may take notes, link them to your sources, and organize this information. Click on New to create a notecard.
  6. If you have any questions about your citation or think there is an error, click on the “Have a Question?” link under Options on the right hand side of the Sources page.  An email form is provided to “Ask an Expert” who will answer your question within 24 hours.
  7. Another option is to type your paper directly into NoodleTools by using the Paper tab.  This requires a Gmail account and will open a Google Doc to use to write your paper

Tips for Using NoodleTools:

  1. Do not change the style option from Advanced.
  2. To navigate in NoodleTools, use the tabs at the top of the page, rather than the back arrow of your browser. When working on a list, click on Sources from any screen to return to your open list.
  3. Always check you citations for accuracy.  Click on APA Guide in the top right area of the screen where you add your information.  It will give the proper format and an example for the source you are using; compare your finished citation to this.
  4. NoodleTools provides information windows, prompts, and wizards every step of the way to help you enter information correctly. Consult them when in doubt.
  5. Click on the Help link, located under My account at the far top right area of the page, to choose from a variety of guides and tutorials to help you get the most out of NoodleTools.

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Chris Armstrong
Bellevue University Freeman/Lozier Library