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Citing Sources: NoodleTools

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

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A Bellevue University Library Guide 

What is NoodleTools?
NoodleTools is a comprehensive and accurate reference composer.  It may be used to create MLA Works Cited Lists, APA Reference Lists, or Chicago/Turabian footnotes, 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 Databases page, listed under Find at the top of the library homepage; click on "N" under "Browse by Title" to locate. It can also be accessed from the Quick Links at the bottom of the homepage.  From any off campus location, you will be prompted for your BRUIN Connect 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. 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. Every project you have saved this school year will be listed. To find older projects, use the drop-down date menu and choose the relevant school year or search for it by title.
  3. Click on New Project, the green button in the top right area of the page, to start a new list. 
  4. APA style is selected by default. If you are using MLA or Chicago style, be sure to select this before continuing as you cannot change it once you have started you list.
  5. Leave the level set as Advanced. Give your list a brief identifying title then click on Submit.
  6. Your project will open on the Sources page.Now you are ready to begin adding your sources, to do so click on the green New the top of the page.
  7. A pop-up box will appear that asks you where you found your source, such as in a database, a website, a print book, etc.  You will probably be using the first two most often: Database (anything you found on the library website) or Website (anything you found online). 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.
  8. 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 Save.
  9. NoodleTools will show you a preview of your references as you add them. You can easily make changes if you notice a mistake. Click on the  menu (3 vertical dots) to the far right of your reference; select Edit and make your correction then click on Save.
  10. To add another citation, simply click on New Source again and repeat above steps. Your newest reference will be highlighted on the screen and automatically alphabetized.
  11. You may preview your list of references at any time, by clicking on the Print/Export button the print symbol aboe your list, then click on Preview as a Web Page.
  12. Be sure to check your references over carefully, to double check that they are correctly formatted and there are no typos
  13. Your references will be kept indefinitely until you choose to delete them. As you add more projects, they will be added to the list on your My Projects page


  1. Choose Book from the What is it? choices.under eiher Database or Pint or in-hand.
  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.

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 references, 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 (print symbol), then select Word or GoogleDocs. 
  2. There may be an information bar at the top of the page; if so, click on it, then select "Download File."
  3. Always print from Microsoft Word or GoogleDocs and not from the preview page, so your list will be exported 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 references. Just click on the three dot menu to the far right of your reference, then click on In-text ciation.
  2. You may email your list by clicking on the Email button on the Sources page. This is found in a different three dot menu at the top of the page next to the search box.
  3. 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.
  4. Use the Notecards in the side menu to create searchable electronic index cards. You may take notes, link them to your sources, and organize this information. Click on New Notecard to create a notecard.
  5. If you have any questions about a specific reference or think there is an error, click on the “Have a Question?” in the three dot menu to the far right of your reference.  An email form is provided to “Ask an Expert” who will answer your question within 24 hours.

Tips for Using NoodleTools:

  1. Do not change the style option from Advanced.
  2. To navigate in NoodleTools, use the menu on the side 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 your references for accuracy.  Click on APA Guide in the top right area of the screen where you add your source information. It will give the proper format and an example for the source you are using; compare your finished reference 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 in the three dot menu under at the top of the page, to choose from a variety of guides and tutorials to help you get the most out of NoodleTools.
  6. NoodleTools will automatically save your references in My Projects until you delete them. 

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