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Writing Resources: Welcome

Resources to help you put your papers together!

Writing Tips

Library Resources

Online Writing Resources

Writing Guides

Library Resources

EFL Online Resources

EFL Writing Guides

Recommended Web Dictionaries and Thesauruses

Writing for Audiences in US Academic Settings

Free English Learning Podcasts

You can find more podcasts by searching your Podcast app for English learning or English as a second language podcasts.

Library Resources

Online Grammar Resources

Defining Critical Thinking according to The Foundation for Critical Thinking,

“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.”

A Critical Thinker:

  • raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
  • gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; 
  • thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
  • communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

(from, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Richard Paul & Linda Elder, 2008)

Online Critical Thinking Resources

CRAAP TEST

It can be tempting to use any source in your paper that seems to agree with your thesis, but remember that not all information is good information, especially in an online environment.  Developed by librarians at California State University-Chico (see below for the link), the CRAAP Test is a handy checklist to use when evaluating a web resource (or ANY resource).  The test provides a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not a source is reliable and credible enough to use in your academic research paper. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.  For more information, please see below.

Currency 

The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Another thing to consider - does the website's copyright date match the content's currency? Or is it just a standard range?

Relevance

The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Authority

The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Note - to help answer Authority and Purpose questions, check out a website's About page.

Accuracy

The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose

The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Note - to help answer Authority and Purpose questions, check out a website's About page.

 Creative Commons License

Website Research: CRAAP Test by Rebecca Hill Renirie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Additional Resources

Touch Typing 

What is touch typing?

Touch typing is a method of typing without using the sense of sight, or simply by feeling the keyboard. However, the sense of touch is only slightly involved since this typing method is governed by muscle memory through training. 

Online Tutorials

Citing in Different Styles

Different Citation Styles

Optometry, PA, and Pharmacy students can find quick tips and examples on how to cite different resources for their commonly used citation styles at their respective subject guides:

Below you will find links to citation style guides. Feel free to ask a librarian for assistance with citations.

Why we should cite and how to make it easier!

Why is citing important?


Avoids plagiarism

Plagiarism is using another person’s ideas, processes, results, text, or illustration/clinical photographs, etc. without their acknowledgment. There are academic consequences if you use someone else's work, or even small parts of it, without citing the source and giving the author credit for their work.


Shows that you have done your research

Citing your sources shows that you have done your research and are not making things up. It helps illustrate that your research is building off the research that has come before it. When you cite your sources, it helps build your credibility as a scholar.


Citing leads back to the original source

Citations are very helpful in allowing others to find the original source. When citations are incomplete or done incorrectly, it can be difficult or impossible to locate the resource.

Endnote or Zotero

EndNote and Zotero are both bibliographic management applications that helps collect and manage citations for your research or coursework. Use either one to automatically format your reference list and share your citations with other users of the same application. Both work with Microsoft Word to automatically insert and format your citations and reference list according to the citation style you choose.

All MBKU students and faculty can install EndNote for free on their PC or Mac. Downloads are available on  USB drive in the library, or you can contact the library staff for instructions on downloading a copy. The EndNote download includes a plugin for the Pages application. If you have any questions or run into problems with Endnote, please stop by the library and ask the librarians.

Zotero is free to the public. Because you can download the extension in Chrome, you can also use it with Google Docs.

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