How do you spell “trouble”? Many students spell it as headers, margins, in-text citations, or reference pages. We are at, or are quickly coming to, that time of the quarter when written assignments are coming due and many students are becoming nervous about these deadlines. I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Michael Schneider, Minnesota School of Business-Elk River campus librarian, to get the lowdown on the MSB/Globe Education Network (GEN) Library and how it can help ease the stress that comes with making sure your paper is formatted and cited properly.
Where can students get help with APA when they are at home or aren’t able to ask someone on campus?
A feature on the library website (http://library.globeuniversity.edu/home) is an APA Citation guide link which can assist you in all aspects of writing your paper in proper APA style. “APA Citation” will bring you to the following page: http://library.globeuniversity.edu/apa. It is found under ‘Quick Links’ on the right hand side of the home page. There you will find seven tabs across your screen which cover most of the trouble areas students have when writing papers.
How is the page organized so that students can find what they are looking for?
The first page you come to is a general overview of using the guide. The next tab is titled ‘Reference List.” This page will give you direction on what goes into and how to construct a correct reference for your reference page. It has many examples from books and e-books to websites, magazine articles, and even how to reference a graph.
Instructors have been talking about “In-text citations.” Can I get help with those on the website?
One of the tabs is labeled “In-Text.” Similar to the reference examples, this tab shows you how to cite your sources in the body of your paper. It also gives multiple examples and breaks down exactly what you’ll need to know.
Formatting papers with the correct margins, font size, etc., can be confusing. Is there a place to get help with that?
The “Formatting and Templates” tabs sets out the rules as to how your paper should look and what I think might be the greatest feature on there. It has templates which are already configured APA papers. All you need to do is enter in your information in the proper locations and you will instantly have an appropriately formatted paper!
Some of our students are visual learners. Are their videos they can watch to show them how to do this?
The “Tutorials” tab features short videos and a game which will give you a better understanding of certain areas of APA which you might be having trouble with.
Students want to utilize their iPads to get help with APA. Is there an app for that?
“APA Help” has multiple features. One will give you directions on how to download the APA Guide to your iPad. It is free and is available to anyone who wants it. I highly recommend you download it. It doesn’t take up much space and it can come in very handy when you are in a pinch and need help. Also, it has links to outside sources for APA assistance, e.g. the APA website, Purdue OWL website, the APA Manual (found in every MSB/GEN Library), how to contact a Librarian for help, along with a few more helpful areas.
Students are warned about plagiarism in their classes. Is there an area that discusses this and how it can be avoided?
The last tab is labeled “About Plagiarism.” If you are ever in doubt whether you should cite a source or not, this is the page for you. In multiple places, it gives you information that breaks down if you should cite information you used or not. It is very simple and straight forward.
The website and each of these tabs are easy to find, easy to use, and easy to understand. They are a great resource for getting the work done right and will help remove some of the anxiety that comes along with doing something that is as foreign to us initially as APA. The next time you have a written assignment and you can see trouble coming likes headers, margins, and in-text citations, know that the MSB/GEN Library website is the right place to go.