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Communication 103


Most instructors specify what bibliographic/writing format they require for assignments in their classes. If you don’t know this, go back and read the syllabus or instructions carefully—it's probably stated there. The most common formats you are likely to work with in college are APA and MLA. They are different—and, yes, it matters!

While this class does not have an English prerequisite, it is important to know that college level writing and research is expected. If writing and researching isn’t your strength, we have tools to help you! Getting stronger in this area will make you successful in nearly every college class you take—so take the time to learn since YOU will reap the rewards for many semesters to come. Here are some tools for you:

Writing/Formatting Help

Tips from Faculty:

  • Read the instructions carefully. Some faculty prefer an informal writing style while other faculty may require a formal academic tone to your writing. Sometimes just an outline is required while other times, a full documented paper is required. In other words, not all Communications faculty are the same. Typically, your teachers will assess your work according to the requirements of the assignment, so it helps you to know what those requirements are!
  • Save some time to proof-read and correct your work. Read your paper out load—you might catch mistakes easier that way. Trade papers/projects with a friend to proofread. We often fail to see our own mistakes! If you’re dyslexic, try going through your paper backwards, one word or sentence at a time.

MSJC Library Helps

Ideas for Research Papers - Need an idea for a paper? Use this guide to help get you started!

Seven Steps to Library Research - A guide for topic development, library research, and creating citations. 

MSJC Library Online Orientation - How to choose a topic, start your research, evaluate and synthesize information, and cite your sources.

Advanced Research Guide - Advanced research tips for searching databases, evaluating information, and citing.

Writing & Citing - Guide for grammar, writing, and citing help.

Citation Help Handouts - Quick guides for citing in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formats.


Websites for Generating Citations

Knight Cite

This website works as a citation generator. You fill in the appropriate bibliographic information, and it pops out a citation for you to copy and paste into your works cited page.

A favorite generator for citations, this website auto-fills the blanks but allows you to modify any information. It also keeps a running list of all your citations so you can copy and paste all at once. 

Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide

The Chicago Manual of Style publishes a freely-available online "quick guide" to citing common sources. If the item you wish to cite is not covered in the online Quick Guide, please refer to the comprehensive print edition of the Chicago Manual of the Style, available in the MVC Library Reference collection.

Citation Builder

Developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, this citation generator provides all the fields for you to input the information and then organizes it for you. The best part is that the fields change based on the type of format you want to cite.