Olin Library


Not sure how to properly cite a source? Holding an internal debate over whether to use a semi-colon or comma? Can't remember whether to do the parenthesis or division first in the order of operations? Take a look below for resources with answers to questions like these, as well as a wealth of other academic hints, tips, and tricks.

Citation Guides & Tools

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism, Randolph College

Tagging Plagiarism: Ten Types of Unoriginal Work, a study by Turnitin 

Why We Cite, a short video from the UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center

Recognizing Plagiarism, using APA Style, a tutorial and test by Indiana U. Education Department

Citation Guides

Citation Research Guide

Citation Tools

The following citation management and formatting tools are available to individual users on the Web. The Olin Library does not endorse or support any particular one of these, but we will assist you in configuring your chosen citation tool to work with our resources.

Citation management tools allow you to download citations from databases and websites, and to store, organize, and format those citations. These are good choices for large research projects with many sources, for ongoing research into an area of interest, and for any research where you want to save sources that you might wish to refer to at some point in the future. Citation management tools include:

Zotero: A plug-in for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari; also available as a stand-alone Windows application.  Free, with additional storage available for purchase.

Mendeley: A desktop and web program that stores document PDFs. Free, with additional storage and premium features available for purchase. Mendeley is particularly strong working with articles in the sciences.

EndNote: EndNote is the most elaborate and well-established citation management tool, with many advanced features and a steeper learning curve. It is available from the MyTools menu in Web of Science.  You will need to create your own free account.

Other citation formatting tools merely help you word your citations in the appropriate format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). These tools are useful when you won’t need to return to your list of sources after completing an immediate project.

Son of Citation Machine: Free web tool for MLA and APA style citations.

EasyBib: Free MLA citation formatting, with APA and Chicago/Turabian formatting for a paid subscription.

NoodleBib: Part of Noodletools, a suite of tools for note-taking, outlining, and other writing tasks. Noodle tools requires a paid subscription, but has limited functionality with a free “MLAlite” account.

Readcube: A tool for organizing, referencing, and citing articles.  The basic version is free, with additional features available for a fee.

Resources by Department

Click on the academic department to see Olin Library's Research Guide for that discipline.

Anthropology (ANT)

Tutorials and Quizzes on Basic ANT Topics

Arabic (ARA)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Cambridge Dictionaries Online: Arabic

Art History (ARH)

Oxford Art Online

Web Gallery of Art

ArtLex Glossary of Art Terms

Biochemistry (BCH)

OSU Resources for BCH

Biology (BIO)

The Biology Project: Activities and Review of Bio Concepts

Business & Social Entrepreneurship (BUS)

Chemistry (CHM)

Overview of CHM Principles

Organic Chemistry Aid

Chinese (CHN)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Chinese Characters & Dictionary

Classical Studies (CLS)

Resource Page for CLS (inc. Latin Studies)

Communications (COM)

Computer Science (CMS)

Computer Science Glossary

Critical Media and Cultural Studies (CMC)

Economics (ECO)

Basics of Macroeconomics

Microeconomics 101

Education (EDU)

English (ENG)

Environmental Studies (ENV)

French (FRN)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Verb Conjugation Reference

German (GMN)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Interactive German Aid

Hebrew (HBR)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Hebrew Resources from the Univ. of Washington

History (HIS)

International Business (INB)

Japanese (JPN)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Hiragana and Katakana Practice

Latin (LAT)

Latin Resource Listing (inc. other CLS resources)

Math (MAT)

101 Online Math Resources

Wolfram MathWorld

Music (MUS)

Theory Exercises

Theory References and Tutorials

Philosophy (PHI)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Physics (PHY)

The Physics HyperTextbook

Political Science (POL)

Psychology (PSY)

"Plain English" Dictionary of PSY Terms

Religious Studies (REL)

Association of Religion Data Archives

Russian (RUS)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Russian Language Review

Sociology (SOC)

Spanish (SPN)

Practice Vocabulary and Speaking

Free Spanish Tutorials

Theater (THE)

Study Skills

Need help studying? Have difficulty taking decent notes? Get stressed out before exams? Explore some of the following resources to help you improve your studying habits.


Cornell Notetaking Method: 5-minute video + how to make your own templates in Word

Making the Most of Lectures:  Make the most of lecture-based teaching by taking efficient notes.

Note-Taking Skills:  A quick guide to evaluate how you can take better notes.

Reading College Texts

How to Read College Texts:  Video, very thorough with lots of guidance and examples.

Study Skills

How to Study.org:  Helpful websites at all stages of your learning process and by the academic department.  A treasure trove.

Overall Study Skills Guide:  Basic study skills in many languages.

Virginia Tech Study Skills Page: This Virginia Tech site contains a wealth of study skill pages.

Student Academic Services at Cal Poly: This alphabetized library contains a variety of resources. 

Cornell University Study Skills Page: These videos will give you a brief overview of best study practices.

Ten Traps of Studying: Stuck during your study session? Feeling overwhelmed? Check out these tips for getting out of the top 10 studying traps!

Improving Concentration, Memory, and Motivation: Click here for a number of documents, videos, and links.

Writing Support

Hamilton College Writing Center: Helpful, discipline-specific guidelines for writing.

A Short Guide to Writing in College (U. of Chicago): Having trouble formulating your thoughts into a paper? Use this helpful checklist to flesh out your writing.

Harvard Writing Center: Harvard offers a variety of guides and strategies for writing; click here to access these.

Swarthmore Student Resources: Click here for nearly 30 different writing resource guides!

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Purdue's Writing Lab has hundreds of resources to help you on your writing journey!

UR Writing Center: The University of Richmond's Writer's Web offers hints and tips for each step of the writing process.

UNC Writing Center: The University of North Carolina's Writing Center has one of the most comprehensive collections of writing support materials on the web.

Dartmouth Institute for Writing and Rhetoric: Check here for Dartmouth's resources for their students. 

Writing Rescue Guide for College Students: Style guides, tips, and expert advice.

Grammar tips:

Also, make sure to check out (and print) these homegrown documents: