Welcome to the DCTC Library's Composition I course guide. On this page you will find helpful information about the research and writing process, including links to help you evaluate and cite your sources.
The 2nd page has information about the resources in our library and how to find them using our catalog.
The 3rd page is a gateway to the Library's best online resources and web sites for this course, including some tutorials for these resources.
Let's get started!
Not everything you read online is true. Shocking, I know. Have you ever heard of the CRAAP test? A librarian developed this handy acronym to help you remember these things when evaluating information.
Currency: is this the most up-to-date information on my topic?
Relevance: does this information relate to my topic?
Authority: is the author qualified to write about this subject?
Accuracy: has this information been fact-checked?
Purpose: is this information objective, or is it biased?
Here are some useful guides to help you evaluate information you find on the web:
- CRAAP Detection: Criteria for Evaluating Information (Otis College of Art and Design)
- Evaluating Information (Johns Hopkins University)
- Evaluating Sources of Information (Purdue University)
- Evaluating Resources (UC Berkeley)
There are different styles for citing the sources you use in your assignments. Your instructor will let you know whether to use APA, Chicago, MLA, or some other style. Here are some introductory guides to these styles from the Purdue Online Writing Lab:
- Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
- Purdue OWL: Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition
- Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Our catalog and databases provide citations for the books, videos, and articles you find in them. Just look for a link that says Cite or Citation, then select the appropriate style. It's easy to copy and paste citations into your bibliography!
"Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials."
This definition of plagiarism comes from page 1 of DCTC's Student Code of Conduct. See how easy that was?
Citing your sources is an essential step in the research process. This allows others to verify your information and gives credit to previous researchers and writers for their hard work.
The Center for Student Success offers tutoring to all DCTC students, including help with writing your paper and citing your sources. You can schedule an appointment by calling 651-423-8420 or visiting room 2-101.
In the Library
Use our catalog, OneSearch, to find the books and videos on our shelves, plus ebooks and streaming videos.
The best way to begin your search is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. To narrow your results, use the Modify My Results options on the left side of the screen. You can also click on a relevant title and click on one of its subject headings to focus your search on that particular topic.
Please ask a librarian if you need help locating anything you find in our catalog.
If we don't have the book, video, or article you're looking for, you can request it via interlibrary loan (ILL) and it will come to you. It's easy! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you're looking for and we'll do the rest.
We have lots of books and videos about writing in our collection. If you like to browse, most of these are shelved in the PE call number range. Ask a librarian if you need help finding anything.
Here are just a few of our books about writing:
Behind the circulation desk we have our Course Resources collection. These are books and videos that instructors have asked us to reserve for certain classes. Books for Composition I include The China Study, The Norton Field Guide to Writing, The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers, Rules for Writers, and "They Say / I Say". Books on reserve must be used in the Library, except with permission from your instructor to check them out overnight. Ask a librarian if you're looking for one of these.
LearningExpress Library is an outstanding resource for academic and career development with hundreds of online tutorials, practice tests, and ebooks.
The College Students center is perfect for students who want to improve their reading, grammar, and writing skills. There are also resources to help you prepare for college placement and graduate school entrance exams.
The Adult Core Skills center includes additional tutorials, practice tests, and ebooks to help adults improve their writing, speaking, and grammar skills.
Opposing Viewpoints features information and opinions on more than 400 social issues and current events. For each topic, you'll find viewpoint essays; reference information; full-text articles from magazines, academic journals, and newspapers; primary source documents; statistics; images; videos; audio; and trustworthy websites.
Points of View Reference Center
Points of View Reference Center features opinions on more than 400 social issues, from 3D gun printing to zoos and circuses. For each topic, you'll find an overview and point and counterpoint opinion essays.
There are millions of full-text articles in our EBSCO, Gale, and ProQuest databases. The best way to begin your search is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. Each database is different, but there will be ways to limit and focus your results so that you find the most relevant and useful articles available.
Our EBSCO databases are an excellent place to start your search for magazine and journal articles.
Please visit the Library or e-mail email@example.com if you have any questions about our online resources or if you'd like help finding articles on your topic.
Here are just a few of the ebooks about writing and composition you'll find in our EBSCO eBook Collection:
Stylish Academic Writing
Helen Sword, 2012
Polishing Your Prose : How to Turn First Drafts Into Finished Work
Steven Cahn, 2013
The Elements of Style Collection
William Strunk, 2016