Here are some useful guides to help you evaluate information you find on the web:
- Evaluating Information: How to evaluate information, from social media to scholarly articles (Johns Hopkins University)
- Evaluating Print vs. Internet Sources (Purdue University)
- Evaluating Resources (UC Berkeley)
Write Your Paper
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.
Cite Your Sources
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 most 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"Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.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.
Fall & Spring Semesters:
Monday - Thursday:
7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
7:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Monday - Thursday:
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Welcome to the DCTC Library's Composition I subject guide. This guide will help you to
- find online reference resources
- find books, videos, ebooks, and streaming videos
- find magazine, journal, and newspaper articles
- identify trustworthy information on the web
- and cite your sources
We have many books and videos about writing in our collection, including Rules for Writers, "They Say / I Say", and The Norton Field Guide to Writing on reserve. Books on reserve must be used in the Library, except with permission from your instructor to check them out overnight.
Our Catalog: OneSearch
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.
Our collection is organized by Library of Congress call numbers. If you like to browse, most books and videos about writing are shelved in the PE call number range. Ask a librarian if you need help finding anything.
If we don't have what you're looking for, you can expand your search to include all libraries in the Minnesota State system or even all libraries in Minnesota. You can request items from other libraries through interlibrary loan (ILL). You'll receive a notice when the items are ready to pick up here at the DCTC Library. Ask a librarian if you have any questions.
Below you'll find just a few of our many Online Resources for finding magazine, newspaper, and journal articles. 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 contact us if you have any questions about our databases or if you'd like help finding articles on your topic.
LearningExpress Library is an outstanding resource for academic and career development with hundreds of online tutorials, practice tests, and ebooks.
Of particular interest to Composition I students: there are practice sets, ebooks, and tutorials for grammar and writing in the College Students module. Math, reading, and science skills are also covered.
The Computer Skills Center module includes video courses on Microsoft Excel, Word, and other Office programs.
The Career Preparation module includes ebooks to help you with your job search, interviewing, networking, and workplace 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 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.
Here are just a few of the ebooks you'll find in our collection:
Writing Powerful Persuasive Pieces
Nancy Loewen, 2016
Fundamental College Composition
William P. De Feo, 2017
Polishing Your Prose : How to Turn First Drafts Into Finished Work
Steven Cahn, 2013