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TruthQuester! Badge

This information literacy badge may be earned and awarded to students at Southern New Hampshire University. Others are free to participate, however may not earn a SNHU-authored badge.

Why Do We Cite?

It's not required to annoy you, we promise!  Citations are a critical component of proper academic work.  Why?

  • Proper citations give your paper credibility and authority by showing the high quality sources you used for your information.
  • CIting sources shows an understanding and respect for scholarly communications.  Give credit where credit is due.
  • Citations help your readers identify and locate your sources.

There are many citation styles, and most often the style used correlates with the discipline. For example Psychology, Sociology, Economics & Business usually use the citation style for social sciences published by the American Psychological Association, APA style.  In SNHU courses, the following styles are used most often:

  • APA
  • Chicago
  • MLA

In ENG120, you will be asked to use MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting. 
In ENG200, you will likely be asked to use APA (American Psychological Association) formatting.

What do the Experts Say?

Searching for Objective Information

So where might you look to find credible information? Head to the Shapiro Library Homepage to begin your research. For the activity below, you will develop relevant keywords about gun violence and type them into the Multi-Search box to find an article you think provides the most accurate and useful information. This tool helps you think of other terms to use in your search and shows how to connect them in a search phrase. Don't forget what you learned from SIFT-ing earlier!


1. Go to the Keyword Generator Tool This link opens in a new window and follow the steps using "gun violence" as a topic. When you see "How to Search with your Search Terms" the box below it you will see a chart with: Your topic, Key Concepts, Related Search Terms. 

The words AND and OR, are capitalized in search phrases to tell the search engine exactly what you are searching for. Words connected by "OR" mean that you want either word/phrase to come up in your search results. Connecting terms with the word AND means you want both words/phrases to be in every search result that comes up.

2. When you finish, paste your search terms into the designated box on your poster template.

3. Watch the the short video below to learn about how to use the Multi-Search on the Shapiro Library Home Page

4. Type your search terms, or copy & paste the search phrases you've created into the Multi-Search box and click Search or hit Enter to see your results lists

5. In the left margin, click "Peer Reviewed (Scholarly)" to narrow your results to research articles from academic journals

6. Click on the magnifying glass on the paper icon to the right of any title to read a summary (abstract) of the article

7. Click on the title of the article that you find most informative & factual to be taken to the article's landing page where you can access the PDF Full Text, or HTML Full Text, or Link to Full Text, or Full Text Finder. Once you locate the full text of the article, download the PDF, or look for the option to email the article to yourself.

8. Open the full text of the article and take a screenshot of the first page, and add it to your poster template

9. On the article landing page, click on the "cite" icon in the right-hand column of icons. A box with citations for the article in different formats will appear above the citation. Scroll until you see MLA on the left, then copy & paste the MLA citation into the box on your template. These are machine-generated citations, so you will want to check them against the MLA Citation Guide by clicking on "Citing Your Sources" in the Quick Links box on the library home page, then clicking on MLA Style.

Getting to the Shapiro Library

Here are two ways to get to the Shapiro Library website:

  1. Log in to my.snhu and click on the Shapiro Library link on your home page of my.snhu
  2. Log in to any Brightspace course and click on the Academic Support tab and scroll down to the Shapiro Library link. Then click on the big, blue words: Shapiro Library. Click HERE for screenshots (images) showing these steps.            

SPECIAL TIP! ***Once you are ON the library home page, you can access my.snhu and Brightspace from there too (at the bottom of the page)! So if you bookmark/favorite the Shapiro Library website in your browser, you will have one-stop shopping to all your SNHU needs!

Library Multi-Search Tool

The long search box on the Shapiro Library home page is called the Multi-Search and allows you to search a large number of library resources at once. It is a great place to begin your research. Later you might try out specific databases for further information on your topic. This brief video walks you through how to use the Multi-Search tool.

Hit a dead end? Reach out to the library!