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The following Web resources have been carefully selected by CCSF English instructors to help you with various aspects of style and research.

For more specific CCSF-influenced guidance, jump to the Cyberia Activity Form (a Microsoft Word document) or the Cyberia Activity Guide (a work-in-progress).

Style and Research Resources

Choose a Topic:

For one-on-one tutoring, go to the Writing Lab.

Clarity and Grace

Quite often correctness is confused with style. While the two are certainly related, an incredibly clean essay may still lack style. Essentially, style refers to the way you put together and sequence your sentences. Thinking about style means thinking about what readers might go through when reading
your work. Are the ideas expressed clearly and gracefully? Do the sentences sustain focus and flow? Could the writing be more poetic and musical? The following resources may help you think more about the many meanings of style and how to develop your own.

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MLA Source Integration and Documentation

Style is what prevents quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from appearing dumped into your essay. Integrating sources successfully with the pulse of your argument takes considerable awareness and practice. There are multiple ways to integrate and recognize outside source material, and the process can actually be a lot of fun. The following MLA sites may help you more stylishly and accurately incorporate the work of others into your own.

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Libraries and Research

Fifty years ago the great poet Allen Ginsberg asked, "America why are your libraries full of tears?" Today, fifty cyber years later, the reason why libraries cry may be because they are often neglected, incredibly enough, as places to find books and perform research. Fortunately, many libraries, including CCSF's, also offer outstanding online reference tools and electronically formatted journal articles. The following sites may help you make smarter use of online and in-person academic research.

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Ethics and Plagiarism

Occasionally writers may not know if the words, ideas, or research produced by somebody else should be credited. Perhaps they know the work should be credited but do not know how to use MLA format to do so. Or maybe in their heads they are giving credit but to an outside reader such acknowledgment is invisible. Then again, some writers feel that cheating--aka plagiarism--is worth the risk, not unlike cheating on one's taxes, even if it could lead to being thrown out of college. The temptation to plagiarize can be great, especially when you find a brilliant source or entire paper, have little time left to submit your assignment, and are desperate for a high grade. If you ever feel this temptation or feel that you may not be recognizing your sources and sources' words accurately enough, meet with your professor right away. Additionally, the following resources may help you avoid plagiarism and credit your sources with style.

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Additional Sites

The following Web resources should help reinforce the skills and strategies explored above.


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* To view the slideshow files linked on this page, you'll need PowerPoint or the free PowerPoint Viewer:

For the PC
For the Mac

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If you find a broken link or want to suggest a resource, suggest it here.


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