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NoodleTools for Researchers

Learn how to use NoodleTools like a pro to create bibliographies, organize your research notes, and manage your research projects

How To Create a Citation

1. Click Sources in the navigation bar at the top of the screen to begin adding source references to a new project. 

2. Click Create new citation.

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3. When you create a new citation, you will be prompted to select where the source is and what type it is. 

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Once you select what the source is, a new citation form will appear in the next screen. 
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The form that you will complete to cite a source is dynamic and shows you only the fields that apply to your specific source. Those fields change based on the style (MLA, APA, or Chicago), level (Starter, Junior or Advanced), source type, content type, and publication medium selected. 

4. On the form, fill in as many details about your source as possible. Help text pops up with tips as you move from field to field.

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5. A Guide at the top-right of the screen displays a formatting template. Click the blue tab (APA Guide in the screenshot below) to open the guide. As you enter information in the form, the corresponding element is highlighted in the template.

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6. On the form, any field that has a red * is required. If the field has no data, you will not be able to submit the form. Note that other fields are also necessary to create the reference properly, but there are cases when those non-starred fields might need to be left empty.

7. As you type into a field, NoodleTools automatically checks for common errors with capitalization, abbreviations, and more. When a yellow warning triangle appears to the right of a field, mouse-over the triangle to view suggestions for how to correct the potential problem.

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8. An Annotation field at the bottom of every form allows you to create an annotated bibliography (you can later choose to include or exclude the annotations from your exported source list via the Print Formatting option). Note: If you're not familiar with an annotated bibliography, simply click on "What is An Annotation?"

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9. Below the Annotation field, the checkbox next to Include this source in my final bibliography (checked by default) allows you to add a source to your working bibliography but then omit it from your final exported version. The traffic light image (red, yellow, or green) next to the checkbox will indicate whether or not a particular source is typically included for the citation style you are using. For example, a well-known reference book is not usually included in a Chicago-style bibliography (but would be in MLA or APA source lists).

10. Submit the form to add your reference to your source list.

11. If there are multiple references in your source list, a link Jump to citation I just edited at the top of your bibliography takes you to the one you just added (which will also be highlighted in your list).

12. Repeat all steps above for each source you wish to cite.



How To Edit, Copy, Delete, or Undelete Sources

Whenever you want to EditCopy, or Delete one of your source references, click on the Options drop-down menu next to your source reference and choose the activity you wish to accomplish.

You can also Undelete a source citation if you accidentally deleted it.

  • Click Undelete at the top of the screen.
  • Restore deleted citations window will appear that allows you mark checkboxes next to the items you wish to recover.
  • Click Undelete.

NOTE: Notecards become unlinked from a source when the reference is deleted (they become “thought cards”). If you restore a reference, you will need to relink its notecards (either by editing each notecard and selecting the right item from the Source menu or by selecting multiple notecards on the Notecard Tabletop and clicking Link to source to relink all of them).

How To Create Parenthetical (In-Text) References and Footnotes


1. Select In-text reference from the Options drop-down menu.

2. Complete the help screen that pops up to show you how to create the correct parenthetical reference for your specific entry. Be sure to scroll down on the help screen to learn about the options you have for created in-text citations depending on how you introduced your outside source.


If you are working in a Chicago-style project, the Footnote format next to each reference you create opens a help screen that shows how to compose both the full and shortened versions of a footnote for your source. Just as with the parenthetical reference examples for MLA and APA, you can customized the footnote with a page number or other details, then copy and paste it directly into your paper.

How To Print/Export Your Source List

Before you print/export your bibliography and open it in your word processor or Google Docs, NoodleTools allows you to do some basic formatting. To see the formatting options, click Print/Export at the top of your source list and select Formatting Options


The formatting options are:

List title

By default, MLA lists are titled “Works Cited,” APA lists are titled “References,” and Chicago lists are titled “Bibliography.” These are the most common titles, but you may want a title that reflects the contents of your particular source list. For example, if you have added annotations to your MLA list, a more descriptive title would be “Annotated List of Works Cited.”

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Under Formatting Options, click Works Cited.
  3. If you are creating an MLA style list, select one of the titles from the examples listed by clicking on the associated hyperlink, or create your own title by typing a title in and clicking Set Custom Title.
  4. If you are creating an APA or Chicago style list, no preset alternatives are provided. Simply type your own title in and click Set Custom Title.

Page header (MLA and APA only)

A “header” is information that appears at the top of each page of your paper. NoodleTools can add the header to your source list for you, correctly formatted (although you will still need to make sure that it also appears throughout your essay).

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Under Formatting Options, click None
  3. If you are creating an MLA style list, enter your last name and click Set Header.
  4. If you are creating an APA style list, enter a shortened version of your paper’s title and click Set Header.

Annotation spacing (MLA only)

The MLA Handbook recommends that an annotation immediately follow the source reference, without any separation (see example in section 5.3.1 of the MLA Handbook). By default, NoodleTools displays annotations in this manner. However, your teacher may instruct you to separate annotations with an extra vertical space, for readability.

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Under Formatting Options, click Annotation follows citation on the same line.
  3. Click Start annotations on a new line.
  4. All annotations in your source list will be automatically updated.

Include or Omit Annotations

If you have included annotations in your source list but you do not wish them to appear in the version you print or export, you can omit them:

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Under Formatting Options, click Citations and annotations.
  3. Click Print citations only (omit the annotations).

Note that your annotations will no longer appear in your source list, even though you can still edit existing or add new annotations.

Other Formatting

To change other document formatting, such as fonts and line spacing, wait until your source list is complete and then make the changes after you have opened your source list in a word processing program or Google Docs.

How to export as Word or RTF and add it to your research paper

1. Click Print/Export and choose to Word (which generates a .docx file) or as RTF. While Microsoft Word is often used, .rtf files can be opened in any word processor that supports that file format standard (nearly all word processors do).

2. When you choose to export to a .rtf or .docx file, there are a few possible workflows:

  • If your computer is configured to open Word or another word processing program automatically, your source list may immediately download and open within that word processor. This may or may not be the word processor that you have used to write the rest of your research paper. Regardless, to save the source list, use that word processor’s File> Save as… mechanism to save the document as you wish (for example, in Word, as a .docx file), to a location on your computer or network that you will remember.
  •  If your browser is configured to prompt you before opening the file, a browser pop-up window will appear asking you whether you would like to save or open the file. Save the file to a location on your computer or network that you will remember.
  • A security message may notify you that the browser has blocked the site from downloading the file. Click the message and allow the download, then follow options 1 or 2 above.

Open the exported list and copy and paste it at the end of your research paper. It is customary to begin your source list on a new page, not on the last page of your research paper.

NOTE: Do not re-save a .rtf file as a .rtf file after opening it in Word. Doing so can cause formatting issues due to the way Word handles certain RTF codes. Instead, save as .docx.

How to Preview the Source List (HTML)

NoodleTools allows you to preview your formatted source list as an HTML-based webpage:

  1. Click Print/Export.
  2. Click Preview as Web Page (HTML).
  3. A new window will open containing just your source list. If no window appears, disable your popup blocker and retry.

How to Print Your Source List

The final version of your source list should always be printed after it is exported and viewed in your word processor or Google Docs. Do not print your source list from the Preview version because that webpage represents only a close approximation of the correct spacing and formatting.