What Are Footnotes? | Guide with Word Instructions

Footnotes are notes placed at the bottom of the page in a piece of academic writing and indicated in the text with superscript numbers (or sometimes letters or other symbols). You can insert footnotes automatically in Word or Google Docs. They’re used to provide:

  • Citations in certain styles
  • Additional information that would disrupt the flow of the main text

What Are Footnotes

Note: Footnotes are a lot like endnotes, which are used in similar ways. The difference is that endnotes appear all together at the end of the text, instead of separately on each page. This gives your text a less cluttered appearance, but it can also be inconvenient for readers.

Continue reading: What Are Footnotes? | Guide with Word Instructions

The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples

An in-text citation is a short acknowledgement you include whenever you quote or take information from a source in academic writing. It points the reader to the source so they can see where you got your information.

In-text citations most commonly take the form of short parenthetical statements indicating the author and publication year of the source, as well as the page number if relevant.

Example: APA Style in-text citation
(Jackson, 2005, p. 16)

We also offer a free citation generator and in-depth guides to the main citation styles.

Go to APA examplesGo to MLA examplesGo to Chicago examples

Continue reading: The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples

12 Best Free Plagiarism Checkers | Compared in 2022

You can find various free plagiarism checkers online that you can use to avoid accidental plagiarism. But how reliable are these tools, and are they really free? To find out, we tested 12 of the most popular free plagiarism checkers.

We uploaded test documents featuring a total of 180 different source texts, which were either directly copied from the source or edited to disguise the plagiarism.

Our in-depth research shows that free checkers are unable to detect most plagiarism in our test documents, whether the text was edited or unedited. The Scribbr Plagiarism Checker is still the best option for reliable plagiarism detection in 2022.

The table below shows our ranking of the free plagiarism checkers we tested, along with the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker for comparison.

Plagiarism checker Overall score 100% free? Restrictions
   Scribbr 4.7
1. Quetext 3.3 Free trial of 1 scan (2,500 words)
2. Grammarly 3.2 “Free” version gives no information
3. Unicheck 3.0 200-word free trial
4. Check Plagiarism 2.3 Limits not clearly explained
5. Plagiarism Detector 2.2 1,000 words / check
6. Pre Post SEO 2.2 1,000 words / check
7. Search Engine Reports 1.7 1,500 words / check
8. Small SEO Tools 1.7 1,000 words / check
9. DupliChecker 1.7 1,000 words / check
10. Plagiarism Checker 1.2 5 free checks; 800 words / check
11. Writer 1.2 2,000 words / check; no percentage

Note: We also tried to test Plagly, but it was unable to generate reports at all, so we were unable to include this tool in our comparison.

Continue reading: 12 Best Free Plagiarism Checkers | Compared in 2022

Proofreading Rates | A Guide for Freelance Editors

One of the hardest parts of freelancing is figuring out the right rates to charge your clients, and this is no different for proofreaders and editors. This article provides useful data and guidance on the process of formulating your rates.

Rates for proofreading vary widely depending on a variety of factors (e.g., experience, difficulty), but rough median rates are indicated in the table below for proofreaders who work independently and those who work with established platforms.

Style of work Median rate per hour
Working with a platform $20–$28
Independent freelancer $36–$40

Bear in mind that as an independent freelancer, you carry out additional work that you don’t bill for: finding clients and admin tasks like invoicing. If you instead work with a platform like Scribbr, you might earn a lower nominal rate (since the company takes a cut), but the additional unpaid work is eliminated.

Continue reading: Proofreading Rates | A Guide for Freelance Editors

What Is Common Knowledge? | Definition & Examples

In academic writing, “common knowledge” refers to information that the average educated reader would accept without needing a source citation to back it up.

There are two main categories of common knowledge:

  • Information that most people know
  • Information shared by a specific group of people, such as a national or cultural group, or academics in a particular field of study

In academic writing it’s normally essential to cite your sources, but statements that are considered common knowledge do not need a citation.

Continue reading: What Is Common Knowledge? | Definition & Examples

Writing in APA Style: Language guidelines

The American Psychological Association (APA) published the 7th edition of its style manual in 2019. As well as rules for citation and paper formatting, the manual provides various language guidelines to help you present your ideas in a clear, concise, and inclusive manner.

Key issues include active vs. passive voice, use of pronouns, anthropomorphism, inclusive language, punctuation, abbreviations and acronyms, and numbers.

Note: This quick guide explains APA’s advice on language and punctuation issues. Elsewhere, we provide information about APA formatting and layout and about APA Style citation.

Continue reading: Writing in APA Style: Language guidelines

How to create an MLA style annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a special assignment that lists sources in a way similar to the MLA Works Cited list, but providing an annotation for each source giving extra information.

You might be assigned an annotated bibliography as part of the research process for a paper, or as an individual assignment.

MLA provides guidelines for writing and formatting your annotated bibliography. An example of a typical annotation is shown below.

Example of an MLA source annotation

Kenny, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy: In Four Parts. Oxford UP, 2010.

Broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Divided into four periods—ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern—each section begins with a chronological overview of the key thinkers, followed by chapters dedicated to each significant subfield in the period: metaphysics, political philosophy, God, etc. Kenny generally provides thorough and fair assessments of the major philosophers’ work, but is pointedly dismissive of Derrida and other critical theorists, significantly weakening the book’s coverage of “postmodern” philosophy.

You can create and manage your annotated bibliography with Scribbr’s free MLA Citation Generator. Choose your source type, retrieve the details, and click “Add annotation.”

Continue reading: How to create an MLA style annotated bibliography

Creating an MLA title page

In MLA style, a title page is usually not required for your paper. Instead, MLA recommends including a header on your first page listing your name, your instructor’s name, the course name and number, and the submission date, followed by the title of your paper.

However, you should include a separate title page instead in these cases:

  • Your instructor requires it
  • The paper is a group project (i.e. you need to list multiple authors)

The formats for a separate title page and a first-page header are shown below. You can also use our templates in Word or Google Docs.

Word template Google Docs template

Continue reading: Creating an MLA title page

Formatting dates in MLA style

In MLA Works Cited entries, publication dates are presented in day-month-year order. If the name of the month has five or more letters, abbreviate it to the first three.

Sometimes you just list the year (e.g. when citing a book), but if the source provides a more specific publication date, you should usually include it (e.g. when citing a journal article or web page). Occasionally you might even list the time of publication in addition to the date (e.g. when citing a timestamped online comment).

  • 2017
  • spring 2017
  • Mar. 2017
  • 5 Mar. 2017
  • 5 Mar. 2017, 1:15 p.m.

Don’t use ordinal numbers (e.g. “5th”) or commas within a date in the Works Cited list. Don’t include a 0 before a single-digit date (e.g. “05”), even if your source does.

Continue reading: Formatting dates in MLA style