MLA format for papers and essays

MLA format, developed by the Modern Language Association, is primarily used by students and academics in the humanities. This article is based on the most recent MLA format guidelines published in the eighth edition in 2016.

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The general MLA format guidelines are:

  • Times New Roman 12 (or another standard font)
  • 1-inch page margins
  • Double line spacing
  • ½-inch indent for new paragraphs
  • Title case capitalization for headings

    Word templateGoogle Docs template

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    How to avoid plagiarism

    Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas without properly crediting the original author. Sometimes plagiarism involves deliberately stealing someone’s work, but often it happens accidentally, through carelessness or forgetfulness.

    When you write an academic paper, you build upon the work of others and use various sources for information and evidence. To avoid plagiarism, you need to correctly incorporate these sources into your text.

    Follow these four steps to ensure your paper is free from plagiarism:

    1. Keep track of the sources you consult in your research.
    2. Paraphrase or quote from your sources (and add your own ideas).
    3. Credit the original author in an in-text citation and reference list.
    4. Use a plagiarism checker before you submit.

    Plagiarism can have serious consequences, so make sure to follow these steps for every paper you write.

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    The #1 alternative to BibMe Citation Generator

    Most citation generators, like BibMe, are cluttered with ads and charge money for basic functionality. The Scribbr Citation Generator is a free alternative to BibMe, and millions of students are already using it. Here’s why:

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    APA Manual 7th edition: The most notable changes

    APA Manual 7th edition coverIn October 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, which replaces the 6th edition published in 2009.

    In that time a lot of things have changed. Citing online material has become more common, the use of inclusive and bias-free language is increasingly important, and the technology used by researchers and students has changed.

    The 7th edition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This article outlines the biggest changes that you should know about.

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    Internal vs external validity

    When testing cause-and-effect relationships, validity can be split up into two types: internal and external validity.

    Internal validity refers to the degree of confidence that the causal relationship being tested is trustworthy and not influenced by other factors or variables.

    External validity refers to the extent to which results from a study can be applied (generalized) to other situations, groups or events.

    The validity of a study is largely determined by the experimental design. To ensure the validity of the tools or tests you use, you also have to consider measurement validity.

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    Dissertation binding and printing

    Your dissertation is finally finished, you got it proofread and checked for plagiarism. The final step is printing your dissertation, which means choosing between:

    • Types of binding
    • Colour vs. black & white
    • Single vs. double sided
    • Paper type and thickness

    You also need to decide which printing and binding service to use. This independent article explains all options and helps you make the right decisions.

    Overview of printing services

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    How to transcribe an interview

    Transcribing is converting speech to text word for word. Transcribing is a common practice when conducting interviews because it enables you to perform analysis.

    How to transcribe an interview in five steps:

    1. Choose your preferred transcription method
    2. Transcribe the audio (using transcription software)
    3. Add speaker designation and time stamps
    4. Clarify the transcript where needed
    5. Proofread the transcript

    Transcription software comparison

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    Inductive vs. deductive reasoning

    The main difference between inductive and deductive reasoning is that inductive reasoning aims at developing a theory while deductive reasoning aims at testing an existing theory.

    Inductive reasoning moves from specific observations to broad generalizations, and deductive reasoning the other way around.

    Both approaches are used in various types of research, and it’s not uncommon to combine them in one large study.

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    Qualitative vs. quantitative research

    There are two approaches to collecting and analyzing data: qualitative research and quantitative research. Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

    Each of these types of research has different objectives and methods, and both are important for gaining different kinds of knowledge.

    Quantitative research
    Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and graphs. It is used to test or confirm theories and assumptions. This type of research can be used to establish generalizable facts about a topic.

    Qualitative research
    Qualitative research is expressed in words. It is used to understand concepts, thoughts or experiences. This type of research enables you to gather in-depth insights on topics that are not well understood.

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