Understanding different sampling methods

When you conduct research about a group of people, it’s rarely possible to collect data from every person in that group. Instead, you select a sample. The sample is the group of individuals who will actually participate in the research.

To draw valid conclusions from your results, you have to carefully decide how you will select a sample that is representative of the group as a whole. There are two types of sampling methods:

  • Probability sampling involves random selection, allowing you to make statistical inferences about the whole group.
  • Non-probability sampling involves non-random selection based on convenience or other criteria, allowing you to easily collect initial data.

You should clearly explain how you selected your sample in the methodology section of your paper or thesis.

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How to cite a lecture in MLA

In MLA (8th edition), the Works Cited entry for a lecture looks like this:

MLA lecture citation format

Lecturer Last Name, First Name. “Title of Lecture.” Course or Event Name, Date, Venue, City. Descriptive label.

MLA lecture citation example

Dent, Gina. “Anchored to the Real: Black Literature in the Wake of Anthropology.” Moving together: Activism, Art & Education, 16 May 2018, The Black Archives, Amsterdam. Lecture.

This format also applies to other types of oral presentation, such as a conference panel or a public talk.

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MLA footnotes and endnotes

In MLA style, when you refer to a source, you use a parenthetical citation in the main text. Footnotes and endnotes can be used for two purposes:

  • Bibliographic notes: mentioning additional sources that are relevant to your point
  • Content notes: adding extra information or explanation that doesn’t fit into the main text

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the relevant page, while endnotes appear at the very end of the paper. MLA permits the use of either type.

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Creating an MLA heading

The first page of your MLA format paper starts with a four-line left-aligned heading containing:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s name
  • The course name and number
  • The date of submission

After the heading, the title of the paper is centred on a new line. The heading and title do not take any special styling, and should be the same font and size as the rest of the paper.

MLA style does not require a separate cover page. The main body of your paper starts on the same page, directly under the title.

Include your name and the page number right-aligned in the header on every page.

Download the MLA heading template (Word)

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How to do survey research

Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analyzing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:

  1. Determine who will participate in the survey
  2. Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
  3. Design the survey questions and layout
  4. Distribute the survey
  5. Analyze the responses
  6. Write up the results

Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many types of research.

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How to cite a poem in MLA

When you quote poetry, you have to properly format the quotation and direct the reader to the correct source entry in the Works Cited list.

An MLA 8 poetry citation must include the poet’s last name, either in the main text or in a parenthetical citation. If line or page numbers are available, add these to the parenthetical citation directly after the quote.

In the Works Cited entry, include the full publication details of the source in which you found the poem. You can use our free MLA citation generator to create Works Cited entries and in-text citations.

MLA poetry citation examples
In-text poetry citationWorks Cited source entry
Line numbers(Eliot, lines 19–20)Eliot, T.S. “The Waste Land.” 1922. Bartleby, www.bartleby.com/201/1.html. Accessed 09 June 2019.
Page numbers(Angelou 132)Angelou, Maya. “Men.” The Complete Collected Poems, Random House, 1994, pp. 132-133.
No numbers(Mahon)Mahon, Derek. “A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford.” Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/92154/a-disused-shed-in-co-wexford. Accessed 25 June 2019.

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How to cite an interview in MLA

When citing an interview in MLA style (8th edition), the name of the interviewee appears as the author in the in-text citation.

In the Works Cited entry, the interviewee’s name is followed by the title of the interview in quotation marks. If there is no title, use the description “Interview” (with no styling or quotation marks).

If you conducted the interview yourself, add your own name and the date on which the interview took place. If you found the interview in a published source, include the name of the interviewer and full details of the source.

MLA interview citation examples
Works Cited entryIn-text citation
Personal interviewStreefkerk, Raimo. Interview. Conducted by Shona McCombes, 20 July 2019.(Streefkerk)
Published interviewSpark, Muriel. “Unsentimental Voyager.” Interview by Stephanie Merritt. The Guardian, 10 Sept. 2000, www.theguardian.com/­books/­2000/­sep/­10/­fiction.murielspark.(Spark)

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How to cite a movie in MLA

To cite a film in MLA (8th edition), you need to know the title, the director, any other relevant contributors, the production company, and the year of release. If there are multiple versions of a film, you also need to identify the version.

Brazil. Directed by Terry Gilliam, performances by Jonathan Pryce and Katherine Helmond, director’s cut, Embassy International Pictures, 1985.

To cite a movie from Netflix (and similar online streaming services), you don’t have to add any extra information. If you watched the movie on an unofficial website or video-sharing platform like YouTube, add the website name, the uploader, the date of upload, and the URL.

Night of the Living Dead. Directed by George A. Romero, Image Ten, 1968. YouTube, uploaded by American Film Institute, 26 Aug 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZy6P72Uu3Y.

In the in-text citation, include the title (or a shortened version of it) and the time range.

(Brazil 29:45–32:37)
(Night 18:25–18:40)

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How to create an MLA Works Cited list

The Works Cited page appears at the very end of your paper. You list every source that you cited in the text, giving full publication details so that your readers can find the source for themselves.

The sources are alphabetized by the author’s last name (or, if there is no author, by the first word of the title). Each entry must correspond with at least one in-text citation.

Exactly what you need to include in each entry depends on the type of source and the information available.

Scribbr MLA Citation Generator

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How to cite a website in MLA

To cite an online article in MLA style (8th Edition), the Works Cited entry should contain the author’s name, the title of the page, the name of the website, the publication date, and the URL.

When citing a web page or a whole website, there is often no author or publication date provided. If there is no author, start with the title of the page or website. If there is no date, add the date on which you accessed the page.

The in-text citation for a website contains either the author’s name or the title of the source in parentheses.

If you cite multiple pages or articles from the same website, you should include a separate Works Cited entry for each one. You can create a website citation automatically using the MLA citation generator.

Scribbr MLA Citation Generator

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