How to write a summary

Summarizing means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or analyzing the source—you should simply provide a clear, objective, accurate account of the most important information and ideas, without copying any text from the original and without missing any of the key points.

Continue reading: How to write a summary

How to quote in academic writing

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote.
  • The original author is correctly cited.
  • The text is identical to the original.

The exact format of a quote depends on how long it is and which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism.

Example of a quote
“As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510).

Continue reading: How to quote in academic writing

Direct quotes in APA Style

A direct quote is a piece of text copied word-for-word from a source. You may quote a word, phrase, sentence, or entire passage.

There are three main rules for quoting in APA Style:

Example: APA direct quote
According to a recent paper, “quotes can be useful in academic writing” (Singh et al., 2019, p. 25).

Continue reading: Direct quotes in APA Style

Checklist: Writing a research paper

A research paper is an extended piece of writing based on in-depth independent research. It may involve conducting empirical research or analyzing primary and secondary sources.

Writing a good research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic and advance an original argument. To convincingly communicate your ideas, you need a logical structure and a clear style that follows the conventions of academic writing.

When you’ve finished writing your paper, use this checklist to evaluate your work.

Continue reading: Checklist: Writing a research paper

How to write your graduate school resume

When you apply for graduate school, you’ll usually be asked to submit a resume or CV along with your application. A graduate school resume should give a focused, concise overview of relevant experiences and achievements.

The exact sections you include depend on your experiences and on the focus of the program you’re applying to. Ensure your resume gives full details of:

  • Your college education
  • Relevant work experience
  • Relevant voluntary and extracurricular experience
  • Any awards, honors, publications, or other relevant achievements
  • Any relevant skills, certifications, and memberships

The main difference from a regular resume is that you’ll put more emphasis on your education and academic interests to show that you’re a good candidate for graduate school.

Download the Word templates and adjust them to your own purposes.

Resume template 1 Resume Template 2

Continue reading: How to write your graduate school resume

APA vs MLA: The key differences

APA vs MLA: The key differences in citation and formatting.

APA and MLA are two of the most commonly used citation styles.

The APA manual (published by the American Psychological Association) is mostly used in social science and education fields.

The MLA handbook (published by the Modern Language Association) is mostly used in humanities fields.

In both styles, a source citation consists of:

  • A brief parenthetical citation in the text
  • A full reference at the end of the paper

However, citations look slightly different in each style, with different rules for things like title capitalization, author names, and placement of the date.

There are also some differences in layout and formatting. Download the Word templates for a correctly formatted paper in either style.

APA template MLA template

This article follows the 8th edition of MLA style and the 7th edition of APA Style. The APA 6th edition rules can be found here.

Continue reading: APA vs MLA: The key differences

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

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

Continue reading: An introduction to sampling methods

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. The format for citing PowerPoint slides is slightly different.

Continue reading: How to cite a lecture in MLA