How to cite a book in MLA

An MLA book citation always includes the author(s), title (italicized), publisher, and publication year in the Works Cited entry. If relevant, also include the names of any editors or translators, the edition, and the volume. “University Press” should be abbreviated to “UP” in a Works Cited entry.

The in-text citation gives the author’s last name and a page number in parentheses.


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A quick guide to proofreading

Proofreading means carefully checking for errors in a text before it is published or shared. It is the very last stage of the writing process, when you fix minor spelling and punctuation mistakes, typos, formatting issues and inconsistencies.

Proofreading is essential for any text that will be shared with an audience, whether it’s an academic paper, a job application, an online article, or a print flyer. Depending on your skills and budget, you can choose to proofread the text yourself or to hire a professional.

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The main types of research compared

When you start planning a research project, developing research questions and creating a research design, you will have to make various decisions about the type of research you want to do.

There are many ways to categorize different types of research. The words you use to describe your research depend on your discipline and field. In general, though, the form your research design takes will be shaped by:

  • The type of knowledge you aim to produce
  • The type of data you will collect and analyze
  • The sampling methods, timescale and location of the research

This article takes a look at some common distinctions made between different types of research and outlines the key differences between them.

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Active and passive voice

The passive voice occurs when the person or thing that performs an action is not the grammatical subject of the sentence. Instead, the person or thing that receives the action is placed before the verb. Passive sentences are formed using the verb to be combined with a past participle.

Active voice

The dog bites the bone.

Passive voice

The bone is bitten by the dog.

In a passive construction, the actor does not have to be named at all.

Passive construction

The bone is bitten.

Writers are often advised to avoid the passive voice, but it is not a grammatical error. In academic writing, this type of sentence structure is sometimes useful or necessary. However, overusing it can make your writing unclear or convoluted.

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Using pronouns in academic writing

Pronouns are words that stand in for nouns. They can refer to specific people and things (e.g. I, you, ithimtheir, this) or to non-specific people and things (e.g. anybody, one, some, each).

In academic writing, first-person pronouns (I, we) may be used depending on your field. Second person pronouns (you, yours) should almost always be avoided. Third person pronouns (heshethey) should be used in a way that avoids gender bias.

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Quotation marks (“”)

Quotation marks (also known as speech marks, quotes or inverted commas) are used to set off direct speech and quotations.

In academic writing, you need to use quotation marks when you quote a source. This includes quotes from published works and primary data such as interviews. The exception is when you use a block quote, which should be set off and indented without quotation marks.

Whenever you quote someone else’s words, it is essential to introduce the quotation and integrate it into your own text – don’t rely on quotations to make your points for you.

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Descriptive research

Descriptive research aims to accurately and systematically describe a population, situation or phenomenon. It can answer what, where, when and how questions, but not why questions.

A descriptive research design can use a wide variety of research methods to investigate one or more variables. Unlike in experimental research, the researcher does not control or manipulate any of the variables, but only observes and measures them.

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How to do a case study

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods, but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing, comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem.

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How to write a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will do the research. The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals should contain at least these elements:

There may be some variation in how the sections are named or divided, but the overall goals are always the same. This article takes you through a basic research proposal template and explains what you need to include in each part.

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How to write a hypothesis

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more things, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection.

Example hypothesis

Daily apple consumption leads to fewer doctor’s visits.

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