How to format your MLA Works Cited page

In MLA style, the list of Works Cited (also known as a reference list or bibliography) appears at the end of your paper. It gives full details of every source that you cited in the text.

Like the rest of an MLA format paper, the Works Cited should be left-aligned and double-spaced with 1-inch margins.

You can use the free Scribbr Citation Generator to create and manage your Works Cited list. Choose your source type and enter the URL, DOI or title to get started.

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How to write and format an APA abstract

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

An APA abstract is a comprehensive summary of your paper in which you briefly address the research problem, hypotheses, methods, results, and implications of your research. It’s placed on a separate page right after the title page and is usually no longer than 250 words.

Most professional papers that are submitted for publication require an abstract. Student papers typically don’t need an abstract, unless instructed otherwise.

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How to structure an essay: Templates and tips

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

This article provides useful templates and tips to help you outline your essay, make decisions about your structure, and organize your text logically.

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The main types of essay

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

Essay type Skills tested Example prompt
Argumentative
  • Forming an opinion via research
  • Building an evidence-based argument
Has the rise of the internet had a positive or negative impact on education?
Expository
  • Knowledge of a topic
  • Communicating information clearly
Explain how the invention of the printing press changed European society in the 15th century.
Narrative
  • Creative language use
  • Presenting a compelling narrative
Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
Descriptive
  • Creative language use
  • Describing sensory details
Describe an object that has sentimental value for you.

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

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How to write a rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

A rhetorical analysis is structured similarly to other essays: an introduction presenting the thesis, a body analyzing the text directly, and a conclusion to wrap up. This article defines some key rhetorical concepts and provides tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis.

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How to compare and contrast in an essay

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing. It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them.

You might find yourself comparing all kinds of things in an academic essay: historical figures, literary works, policies, research methods, etc. Doing so is an important part of constructing arguments.

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How to write a descriptive essay

A descriptive essay gives a vivid, detailed description of something—generally a place or object, but possibly something more abstract like an emotion. This type of essay, like the narrative essay, is more creative than most academic writing.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language in an original and creative way, to convey to the reader a memorable image of whatever you are describing. They are commonly assigned as writing exercises at high school and in composition classes.

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How to write a narrative essay

A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay, along with the descriptive essay, allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing.

Narrative essays test your ability to express your experiences in a creative and compelling way, and to follow an appropriate narrative structure. They are often assigned in high school or in composition classes at university. You can also use these techniques when writing a personal statement for an application.

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How to write an expository essay

“Expository” means “intended to explain or describe something.” An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a particular topic, process, or set of ideas. It doesn’t set out to prove a point, just to give a balanced view of its subject matter.

Expository essays are usually short assignments intended to test your composition skills or your understanding of a subject. They tend to involve less research and original arguments than argumentative essays.

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