Posts Tagged ‘mla writing’

Reference Point Software: College Paper Writing Made Easier

College students have a hectic schedule. There are lectures, seminars, and work to go to, and none of this should be at the expense of oneΓÇÖs social life or quality family time. The vast majority of American universities require regular submission of academic papers. And if that werenΓÇÖt enough, the final exam paper deadline is looming.

Typically, a thesis needs to be in either APA or MLA style. Both formats are very complicated, and many students will find theyΓÇÖd instead focus on the quality and substance of their work than on fulfilling style requirements. Reference Point Software has APA writing software and templates for MLA that can help students format their work accurately and at lightning speed.
The software integrates with word processing programs seamlessly, making writing with MLA or APA a breeze. Concerns with formatting and word processing commands become a thing of the past.

APA Thesis Writing Templates


Templates are available for use with most Microsoft Word versions, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and NeoOffice. It is fast and easy to download and install everything a student needs for their paper using their existing word processor and document software. The software creates title pages, margins, abstracts, page numbers, and citations without any effort on the userΓÇÖs part.

Reference PointΓÇÖs proprietary software will save any college student time regardless of their major or study program. Undergraduate and graduate students alike will benefit from the softwareΓÇÖs rich functionality. No matter whether youΓÇÖre studying for a Ph.D., MBA, MS or MA, all you need to do is type in your name and the title of your paper to get started with the template. The software practically eliminates days of work and frustration.

By letting you focus on quality and ensuring you donΓÇÖt lose points if you fail to meet some formatting requirements, this software will improve your final grade. The APA templates are based on the sixth edition of the APA publication manual. APA format style guidelines for electronic references and resources are supported.

How Does the Software Help with APA Thesis Writing?


The format template sets up a new document in the sixth edition format, in which the student begins entering their text. The reference list is formatted automatically. You can reuse references easily regardless of the number of documents you need to use thanks to the inbuilt database. The software creates the header with running head and page numbers, sets up the correct margin width and line spacing, creates an abstract and a title page, a place for the thesis body and a reference page, and adds correctly formatted headings and subheadings easily. Each reference is formatted with commas, parentheses, indents, and italics in precisely the right places. It can take hours to do this manually!

Even if you need to cite multiple sources at once, the process is seamless. In MS Word, the software creates complex page numbering, develops an outline based on the APA format template, provides sample tables that can be modified where needed in the process of college paper writing, and provides automatic, on-demand document backup.

Our system templates make it possible to use citation info across computers. They have complete control over the storage of the reference database, which makes it easy to use file syncing services.

Writing with MLA Made Easy


Reference PointΓÇÖs software is just as helpful and efficient for students writing with MLA. A Word document with the exact right header, page numbers, and margins according to 8th edition MLA format is just several mouse clicks away. Citations and references are a piece of cake. The MLA format template enables students to focus on paper content instead of word processing commands.

Each of the templates is based on the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. They integrate the title page, table of contents, and annotated bibliography.

Reference Point Software has a long and impressive track record of helping students with perfect college paper writing. Our products are straightforward to download and can be put to use immediately. The technical support team is available via e-mail and phone, and you can avail yourself of some video tutorials. You might find the exhaustive FAQ page helpful as well.

At the last step of the order form, you will see a download button unless your credit card does not match your mailing address. If you follow the URL of the order status, you will see a download link.

Never Struggle with College Paper Writing Again!


Reference Point Software has been designed to work effectively and seamlessly within Microsoft Word. Apart from the automatic margin, header, and page number setting, students can add tables and charts, format abstracts, and more with just a few clicks. MLA and APA thesis writing has never been this easy.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Best APA style software and APA help

I LOVE the software! It saved me hours and hours of work, not to mention the hassle and frustration. I would never have imagined an APA paper being so easy to write and format!!! I’ve recommended it to all my classmates. Well done! Thank you so much for creating it and sharing it with us all!
Tracey S., Northern Arizona University

Hey guys….
I purchased your software as an attempt to get some help navigating the APA formats this morning. I was BLOWN away at how easy it was to use, and the results were amazing!

Ty Permenter, University of Texas

With just a few clicks of the mouse, your document will have the proper margins, with the header and page numbers at exactly the right place for any APA format style paper. Even references and citations are a breeze. Simply type in the information, and the software will format it perfectly.

To learn more scroll down to see the list of features or:

You need to use APA format templates that allow you to concentrate on the content of your paper so that you can learn about the topic rather than word processing commands and our software does just that. Save time and work smarter with our Reference Point Software. Our templates are available in APA style for use with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office 365, OpenOffice, LibreOffice and NeoOffice on any version of Windows or OS X.

These templates are based on the 6th Edition of the APA Publication Manual and include support for APA format style guidelines for electronic resources and references.

Get the APA style points you deserve with Reference Point Software templates. Order now!

(Mobile users, please use the menu on the upper right of your screen to order.)

What Does the APA version of our Format Template Do?

  • Sets up a new document in APA 6th edition format, within which you can start typing your paper
  • Automatically formats the reference list and makes inserting citations a breeze
  • Easily reuse references in multiple documents with the built-in database
  • Creates the header with page numbers and running head
  • Sets up the proper margins, line spacing, and other vital details
  • Creates a title page
  • Creates an abstract page, a place for the body of the paper, and reference page
  • Easily add properly formatted headings and subheadings
  • Formats each reference with commas, parentheses, italics, and indents in exactly the right spots
  • Makes it seamless to cite a reference in the body of the paper, even when citing multiple sources at once
  • Creates complex page numbering (MS Word only)
  • Provides sample tables that you can modify for your own needs (MS Word for Windows only)
  • Provides an APA format template to easily create an outline (MS Word only)
  • With Reference Point templates, your citation info travels with your document. If you work on more than one computer, you only need to copy one file to the other computer ΓÇô your APA document!
  • You have complete control over where the reference database is stored. This makes it easy to sync multiple computers with Dropbox or other file-syncing services.
  • Quickly and efficiently backs up your document automatically and on-demand (MS Word for Windows only)
  • Compatible with Win XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, and OS X (see order page for specifics)

Need an APA Format Template? We support both Windows & Mac

If you have any questions about APA Format Styles or our software, Reference Point Software is here to help you.

Learn more about the different versions of our templates

Our Word menu to help you format apa style

Our Word menu to help you format APA style


For more information about MLA or APA writing templates, contact us by email.

How to cite a Google map in APA Style

A customer recently asked us how to cite a Google map in APA style. There is no specific entry in the APA Publication Manual for doing this. We suggested that she cite this as a web page because that is what it is.

To cite a web page you need the URL. Here is how to get the URL for a Google Map.

  1. Search Google maps for the location you are discussing in your paper
  2. Click the Share button
  3. Click “COPY LINK”
  4. Once you copy the URL you can paste the URL into the reference


Step 1- Click Share



Step 2 – Click Copy Link



David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).


For more information about MLA or APA writing templates, contact us by email

How to Apply Critical Thinking and Logic in Argumentative Essays

Whatever subject youΓÇÖre studying in college, your professors are likely to ask you to write an argumentative essay, also referred to as a persuasive essay. Critical thinking is essential for writing academic papers, particularly when writing an essay that requires you to demonstrate that one idea is better and more legitimate than other ideas. Of course, when we refer to critical thinking we donΓÇÖt mean criticizing from emotion or prejudice, but using logic to analyze and argue your case to support your position.

The Definition of Logic

When youΓÇÖre tasked with writing an argumentative essay, youΓÇÖre expected to use logic and reason. This is the basis and foundation of critical thinking. But how is logic defined? The Greek philosopher Aristotle developed the most common formula for logic, called a syllogism. It is as follows:

Premise 1: All men are mortal.
Premise 2: Socrates is a man.
Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.

The first statement is a foundation of fact and the second statement is another fact. When the second statement is tested against the first statement, it proves the conclusion in the third statement. You may use more than two premises to prove your conclusion. When you have your logical premises and conclusion, the conclusion becomes the thesis of your argument, and the premises become the supporting points. If your argument doesnΓÇÖt work using this concept, it isnΓÇÖt considered logical and, therefore, isnΓÇÖt considered proven.

Logic can be misleading if part of it is based on a fallacy. This is an example of how a logical statement can appear accurate but is actually completely false even though the syllogism is logically true.

Premise 1: People who wear yellow are bad drivers
Premise 2: John wears a yellow shirt
Conclusion: John is a bad driver

For a syllogism to work, you must make sure your facts are facts and not assumptions or some other form of fallacy.

When youΓÇÖre writing your argumentative essay, be careful to avoid the use of illogical statements and fallacies, such as:

  • Hasty Generalization: when an incorrect conclusion is reached through a limited number of premises
  • Circular Argument: when an argument is just restated rather than proven
  • Ad Hominem: when the writer attacks the person rather than the facts
  • Ad Populum: when the writer appeals to the readerΓÇÖs emotions rather than using facts
  • Red Herring: when a writer makes the reader pay attention to something other than the facts
  • Either/Or: when the writer oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices

Additionally, your argumentative essay should also avoid the use of emotional and colloquial language.

To produce evidence to support your argument, you will need to gather your facts carefully. DonΓÇÖt make the mistake of confusing facts with so-called truths, which are ideas believed by people, but not proven. Instead, you should always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples and statistics, and quoting experts and utilizing any other provable resources.

Be sure that you cite your sources carefully using the correct formatting style. This will enable your reader to check the sources behind your assertions. Your professor will indicate which formatting style you should use for your argumentative essay. If you are not assigned a formatting style and you are unsure which one to use, consult your professor.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).


For more information about MLA or APA writing templates, contact us by email

How to Paraphrase and Use the Correct Citation Styles to Avoid Plagiarism

While you’re at college, you will be required to write numerous essays to demonstrate your understanding of a subject and your ability to conduct effective research. A large proportion of your research will be done by examining and disseminating other people’s work to provide information that supports your thesis.

You may wish to paraphrase some of your findings or give a direct quote that supports your ideas. While it is never a good idea to borrow other people’s work without giving credit where it is due, in academia, it is the ultimate sin. Using other people’s work without giving proper credit can not only result in your work losing credibility but can also lead to other, more severe consequences. This article describes how to paraphrase your source material by re-shaping other people’s ideas in your essays, and how to give credit to the author correctly should you want to borrow passages of their work.

How to Paraphrase without Plagiarism

The art of good paraphrasing is accomplished by knowing what to take from a passage and what to leave out. Your aim is to convey the information without copying the structure or word sequences. To do this, read the work over to get the full sense of it. Then, make a list of the essential ideas and their connections to the points you are making. Note any important keywords. Add to this list any important names used in the passage and their relevance. Make notes of any impressions and thoughts as they arise. Then write a passage using the information and your notes without referring to the original work.

When you have done this, read it through and compare it with your source material. It should clearly convey the sense of what you have sourced without looking like you have simply moved a few words or phrases around.


We will use a passage from another of our articles, i vs. An before an abbreviation, I as an example of paraphrasing. The original passage reads:

We all learned that you use an “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels. But what about abbreviations? Should you use an ΓÇ£aΓÇ¥ or an “an” before abbreviations?ΓÇ¥

ΓÇ£The accepted rule is to use the choice that matches how the abbreviation is pronounced rather than how it is spelled. For example, HIV begins with a consonant but is pronounced āCHˌīˈvē. In other words, HIV is pronounced as starting with a long ˌ”H”ˌ”I”,”V” which is a vowel; therefore, it should be proceeded by “an”. The following sentence illustrates the correct usage: An HIV positive patient was transferred to the nursing unit (ICU).

Edited version:

At school, we were taught the rules about using “a” and “an” before vowels, consonants, phonetic glides, and when a consonant sounds like a vowel. However, many people struggle when it comes to using these indefinite articles correctly before abbreviations.

The rules for abbreviations are based on their phonetics and, therefore, they have their own logic. For example, HIV is pronounced āCHˌīˈvē, so the correct usage would look like this:

An HIV test is recommended for all pregnant women to determine if medication is required to prevent the spread of the virus to the unborn child.

Using the Correct Citation Styles

At some point during your essay, it may be appropriate to quote directly from your research materials as an additional way to strengthen your argument. If you are going to use a direct quote from someone else’s work, then you must document your sources carefully so you can correctly cite your references. The most commonly used methods of citations are MLA and APA formatting. These use in-text citations, placed in the same sentences or paragraphs with the quotes.

It is very important to ensure that you use the most up to date methods of MLA and APA formatting styles as these are revised from time to time. You can either format your citations manually, or you may prefer to use MLA and APA APA formatting software which will save you significant time and ensure that you are using the correct version. With a couple of clicks of your mouse, your citation formatting will be done for you, leaving you more time to spend compiling your research and writing your essay.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy.

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).


For more information about MLA or APA writing templates, contact us by email

2 Tips to Help You with Writing an Essay in College

When youΓÇÖre writing an essay, itΓÇÖs essential to be able to express yourself clearly and present your points in a way that fully engages your audience. This article discusses two primary ways to make your essays more interesting to your audience using sentence length variety and visual-textual devices.

1. Sentence Length Variety

Sentence length has a subtle but strong effect on your readers. If your writing tends to have sentences all the same length, it can make your writing look monotonous, and your readers feel unable or disinclined to engage with your work fully. If you write sentences that are too short, it will make your work sound childish and boring. Here is a simplistic example to prove a point:

Jane went to school. She rode her bike there. She had class. She had lunch at noon. She came home at 6:00 PM. In the evening she took her dog for its walk.

An edit to make this series of sentences flow better could be:

Jane rode her bike to school. She had class before going to lunch at noon. She cycled home at 6:00 PM so as to be home in time to take her dog for its evening walk.

As you can see, the edit took the information from sentences of nearly identical length and varied them, which immediately looked more interesting to the eye and made for a more natural flow of ideas.

Conversely, to demonstrate the point about longer sentences, if you write sentences that are too long, they can become complicated for the reader, who may either lose the sense of what you mean or lose the will to read your work altogether, as you may well see from this sentence.

This lengthy sentence is cumbersome and tiring to read. A better way of writing that long sentence would be:

Conversely, if you write sentences that are too long, they become complicated for the reader. Lengthy sentences make it more difficult for the reader to digest your points. Additionally, they may lose the will to read your work altogether.

People make a commitment subconsciously to read material based upon a quick glance. The structure of your writing needs to be visually inviting. When youΓÇÖre writing an essay, varying the length of your sentences will make things look more appealing to the eye and create more impact. Short sentences can strengthen a point among longer ones. Longer sentences can be used to offer additional details and present a more powerful description. If you are in any doubt about your sentence lengths, itΓÇÖs always a good idea to read your work aloud to yourself and get a sense of the rhythm of how it sounds.

2. Visual-Textual Emphasis Styles

Nowadays, computers allow student writers to visually emphasize words in everyday writing by utilizing a variety of means including capitals and bold fonts which may or may not be acceptable in writing an essay in college. The older, more established styles of visual emphasis that are acceptable in academic writing are underlining and italics.

You can incorporate underlining for subheadings and sparingly for emphasis where necessary. You can include wording in italics in essays to provide emphasis on certain words when necessary and for citing the titles of longer works using MLA style formatting.

Ultimately, if you have concerns about ensuring that you meet all of the guidelines for APA or MLA style formatting, you can utilize formatting products that will be of immense help, saving you time and points on your papers.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).


For more information about MLA or APA writing templates, contact us by email

How to Write a Literature Review for College

While youΓÇÖre at college, you may be required to write a literature review. The common misconception is that this means reading and then writing an opinion about what you have read. However, in the context of your college studies, this isnΓÇÖt an accurate understanding.

What is a literature review?

It is an analysis of existing work used in relation to a narrow topic. A literature review is used to examine previous related research by extracting and comparing the major elements and showing their relationships through summary and classification. It identifies new ways to interpret the current writings about a topic and sheds light on gaps in research, bringing knowledge up to date and pointing the way to further research.

While a literature review is comprehensive, it isnΓÇÖt exhaustive. It isnΓÇÖt practical or necessary to analyze all the articles, books, reports and other written works about a topic. It only includes the most pertinent writings to your assignment.

How does a literature review differ from a research paper?

The prime focus of an academic research paper is to develop a new argument. A research paper will contain a literature review as one of its parts. Within the context of a research paper, a literature review is used to help the reader by establishing what is already known about a particular topic and what methods have been used to research that topic. It brings the reader up to date to the place you are starting from and exposes the gaps in the literature that you are using as a foundation and support for the new insight that you are contributing. Your review of the literature also helps save you from reproducing what is already known.

The focus of a literature review, however, is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others without adding new contributions. It adds to your understanding of the subject while you develop skills in information seeking and critical appraisal.

What are the basic steps to review the literature?

Before finding the material to research, the first step is to decide what topic you will be examining and the issues in relation to it. The narrower your topic, the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read in order to get a good survey of the material. Find the literature by using libraries, on-line databases and other appropriate sources.

The second step is to skim through the literature youΓÇÖve selected, evaluating the information. This is not an in depth study of each piece of literature at this stage. As you review each piece, ask yourself if it makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the topic and if itΓÇÖs directly relevant to your specific topic focus and why. Take notes and keep your focus clear. Discard all literature that is not in the scope of your criteria.

The third step requires that you read through in more detail the remaining literature that you will use in your review. This time, you will assess if the literature is current, relevant, objective, proven and unbiased, and if the authorΓÇÖs credentials are satisfactory. As with the previous cursory review, keep the literature that fulfills those conditions and discard the rest. Continue to make notes as you go to help you develop and refine your perspective.

Next, when you have finished reviewing the literature, you will be ready to make an initial outline of your literary review. Chart out the way you will organize the information you have accumulated. Formulate your thesis and then go on to write your paper. The structure is like other academic papers with an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. You must also cite your sources correctly, using either the MLA or APA format, as appropriate. If you are unsure as to which formatting guidelines you should use, ask your professor.

The final step is editing your literature review. In this phase, you will correct spelling and grammatical errors, as well as revise any word choices that interrupt the flow. Additionally, you will need to review all the formatting requirements. Luckily there is a way to save time editing your paper using formatting products that ensure your paper adheres to the correct MLA or APA format with just a few simple clicks, giving you to more time to focus on the rest of your paper.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. For more information, log onto or write to us here.

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Receive Top Marks on Your Nursing Papers by Avoiding These 4 Common Writing Mistakes

Being a nursing student comes with responsibilities that students in other disciplines simply donΓÇÖt have. You have to work long hours while making time to fit in studying along with clinical work. You may have family responsibilities to juggle, too. With all of these demands, itΓÇÖs likely you may feel stressed and tired often. This can make writing nursing papers, another factor in your student life, very challenging.

Your papers must contain the same precision that is expected of your clinical work. You are expected to show evidence of thorough reading and the accurate recording of the facts and ideas and you need to include your own viewpoint in a concise manner. However, little sleep and high stress can cloud your ability to always do your best writing. Here are some mistakes that nursing students make when writing papers that you need to avoid if you want to earn top marks.

1. Wordiness and Repetition

Wordiness and repetition are by far the biggest mistakes students make with their papers. ItΓÇÖs not the quantity of the words you write that matters, but whether what you write has meaningful content. Some typical examples of wordiness and how they can be improved are:

Due to the fact that – because
At that point in time – then
In the process of – during, while
Regardless of the fact that ΓÇô although
In the event that – if

A good way to check for wordiness and redundancy is to read your work aloud and think about how it sounds. Are you using too many words to say what you mean or including different words to say the same thing more than once? You need to master the ability to be brief but comprehensive, saying what you need to say clearly in as few words as possible.

2. Vague and Imprecise Language

A nurseΓÇÖs writing has to be clear and precise, both to facilitate quality care and to inform physicians, other nurses and the recipients of your care. As a student nurse, you will be required to demonstrate that ability by clearly writing your observations and leading readers convincingly to your conclusion. There is no room for vague, imprecise language. Your paper must contain precise nouns and verbs and any vocabulary specific to the field of nursing that youΓÇÖre studying.

3. Clichés

Clichés have no place in any academic paper. That goes doubly in nursing papers! If you find yourself tempted to use expressions such as “time will tell”, “the writing is on the wall”, or “up in the air”, they will cost you points on your papers. While some phrases may seem clever to you, that won’t have the same impact on your readers. Clichés are often overused, and can have hidden meanings, as well as possibly being untrue. They will diminish the quality of your paper.

4. Excessive Digression

DonΓÇÖt let your writing wander off the point. While there are some deviations that serve a legitimate purpose in your paper, like an anecdote to further engage your reader, they still need to tie back in to your primary point. Read your work carefully and be ruthless in editing out anything that isnΓÇÖt relevant.

Ultimately, your nursing papers must be focused and fact based. In addition to concise writing, you will include references from other authors and data sources for credibility. You need to cite your references accurately using the correct formatting style. Nursing papers are usually written using the APA style. You can learn how to use the APA formatting style and hope you donΓÇÖt make mistakes. However, with all of the pressures and demands on your time that come with being a nursing student, you may prefer to use formatting software. With a click of a button you can save yourself time and be sure that your formatting complies with the latest APA standards.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. For more information, log onto or write to:
info @

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).

8 Common College Essay Formats and Their Citation Styles

As a college student, you will be required to write dozens of papers on different topics. Depending on the subject youΓÇÖre studying, you will use some essay styles more than others. This article gives a short description of the most commonly used forms of college essays and the citation styles that you will need to use for each.

1. The Expository Essay

The expository essay explains something, or describes, or presents information and is used to inform the reader. Your professors will ask you to write this type of essay to help you learn more about the subject, to test your ability to research your topic effectively, and to prove your understanding of the subject. When you write an expository essay, remember that it is an impersonal style of writing and that while you may refer to the audience as ΓÇÿyou,ΓÇÖ you may not refer to yourself as ΓÇÿI.ΓÇÖ ItΓÇÖs a factual essay, so your opinion is not required. Expository essays require citation. The typical citation styles for these essays are MLA or APA formatting or Harvard modes.

2. The Persuasive Essay

As the name implies, a persuasive essay ΓÇ£persuadesΓÇ¥ the reader to a point of view. Not only will you need to understand the subject, but you must take a position on it, too. You prove your point by using logical, well-founded reasoning. To accomplish this, you must choose a side, as well as discuss alternative opinions. Persuasive essays require citation. Most persuasive essays use the MLA formatting style unless otherwise requested by your professors.

3. The Informal Essay

Compared with the other forms of essay writing, the informal essay is written more for the enjoyment of personal expression. It is written to communicate subjectively in a more relaxed, conversational, and expressive style than other types of essay. It can be informative or persuasive and can include personal opinion. However, it must still have a strong structure. No citation styles are required.

4. The Review

The aim of a review is to analyze and present a piece of work, such as a book or a film, and evaluate its overall effects and validity. Though your subjective opinion does play a significant part, a review must still maintain certain objective standards. You will be required to prove any assertions you may make. How formal your review depends on how much of it is analysis, how much is a summary, and how much of it is your opinion. The more you include your opinion, the less formal the review will be. You will use citations if you include any reference material, and will likely need to use the MLA formatting guidelines.

5. The Research Essay

The purpose of a research essay is to analyze a perspective or argue a point of view about a narrow topic. It involves locating or creating extensive quantities of objective source material and sifting through it to find appropriate research that supports your ideas. This will lead you to a greater understanding of your subject, which you will demonstrate in your essay as you interpret and evaluate the material and make your point. Normally a research essay must utilize either footnotes or endnotes or a reference list and may also require a bibliography. Citations are almost always required when writing a research essay. The usual forms of citation styles for research papers are MLA or APA formatting.

6. The Comparison and Contrast Essay

The object of a comparison and contrast essay is to explore and expose the similarities and dissimilarities between two or more ideas or things. You will be expected to use your critical faculties and your powers of analysis to describe what the ideas or things have in common and what makes them different to each other. Scholarly research and specific referencing are not normally required for this type of essay, so citation is not required.

7. The Literary Essay

There are similarities between a review and a literary essay insofar as they are both evaluative. However, a literary essay goes into the structure of the subject being reviewed in more depth than a review. The literary essay is used to explore the meaning and construction of a piece and evaluate specifics such as theme, character, style, tone, and subtext. You must take a viewpoint on the work you are writing about and use critical analysis to demonstrate how the details of the work support your viewpoint. You may use your own interpretation of the piece or a mixture of opinions and references to other peopleΓÇÖs critiques of the work. In such cases, you will include citations, applying either MLA or APA formatting.

8. The Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and effect essays are concerned with how and why things happen, and the effects that happen as a result, such as the causes of water pollution and its effects on the community, or the effects of children eating too much-refined sugar and its effects on health. A cause and effect essay must be written in a factual tone and be impersonal. Removing the first person gives more authority to the essay. Your choice of sources will have a bearing on the validity of your paper, so choose them carefully. You will include citations, following the MLA or APA formatting styles.

For more information about APA or MLA formats contact us today

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).

MLA Citation Format for Other Likely Sources

Using the MLA citation format for traditional print, periodical and electronic sources is relatively well known but what about sources other than those three common types? How would you follow the style guidelines for those sources? LetΓÇÖs look at some different types of sources and examine them under the MLA citation format.

Personal Interviews and Oral Histories

Interviews conducted between yourself and another person and oral histories are the same thing. Begin by listing the name of the interview by the name of the person being interviewed, the last name first then the first name followed by a descriptive phrase such as ΓÇÿpersonal interviewΓÇÖ followed by the date of the interview. Example: Jones, Bob. Personal interview. 12 Aug. 2000.

Speeches, Lectures, and Conferences

You may find yourself sitting in on a speech or a lecture or perhaps a conference, and there will be no record other than the one you create. When following the MLA citation format, give the speakerΓÇÖs last name followed by the first name and then the title of the event in quotation marks. Next, put the location of the event, the date of the event, and the type of presentation. Example: Phillips, Sandra. Nursing in the African Deserts. Hyatt Regency, New York. 1 Aug. 2000. Lecture.

Surveys and Questionnaires

When you cite a survey or questionnaire in your paper, put down the name of the person conducting the survey with the last name first, the first name last, followed by the name of the survey in quotation marks. Next, identify it as a survey or questionnaire followed by the date, the survey, or questionnaire was conducted. Example: Smith, John. ΓÇ£Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.ΓÇ¥ Questionnaire. 1 Aug. 2009.

If you need help citing surveys and questionnaires our MLA software can help. Take a stress-free approach to proper survey and questionnaire citations.

Personal Letters

If you find that you may need to cite a personal letter in your paper, you should begin with the writerΓÇÖs name, the last name first, first name last. Then, insert the phrase ΓÇÿLetter to the authorΓÇÖ, followed by the date the letter was received. Lastly, type ΓÇÿTSΓÇÖ which means typed letter or ΓÇÿMSΓÇÖ for manuscript or handwritten. Example: Phelps, Barnaby. Letter to the author. 1 Aug. 2010. MS.


You may find yourself wanting to cite an unpublished manuscript. The MLA style guidelines require that you give the author, a title or description of the manuscript, and the date it was written, followed by the abbreviation ΓÇ£MSΓÇ¥ for handwritten or ΓÇ£TSΓÇ¥ for typescript. Add the name and location of the place that houses the material. Example: Williams, Jim. Fly Fishing in The Rockies. 1st draft. 1 Aug. 2000. TS. The University of Texas.

A Painting, Sculpture or Photograph

In the case of referencing artwork, list the artistΓÇÖs name, the last name first, the first name last, followed by the name of the artwork in italics. Then, provide the date of the artwork if known, or if not known, the abbreviation n.d. instead of the date. Give the medium and the name of the place the artwork is to be found and its location. Example: Monet, Claude. Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise. 1888. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

If you are citing a photographic reproduction of artwork such as photographs in a book, the MLA citation format states that you need to cite the artwork first, as above, and then add the information that relates to the source that the photograph appears in the book, including the page and reference if there is one, such as plate, or figure. Remember that book titles appear in italics, too. Example: Monet, Claude. Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise. 1888. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Gardener’s Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. By Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace. 2004. 939. Print.

We can help ensure that you follow all of the MLA style guidelines by using our formatting software. It will make it easier to produce your work formatted correctly while saving time in the editing process enabling you to spend your time on more creative aspects of your paper.


For more information about APA or MLA formats, contact us today.

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).