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MLA Formatting and Style Guide

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The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA  9 th edition, including how to format the Works Cited page and in-text citations.

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in MLA. See also our MLA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .

Creating a Works Cited list using the ninth edition

MLA is a style of documentation that may be applied to many different types of writing. Since texts have become increasingly digital, and the same document may often be found in several different sources, following a set of rigid rules no longer suffices.

Thus, the current system is based on a few guiding principles, rather than an extensive list of specific rules. While the handbook still describes how to cite sources, it is organized according to the process of documentation, rather than by the sources themselves. This gives writers a flexible method that is near-universally applicable.

Once you are familiar with the method, you can use it to document any type of source, for any type of paper, in any field.

Here is an overview of the process:

When deciding how to cite your source, start by consulting the list of core elements. These are the general pieces of information that MLA suggests including in each Works Cited entry. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:

  • Title of source.
  • Title of container,
  • Other contributors,
  • Publication date,

Each element should be followed by the corresponding punctuation mark shown above. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation (such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers) depending on the type of source. In the current version, punctuation is simpler (only commas and periods separate the elements), and information about the source is kept to the basics.

Begin the entry with the author’s last name, followed by a comma and the rest of the name, as presented in the work. End this element with a period.

Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. Routledge, 1994.

Title of source

The title of the source should follow the author’s name. Depending upon the type of source, it should be listed in italics or quotation marks.

A book should be in italics:

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House . MacMurray, 1999.

An individual webpage should be in quotation marks. The name of the parent website, which MLA treats as a "container," should follow in italics:

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html.*

A periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper) article should be in quotation marks:

Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature , vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

A song or piece of music on an album should be in quotation marks. The name of the album should then follow in italics:

Beyoncé. "Pray You Catch Me." Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016, www.beyonce.com/album/lemonade-visual-album/.

*The MLA handbook recommends including URLs when citing online sources. For more information, see the “Optional Elements” section below.

Title of container

The eighth edition of the MLA handbook introduced what are referred to as "containers," which are the larger wholes in which the source is located. For example, if you want to cite a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, the individual poem is the source, while the larger collection is the container. The title of the container is usually italicized and followed by a comma, since the information that follows next describes the container.

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.

The container may also be a television series, which is made up of episodes.

“94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010.

The container may also be a website, which contains articles, postings, and other works.

Wise, DeWanda. “Why TV Shows Make Me Feel Less Alone.”  NAMI,  31 May 2019,  www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2019/How-TV-Shows-Make-Me-Feel-Less-Alone . Accessed 3 June 2019.

In some cases, a container might be within a larger container. You might have read a book of short stories on Google Books , or watched a television series on Netflix . You might have found the electronic version of a journal on JSTOR. It is important to cite these containers within containers so that your readers can find the exact source that you used.

“94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation , season 2, episode 21, NBC , 29 Apr. 2010. Netflix, www.netflix.com/watch/70152031?trackId=200256157&tctx=0%2C20%2C0974d361-27cd-44de-9c2a-2d9d868b9f64-12120962.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal , vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.

Other contributors

In addition to the author, there may be other contributors to the source who should be credited, such as editors, illustrators, translators, etc. If their contributions are relevant to your research, or necessary to identify the source, include their names in your documentation.

Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Translated by Richard Howard , Vintage-Random House, 1988.

Woolf, Virginia. Jacob’s Room . Annotated and with an introduction by Vara Neverow, Harcourt, Inc., 2008.

If a source is listed as an edition or version of a work, include it in your citation.

The Bible . Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 3rd ed., Pearson, 2004.

If a source is part of a numbered sequence, such as a multi-volume book or journal with both volume and issue numbers, those numbers must be listed in your citation.

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.

Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.

The publisher produces or distributes the source to the public. If there is more than one publisher, and they are all are relevant to your research, list them in your citation, separated by a forward slash (/).

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive, www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.

Women's Health: Problems of the Digestive System . American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2006.

Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators. Parks and Recreation . Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2015.

Note : The publisher’s name need not be included in the following sources: periodicals, works published by their author or editor, websites whose titles are the same name as their publisher, websites that make works available but do not actually publish them (such as  YouTube ,  WordPress , or  JSTOR ).

Publication date

The same source may have been published on more than one date, such as an online version of an original source. For example, a television series might have aired on a broadcast network on one date, but released on  Netflix  on a different date. When the source has more than one date, it is sufficient to use the date that is most relevant to your writing. If you’re unsure about which date to use, go with the date of the source’s original publication.

In the following example, Mutant Enemy is the primary production company, and “Hush” was released in 1999. Below is a general citation for this television episode:

“Hush.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer , created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, Mutant Enemy, 1999 .

However, if you are discussing, for example, the historical context in which the episode originally aired, you should cite the full date. Because you are specifying the date of airing, you would then use WB Television Network (rather than Mutant Enemy), because it was the network (rather than the production company) that aired the episode on the date you’re citing.

“Hush.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, WB Television Network, 14 Dec. 1999 .

You should be as specific as possible in identifying a work’s location.

An essay in a book or an article in a journal should include page numbers.

Adiche, Chimamanda Ngozi. “On Monday of Last Week.” The Thing around Your Neck, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, pp. 74-94 .

The location of an online work should include a URL.  Remove any "http://" or "https://" tag from the beginning of the URL.

Wheelis, Mark. "Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention." Emerging Infectious Diseases , vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

When citing a physical object that you experienced firsthand, identify the place of location.

Matisse, Henri. The Swimming Pool. 1952, Museum of Modern Art, New York .

Optional elements

The ninth edition is designed to be as streamlined as possible. The author should include any information that helps readers easily identify the source, without including unnecessary information that may be distracting. The following is a list of optional elements that can be included in a documented source at the writer’s discretion.

Date of original publication:

If a source has been published on more than one date, the writer may want to include both dates if it will provide the reader with necessary or helpful information.

Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine. 1984. Perennial-Harper, 1993.

City of publication:

The seventh edition handbook required the city in which a publisher is located, but the eighth edition states that this is only necessary in particular instances, such as in a work published before 1900. Since pre-1900 works were usually associated with the city in which they were published, your documentation may substitute the city name for the publisher’s name.

Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions . Boston, 1863.

Date of access:

When you cite an online source, the MLA Handbook recommends including a date of access on which you accessed the material, since an online work may change or move at any time.

Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.

As mentioned above, while the MLA handbook recommends including URLs when you cite online sources, you should always check with your instructor or editor and include URLs at their discretion.

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is a series of digits and letters that leads to the location of an online source. Articles in journals are often assigned DOIs to ensure that the source is locatable, even if the URL changes. If your source is listed with a DOI, use that instead of a URL.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. "Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates." Environmental Toxicology , vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library, doi: 10.1002/tox.20155.

Creating in-text citations using the previous (eighth) edition

Although the MLA handbook is currently in its ninth edition, some information about citing in the text using the older (eighth) edition is being retained. The in-text citation is a brief reference within your text that indicates the source you consulted. It should properly attribute any ideas, paraphrases, or direct quotations to your source, and should direct readers to the entry in the Works Cited list. For the most part, an in-text citation is the  author’s name and the page number (or just the page number, if the author is named in the sentence) in parentheses :

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference. For example: (00:02:15-00:02:35).

Again, your goal is to attribute your source and provide a reference without interrupting your text. Your readers should be able to follow the flow of your argument without becoming distracted by extra information.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in MLA

Entire Website

The Purdue OWL . Purdue U Writing Lab, 2019.

Individual Resources

Contributors' names. "Title of Resource." The Purdue OWL , Purdue U Writing Lab, Last edited date.

The new OWL no longer lists most pages' authors or publication dates. Thus, in most cases, citations will begin with the title of the resource, rather than the developer's name.

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL, Purdue U Writing Lab. Accessed 18 Jun. 2018.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Word Choice

What this handout is about.

This handout can help you revise your papers for word-level clarity, eliminate wordiness and avoid clichés, find the words that best express your ideas, and choose words that suit an academic audience.

Introduction

Writing is a series of choices. As you work on a paper, you choose your topic, your approach, your sources, and your thesis; when it’s time to write, you have to choose the words you will use to express your ideas and decide how you will arrange those words into sentences and paragraphs. As you revise your draft, you make more choices. You might ask yourself, “Is this really what I mean?” or “Will readers understand this?” or “Does this sound good?” Finding words that capture your meaning and convey that meaning to your readers is challenging. When your instructors write things like “awkward,” “vague,” or “wordy” on your draft, they are letting you know that they want you to work on word choice. This handout will explain some common issues related to word choice and give you strategies for choosing the best words as you revise your drafts.

As you read further into the handout, keep in mind that it can sometimes take more time to “save” words from your original sentence than to write a brand new sentence to convey the same meaning or idea. Don’t be too attached to what you’ve already written; if you are willing to start a sentence fresh, you may be able to choose words with greater clarity.

For tips on making more substantial revisions, take a look at our handouts on reorganizing drafts and revising drafts .

“Awkward,” “vague,” and “unclear” word choice

So: you write a paper that makes perfect sense to you, but it comes back with “awkward” scribbled throughout the margins. Why, you wonder, are instructors so fond of terms like “awkward”? Most instructors use terms like this to draw your attention to sentences they had trouble understanding and to encourage you to rewrite those sentences more clearly.

Difficulties with word choice aren’t the only cause of awkwardness, vagueness, or other problems with clarity. Sometimes a sentence is hard to follow because there is a grammatical problem with it or because of the syntax (the way the words and phrases are put together). Here’s an example: “Having finished with studying, the pizza was quickly eaten.” This sentence isn’t hard to understand because of the words I chose—everybody knows what studying, pizza, and eating are. The problem here is that readers will naturally assume that first bit of the sentence “(Having finished with studying”) goes with the next noun that follows it—which, in this case, is “the pizza”! It doesn’t make a lot of sense to imply that the pizza was studying. What I was actually trying to express was something more like this: “Having finished with studying, the students quickly ate the pizza.” If you have a sentence that has been marked “awkward,” “vague,” or “unclear,” try to think about it from a reader’s point of view—see if you can tell where it changes direction or leaves out important information.

Sometimes, though, problems with clarity are a matter of word choice. See if you recognize any of these issues:

  • Misused words —the word doesn’t actually mean what the writer thinks it does. Example : Cree Indians were a monotonous culture until French and British settlers arrived. Revision: Cree Indians were a homogenous culture.
  • Words with unwanted connotations or meanings. Example : I sprayed the ants in their private places. Revision: I sprayed the ants in their hiding places.
  • Using a pronoun when readers can’t tell whom/what it refers to. Example : My cousin Jake hugged my brother Trey, even though he didn’t like him very much. Revision: My cousin Jake hugged my brother Trey, even though Jake doesn’t like Trey very much.
  • Jargon or technical terms that make readers work unnecessarily hard. Maybe you need to use some of these words because they are important terms in your field, but don’t throw them in just to “sound smart.” Example : The dialectical interface between neo-Platonists and anti-disestablishment Catholics offers an algorithm for deontological thought. Revision : The dialogue between neo-Platonists and certain Catholic thinkers is a model for deontological thought.
  • Loaded language. Sometimes we as writers know what we mean by a certain word, but we haven’t ever spelled that out for readers. We rely too heavily on that word, perhaps repeating it often, without clarifying what we are talking about. Example : Society teaches young girls that beauty is their most important quality. In order to prevent eating disorders and other health problems, we must change society. Revision : Contemporary American popular media, like magazines and movies, teach young girls that beauty is their most important quality. In order to prevent eating disorders and other health problems, we must change the images and role models girls are offered.

Sometimes the problem isn’t choosing exactly the right word to express an idea—it’s being “wordy,” or using words that your reader may regard as “extra” or inefficient. Take a look at the following list for some examples. On the left are some phrases that use three, four, or more words where fewer will do; on the right are some shorter substitutes:

Keep an eye out for wordy constructions in your writing and see if you can replace them with more concise words or phrases.

In academic writing, it’s a good idea to limit your use of clichés. Clichés are catchy little phrases so frequently used that they have become trite, corny, or annoying. They are problematic because their overuse has diminished their impact and because they require several words where just one would do.

The main way to avoid clichés is first to recognize them and then to create shorter, fresher equivalents. Ask yourself if there is one word that means the same thing as the cliché. If there isn’t, can you use two or three words to state the idea your own way? Below you will see five common clichés, with some alternatives to their right. As a challenge, see how many alternatives you can create for the final two examples.

Try these yourself:

Writing for an academic audience

When you choose words to express your ideas, you have to think not only about what makes sense and sounds best to you, but what will make sense and sound best to your readers. Thinking about your audience and their expectations will help you make decisions about word choice.

Some writers think that academic audiences expect them to “sound smart” by using big or technical words. But the most important goal of academic writing is not to sound smart—it is to communicate an argument or information clearly and convincingly. It is true that academic writing has a certain style of its own and that you, as a student, are beginning to learn to read and write in that style. You may find yourself using words and grammatical constructions that you didn’t use in your high school writing. The danger is that if you consciously set out to “sound smart” and use words or structures that are very unfamiliar to you, you may produce sentences that your readers can’t understand.

When writing for your professors, think simplicity. Using simple words does not indicate simple thoughts. In an academic argument paper, what makes the thesis and argument sophisticated are the connections presented in simple, clear language.

Keep in mind, though, that simple and clear doesn’t necessarily mean casual. Most instructors will not be pleased if your paper looks like an instant message or an email to a friend. It’s usually best to avoid slang and colloquialisms. Take a look at this example and ask yourself how a professor would probably respond to it if it were the thesis statement of a paper: “Moulin Rouge really bit because the singing sucked and the costume colors were nasty, KWIM?”

Selecting and using key terms

When writing academic papers, it is often helpful to find key terms and use them within your paper as well as in your thesis. This section comments on the crucial difference between repetition and redundancy of terms and works through an example of using key terms in a thesis statement.

Repetition vs. redundancy

These two phenomena are not necessarily the same. Repetition can be a good thing. Sometimes we have to use our key terms several times within a paper, especially in topic sentences. Sometimes there is simply no substitute for the key terms, and selecting a weaker term as a synonym can do more harm than good. Repeating key terms emphasizes important points and signals to the reader that the argument is still being supported. This kind of repetition can give your paper cohesion and is done by conscious choice.

In contrast, if you find yourself frustrated, tiredly repeating the same nouns, verbs, or adjectives, or making the same point over and over, you are probably being redundant. In this case, you are swimming aimlessly around the same points because you have not decided what your argument really is or because you are truly fatigued and clarity escapes you. Refer to the “Strategies” section below for ideas on revising for redundancy.

Building clear thesis statements

Writing clear sentences is important throughout your writing. For the purposes of this handout, let’s focus on the thesis statement—one of the most important sentences in academic argument papers. You can apply these ideas to other sentences in your papers.

A common problem with writing good thesis statements is finding the words that best capture both the important elements and the significance of the essay’s argument. It is not always easy to condense several paragraphs or several pages into concise key terms that, when combined in one sentence, can effectively describe the argument.

However, taking the time to find the right words offers writers a significant edge. Concise and appropriate terms will help both the writer and the reader keep track of what the essay will show and how it will show it. Graders, in particular, like to see clearly stated thesis statements. (For more on thesis statements in general, please refer to our handout .)

Example : You’ve been assigned to write an essay that contrasts the river and shore scenes in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. You work on it for several days, producing three versions of your thesis:

Version 1 : There are many important river and shore scenes in Huckleberry Finn.

Version 2 : The contrasting river and shore scenes in Huckleberry Finn suggest a return to nature.

Version 3 : Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

Let’s consider the word choice issues in these statements. In Version 1, the word “important”—like “interesting”—is both overused and vague; it suggests that the author has an opinion but gives very little indication about the framework of that opinion. As a result, your reader knows only that you’re going to talk about river and shore scenes, but not what you’re going to say. Version 2 is an improvement: the words “return to nature” give your reader a better idea where the paper is headed. On the other hand, they still do not know how this return to nature is crucial to your understanding of the novel.

Finally, you come up with Version 3, which is a stronger thesis because it offers a sophisticated argument and the key terms used to make this argument are clear. At least three key terms or concepts are evident: the contrast between river and shore scenes, a return to nature, and American democratic ideals.

By itself, a key term is merely a topic—an element of the argument but not the argument itself. The argument, then, becomes clear to the reader through the way in which you combine key terms.

Strategies for successful word choice

  • Be careful when using words you are unfamiliar with. Look at how they are used in context and check their dictionary definitions.
  • Be careful when using the thesaurus. Each word listed as a synonym for the word you’re looking up may have its own unique connotations or shades of meaning. Use a dictionary to be sure the synonym you are considering really fits what you are trying to say.
  • Under the present conditions of our society, marriage practices generally demonstrate a high degree of homogeneity.
  • In our culture, people tend to marry others who are like themselves. (Longman, p. 452)
  • Before you revise for accurate and strong adjectives, make sure you are first using accurate and strong nouns and verbs. For example, if you were revising the sentence “This is a good book that tells about the Revolutionary War,” think about whether “book” and “tells” are as strong as they could be before you worry about “good.” (A stronger sentence might read “The novel describes the experiences of a soldier during the Revolutionary War.” “Novel” tells us what kind of book it is, and “describes” tells us more about how the book communicates information.)
  • Try the slash/option technique, which is like brainstorming as you write. When you get stuck, write out two or more choices for a questionable word or a confusing sentence, e.g., “questionable/inaccurate/vague/inappropriate.” Pick the word that best indicates your meaning or combine different terms to say what you mean.
  • Look for repetition. When you find it, decide if it is “good” repetition (using key terms that are crucial and helpful to meaning) or “bad” repetition (redundancy or laziness in reusing words).
  • Write your thesis in five different ways. Make five different versions of your thesis sentence. Compose five sentences that express your argument. Try to come up with four alternatives to the thesis sentence you’ve already written. Find five possible ways to communicate your argument in one sentence to your reader. (We’ve just used this technique—which of the last five sentences do you prefer?)Whenever we write a sentence we make choices. Some are less obvious than others, so that it can often feel like we’ve written the sentence the only way we know how. By writing out five different versions of your thesis, you can begin to see your range of choices. The final version may be a combination of phrasings and words from all five versions, or the one version that says it best. By literally spelling out some possibilities for yourself, you will be able to make better decisions.
  • Read your paper out loud and at… a… slow… pace. You can do this alone or with a friend, roommate, TA, etc. When read out loud, your written words should make sense to both you and other listeners. If a sentence seems confusing, rewrite it to make the meaning clear.
  • Instead of reading the paper itself, put it down and just talk through your argument as concisely as you can. If your listener quickly and easily comprehends your essay’s main point and significance, you should then make sure that your written words are as clear as your oral presentation was. If, on the other hand, your listener keeps asking for clarification, you will need to work on finding the right terms for your essay. If you do this in exchange with a friend or classmate, rest assured that whether you are the talker or the listener, your articulation skills will develop.
  • Have someone not familiar with the issue read the paper and point out words or sentences they find confusing. Do not brush off this reader’s confusion by assuming they simply doesn’t know enough about the topic. Instead, rewrite the sentences so that your “outsider” reader can follow along at all times.
  • Check out the Writing Center’s handouts on style , passive voice , and proofreading for more tips.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Am I sure what each word I use really means? Am I positive, or should I look it up?
  • Have I found the best word or just settled for the most obvious, or the easiest, one?
  • Am I trying too hard to impress my reader?
  • What’s the easiest way to write this sentence? (Sometimes it helps to answer this question by trying it out loud. How would you say it to someone?)
  • What are the key terms of my argument?
  • Can I outline out my argument using only these key terms? What others do I need? Which do I not need?
  • Have I created my own terms, or have I simply borrowed what looked like key ones from the assignment? If I’ve borrowed the terms, can I find better ones in my own vocabulary, the texts, my notes, the dictionary, or the thesaurus to make myself clearer?
  • Are my key terms too specific? (Do they cover the entire range of my argument?) Can I think of specific examples from my sources that fall under the key term?
  • Are my key terms too vague? (Do they cover more than the range of my argument?)

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. 1985. Line by Line: How to Improve Your Own Writing . Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Grossman, Ellie. 1997. The Grammatically Correct Handbook: A Lively and Unorthodox Review of Common English for the Linguistically Challenged . New York: Hyperion.

Houghton Mifflin. 1996. The American Heritage Book of English Usage: A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English . Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

O’Conner, Patricia. 2010. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English , 3rd ed. New York: Penguin Publishing Group.

Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.

Williams, Joseph, and Joseph Bizup. 2017. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace , 12th ed. Boston: Pearson.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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A Student’s Guide to Finding Quality Sources for Essays

A Student’s Guide to Finding Quality Sources for Essays

9-minute read

  • 1st August 2023

So, you’ve been assigned your first college essay. You need to write at least a thousand words but have one issue: you must include quality sources, which will go in the reference list. Your professor has only told you, “Utilize academic databases and scholarly journals.”

Okay, so how exactly do you find credible sources for your essay ? Well, we’ll guide you through that in today’s post. We’ll explore finding quality sources and why you need them. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to find sources for your essay.

Why Do I Need Sources?

You likely learned the importance of sources in high school. You need them to show that you are well-read on your chosen topic. You can’t ignore the importance of conducting academic research , as it will be part of your daily college grind.

Submitting an essay without sources would be like serving a hamburger with just the bun and beef patty. Think of sources as toppings on a burger. An essay lacking sources will undermine your credibility, leaving your professor wondering, “How do you know that?”

You also need to include citations to support your claims, which come from the sources you choose.

Finding Sources

Finding sources will depend on whether you want primary or secondary sources . Primary sources provide first-hand facts about your topic. For example, if your topic is related to literature, you would seek novels or poems as your primary sources. Secondary sources contain information from primary sources, such as journal articles.

Whether they’re primary or secondary sources, here are our suggestions for finding them.

1.   Consult the Textbook

Your course textbook is a great starting point, as it will likely contain valuable and relevant information about your topic. Many students believe the textbook won’t be accepted as a source for an essay, but this is false. Your professor will welcome citations from the textbook.

2.   Head to Your School’s Library

No, we’re not suggesting heading to the library’s on-site Starbucks, hoping for source-searching inspiration as you sip that frothy latte! Your school’s library contains numerous print sources, such as books, magazines, and newspapers. College libraries also subscribe to databases containing journal articles.

Journal articles are highly valued in academic research; every professor will expect at least a few of them in a reference list. Journal articles, or academic journals, are the most current sources in academia written by renowned scholars in the chosen field of study. Additionally, journal articles contribute to the field, summarize the current situation of it, and add new insight to the theory. They are also credible, as field experts review them before publication.

You don’t have to leave your dorm and head to the library. You can access various sources from your school’s library database online. Here’s an example of a student accessing the University of South Florida’s library database from their favorite coffee shop.

essay word source

Navigating your library’s database can seem daunting; however, the library staff will be more than happy to help you, so don’t be afraid to seek help.

Finally, your institution’s library uses an inter-library loan system, allowing students to request out-of-stock print or online sources. If the library doesn’t have a specific item you need, there’s a good chance they can get it from another library.

3.   Research Databases

You can use online research databases to find journal articles, other scholarly sources, and specific books. Research databases, which feature various search functions, can help you find the most current and relevant sources.

essay word source

These research databases are available through your school library, giving you access to popular subject-specific databases such as JSTOR, Project Muse, and PubMed. You can download and save relevant articles from such databases; however, you must be logged into your student account to access and download full-version articles.

Knowing the essay’s scope and relevant keywords is essential for an optimal experience with databases. Once you become familiar with databases, they’ll be your best friends when conducting academic research.

4. Google Scholar

If Google is your preferred poison, we suggest using Google Scholar . It’s Google’s academic search engine, which works like an ordinary Google search except that it finds relevant academic print and online sources. Take this example of a student using Google Scholar to search for sources related to cyberbullying in schools.

essay word source

Google Scholar presents various journal articles for the student. You can refine your search to find articles that have been published within the last year. One distinguishing Google Scholar feature is its Cited by function that shows the number of times a source has been cited. This function can inform you about a source’s credibility and importance to your topic.

essay word source

5.   Boolean Operators

We suggest using Boolean operators if your essay topic contains multiple search terms. Boolean operators expand or narrow your search parameters when using research databases. They use AND , OR , and NOT to include or exclude keywords from your search, allowing students to connect various keywords to optimize their search results. Boolean operators can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with using AND, OR, and NOT in search parameters.

Let’s say you’re searching for an article on cyberbullying written by an author named Bales in 2003. You can use AND to find the title of the article using keywords.

This will tell the database that all three terms must be present in the search result.

You can use OR to connect two or more similar concepts and broaden your search. This means any search terms you input can appear in the search results.

You can use NOT to exclude words or terms from your search by typing the excluded word after OR.

The search result will include soccer and omit football . This can be very useful in this example, as football is the UK word for soccer. It also means American football in US English. Because the student only wants to find soccer results, excluding football will avoid pulling up results related to American football.

Boolean operators are helpful if you clearly understand the scope of the assignment and know relevant keywords.

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6.   Additional Online Sources

Searching for general online sources is another way to go. You can find potential sources from websites and blogs. We suggest consulting popular news websites such as BBC News and the New York Times, as they often have current and relevant articles related to the topic.

We encourage you to err on the side of caution when using non-academic online sources. You need to ensure that online sources are credible . We recommend looking for sites with trusted domain extensions, such as . edu, .org , and .gov . URLs with .edu endings are educational resources, while .org endings are resources from organizations. Endings with .gov are government-related resources.

It’s also a good idea to look for sources that contain a Digital Object Finder ( DOI ). A DOI is a permanent string attached to online journal articles and books, making it simple to retrieve them. Articles with DOIs indicate that they have been published in peer-reviewed articles.

How Many Sources Should I Have?

The essay rubric will probably specify the number of sources required. However, this is not always the case, so you need to use some judgment. The basic rule is to gather sources until you have enough information to support your claims. If you’re writing an essay of 2,000 words, you should have at least six sources. Remember that your professor expects variety. Try this approach:

–    One book (if possible)

–    Two to three journal articles

–    One additional online source (preferably with a trusted domain extension)

Depending on the field of study, you may find that most of your sources come from journal articles.

 Here’s a recap of finding quality sources for your essay:

●  Professors want you to find a variety of sources (print and online)

●  Your school’s library has access to thousands of highly-valued journal articles from its database

●  Have a solid understanding of the topic and relevant keywords when using Boolean operators to narrow your search results

●  Evaluate the credibility of additional online sources

●  Look for websites with trusted domain extensions

●  As a rule, use at least six sources for an essay of 2,000 words

By following our suggestions, you can get your search off to a flying start. We also recommend keeping track of your sources as you conduct your research. This will make it easier to correctly format citations from your sources.

Finally, we urge you to search for sources right after your professor assigns the essay. Waiting until a few days before the essay is due to start searching is a bad idea.

1. What Types of Sources Are Recommended?

We recommend credible websites, books, journal articles, and newspapers.

2. How Do I Know if a Source Is Credible?

 A source is credible if:

●  The author is an expert in the field or is a well-respected publisher (New York Times)

●  It contains citations for sources used

●  The website has a trusted domain extension

●  It has current information on your topic

3. How Can I Get the Most Out of Research Databases?

Brainstorm specific keywords related to your topic. This will help you efficiently use Boolean operators. You should also have a clear understanding of the scope of your essay. Finally, use databases that are related to your topic. For instance, if your topic is literature then JSTOR is a good option.

4. Is Writing the Reference List Difficult?

This will depend on the required referencing style, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Remember to list the sources alphabetically in the reference list.

Once you’ve written the list, we recommend proofreading it. Your professor will be checking that your reference list meets the referencing style guidelines. A second pair of eyes always helps, so we recommend asking our proofreading experts to review your list . They can check that your sources are listed alphabetically. Additionally, our proofreaders will check that your list meets referencing style guidelines. Our proofreaders are pros with popular referencing styles such as MLA and APA. Consider submitting a 500-word document for free!

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

essay word source

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”

Summarising

You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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Trying to devise a structure for your essay can be one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. Making a detailed outline before you begin writing is a good way to make sure your ideas come across in a clear and logical order. A good outline will also save you time in the revision process, reducing the possibility that your ideas will need to be rearranged once you've written them.

The First Steps

Before you can begin outlining, you need to have a sense of what you will argue in the essay. From your analysis and close readings of primary and/or secondary sources you should have notes, ideas, and possible quotes to cite as evidence. Let's say you are writing about the 1999 Republican Primary and you want to prove that each candidate's financial resources were the most important element in the race. At this point, your notes probably lack much coherent order. Most likely, your ideas are still in the order in which they occurred to you; your notes and possible quotes probably still adhere to the chronology of the sources you've examined. Your goal is to rearrange your ideas, notes, and quotes—the raw material of your essay—into an order that best supports your argument, not the arguments you've read in other people's works. To do this, you have to group your notes into categories and then arrange these categories in a logical order.

Generalizing

The first step is to look over each individual piece of information that you've written and assign it to a general category. Ask yourself, "If I were to file this in a database, what would I file it under?" If, using the example of the Republican Primary, you wrote down an observation about John McCain's views on health care, you might list it under the general category of  "Health care policy." As you go through your notes, try to reuse categories whenever possible. Your goal is to reduce your notes to no more than a page of category listings.

Now examine your category headings. Do any seem repetitive? Do any go together? "McCain's expenditure on ads" and "Bush's expenditure on ads," while not exactly repetitive, could easily combine into a more general category like "Candidates' expenditures on ads." Also, keep an eye out for categories that no longer seem to relate to your argument. Individual pieces of information that at first seemed important can begin to appear irrelevant when grouped into a general category.

Now it's time to generalize again. Examine all your categories and look for common themes. Go through each category and ask yourself, "If I were to place this piece of information in a file cabinet, what would I label that cabinet?" Again, try to reuse labels as often as possible: "Health Care," "Foreign Policy," and "Immigration" can all be contained under "Policy Initiatives." Make these larger categories as general as possible so that there are no more than three or four for a 7-10 page paper.

With your notes grouped into generalized categories, the process of ordering them should be easier. To begin, look at your most general categories. With your thesis in mind, try to find a way that the labels might be arranged in a sentence or two that supports your argument. Let's say your thesis is that financial resources played the most important role in the 1999 Republican Primary. Your four most general categories are "Policy Initiatives," "Financial Resources," "Voters' Concerns," and "Voters' Loyalty." You might come up with the following sentence: ÒAlthough McCain's policy initiatives were closest to the voters' concerns, Bush's financial resources won the voters' loyalty.Ó This sentence should reveal the order of your most general categories. You will begin with an examination of McCain's and Bush's views on important issues and compare them to the voters' top concerns. Then you'll look at both candidates' financial resources and show how Bush could win voters' loyalty through effective use of his resources, despite his less popular policy ideas.

With your most general categories in order, you now must order the smaller categories. To do so, arrange each smaller category into a sentence or two that will support the more general sentence you've just devised. Under the category of "Financial Resources," for instance, you might have the smaller categories of "Ad Expenditure," "Campaign Contributions" and "Fundraising." A sentence that supports your general argument might read: "Bush's early emphasis on fundraising led to greater campaign contributions, allowing him to have a greater ad expenditure than McCain."

The final step of the outlining process is to repeat this procedure on the smallest level, with the original notes that you took for your essay. To order what probably was an unwieldy and disorganized set of information at the beginning of this process, you need now only think of a sentence or two to support your general argument. Under the category "Fundraising," for example, you might have quotes about each candidate's estimation of its importance, statistics about the amount of time each candidate spent fundraising, and an idea about how the importance of fundraising never can be overestimated. Sentences to support your general argument might read: "No candidate has ever raised too much money [your idea]. While both McCain and Bush acknowledged the importance of fundraising [your quotes], the numbers clearly point to Bush as the superior fundraiser [your statistics]." The arrangement of your ideas, quotes, and statistics now should come naturally.

Putting It All Together

With these sentences, you have essentially constructed an outline for your essay. The most general ideas, which you organized in your first sentence, constitute the essay's sections. They follow the order in which you placed them in your sentence. The order of the smaller categories within each larger category (determined by your secondary sentences) indicates the order of the paragraphs within each section. Finally, your last set of sentences about your specific notes should show the order of the sentences within each paragraph. An outline for the essay about the 1999 Republican Primary (showing only the sections worked out here) would look something like this:

I. POLICY INITIATIVES

II.  VOTERS' CONCERNS

III.  FINANCIAL RESOURCES

            A.  Fundraising

                        a.  Original Idea

                        b.  McCain Quote/Bush Quote

                        c.  McCain Statistics/Bush Statistics

            B.  Campaign Contributions

            C.  Ad Expenditure

IV.  VOTERS' LOYALTY

Copyright 2000, David Kornhaber, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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Source-based essay (30 minutes)

  • insightfully explains why the concerns are important, supporting the explanation with effective links between the two sources and well-chosen reasons, examples, or details
  • incorporates information from both sources to identify and explain important concerns regarding the issue discussed in the sources
  • organizes and develops ideas logically
  • displays effective sentence variety
  • clearly displays facility in the use of language
  • is generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • cites both sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • clearly explains why the concerns are important, supporting the explanation with clear links between the two sources and relevant reasons, examples, or details
  • organizes and develops ideas clearly
  • displays some sentence variety
  • displays facility in the use of language
  • adequately explains why the concerns are important, supporting the explanation with some links between the two sources and adequate reasons, examples, or details
  • shows control in the organization and development of ideas
  • displays adequate use of language
  • shows control of grammar, usage, and mechanics, but may display errors
  • limited in explaining why the concerns are important
  • incorporates only one source to identify and explain concerns regarding the issue discussed in the sources, or incorporates two sources inadequately
  • limited in supporting the explanation (establishes only a weak link between the sources and/or offers inadequate reasons, examples, or details)
  • limited control in the organization and development of ideas
  • an accumulation of errors in the use of language
  • an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • cites sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • fails to explain why the concerns are important
  • incorporates only one source weakly or fails to identify concerns regarding the issue discussed in the sources
  • offers weak support for the explanation (no link between the sources and/or few or no relevant reasons, examples, or details)
  • weak organization or very little development
  • frequent serious errors in the use of language
  • frequent serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • fails to cite any sources when paraphrasing or quoting
  • contains serious and persistent writing errors or
  • is incoherent or
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Introducing Sources

Signal phrases.

A signal phrase is a short introduction phrase that indicates that a quote or paraphrase is coming. By introducing a quotation or paraphrase with a signal phrase, you provide an effective transition between your own ideas and the evidence used to explore your ideas.

One of the best ways to let readers know more about your source is to use a signal phrase. Signal phrases help readers “move from your own words to the words of a source without feeling a jolt” (Hacker 406). A writer uses signal phrases to avoid dropped quotations, smoothly leading the reader into the source’s ideas.

How to Use a Signal Phrase

Signal phrases provide a seamless transition from the writer’s thoughts to a source’s thoughts and can provide details about the source that highlight credibility and expertise.

Avoid dropped quotations:

Did you know that some bread batters should be hand mixed? “This light mixing technique produces quick breads with a lovely open crumb” (Greenspan 2).

Instead, use a signal phrase :

Did you know that some bread batters should be hand mixed? According to Dorrie Greenspan, author of Baking: From My Home to Yours , “This light mixing technique produces quick breads with a lovely open crumb” (2).

Signal Phrase Examples

In the words of noted psychologist Carl Jung, “…”

As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead noted, “…”

Kanye West, Grammy award-winning songwriter and rapper, says, “…”

“…,” claims reality-TV star Hulk Hogan.

Authors Amy Tan and Tobias Wolfe offer two unique perspectives on growing up: “…” (Hacker 408)

Verbs in Signal Phrases

Choose an appropriate verb to create your own signal phrase that will make your source’s position clear (Hacker 408).

Work Cited [MLA]

Hacker, Diana. Instructor’s Edition: Rules for Writers. 5th ed . Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.

Learn more about "Using Quotes Effectively" by reviewing this handout .

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The generated references can be copied into a reference list or bibliography, and then collectively appended to the end of an academic assignment. This is the standard way to give credit to sources used in the main body of an assignment.

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A well-formatted and broad bibliography can account for up to 20% of the total grade for an undergraduate-level project, and using a generator tool can contribute significantly towards earning them.

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Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

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Illustration of a missile made from words.

In the campus protests over the war in Gaza, language and rhetoric are—as they have always been when it comes to Israel and Palestine—weapons of mass destruction.

By Zadie Smith

A philosophy without a politics is common enough. Aesthetes, ethicists, novelists—all may be easily critiqued and found wanting on this basis. But there is also the danger of a politics without a philosophy. A politics unmoored, unprincipled, which holds as its most fundamental commitment its own perpetuation. A Realpolitik that believes itself too subtle—or too pragmatic—to deal with such ethical platitudes as thou shalt not kill. Or: rape is a crime, everywhere and always. But sometimes ethical philosophy reënters the arena, as is happening right now on college campuses all over America. I understand the ethics underpinning the protests to be based on two widely recognized principles:

There is an ethical duty to express solidarity with the weak in any situation that involves oppressive power.

If the machinery of oppressive power is to be trained on the weak, then there is a duty to stop the gears by any means necessary.

The first principle sometimes takes the “weak” to mean “whoever has the least power,” and sometimes “whoever suffers most,” but most often a combination of both. The second principle, meanwhile, may be used to defend revolutionary violence, although this interpretation has just as often been repudiated by pacifistic radicals, among whom two of the most famous are, of course, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr . In the pacifist’s interpretation, the body that we must place between the gears is not that of our enemy but our own. In doing this, we may pay the ultimate price with our actual bodies, in the non-metaphorical sense. More usually, the risk is to our livelihoods, our reputations, our futures. Before these most recent campus protests began, we had an example of this kind of action in the climate movement. For several years now, many people have been protesting the economic and political machinery that perpetuates climate change, by blocking roads, throwing paint, interrupting plays, and committing many other arrestable offenses that can appear ridiculous to skeptics (or, at the very least, performative), but which in truth represent a level of personal sacrifice unimaginable to many of us.

I experienced this not long ago while participating in an XR climate rally in London. When it came to the point in the proceedings where I was asked by my fellow-protesters whether I’d be willing to commit an arrestable offense—one that would likely lead to a conviction and thus make travelling to the United States difficult or even impossible—I’m ashamed to say that I declined that offer. Turns out, I could not give up my relationship with New York City for the future of the planet. I’d just about managed to stop buying plastic bottles (except when very thirsty) and was trying to fly less. But never to see New York again? What pitiful ethical creatures we are (I am)! Falling at the first hurdle! Anyone who finds themselves rolling their eyes at any young person willing to put their own future into jeopardy for an ethical principle should ask themselves where the limits of their own commitments lie—also whether they’ve bought a plastic bottle or booked a flight recently. A humbling inquiry.

It is difficult to look at the recent Columbia University protests in particular without being reminded of the campus protests of the nineteen-sixties and seventies, some of which happened on the very same lawns. At that time, a cynical political class was forced to observe the spectacle of its own privileged youth standing in solidarity with the weakest historical actors of the moment, a group that included, but was not restricted to, African Americans and the Vietnamese. By placing such people within their ethical zone of interest, young Americans risked both their own academic and personal futures and—in the infamous case of Kent State—their lives. I imagine that the students at Columbia—and protesters on other campuses—fully intend this echo, and, in their unequivocal demand for both a ceasefire and financial divestment from this terrible war, to a certain extent they have achieved it.

But, when I open newspapers and see students dismissing the idea that some of their fellow-students feel, at this particular moment, unsafe on campus, or arguing that such a feeling is simply not worth attending to, given the magnitude of what is occurring in Gaza, I find such sentiments cynical and unworthy of this movement. For it may well be—within the ethical zone of interest that is a campus, which was not so long ago defined as a safe space, delineated by the boundary of a generation’s ethical ideas— it may well be that a Jewish student walking past the tents, who finds herself referred to as a Zionist, and then is warned to keep her distance, is, in that moment, the weakest participant in the zone. If the concept of safety is foundational to these students’ ethical philosophy (as I take it to be), and, if the protests are committed to reinserting ethical principles into a cynical and corrupt politics, it is not right to divest from these same ethics at the very moment they come into conflict with other imperatives. The point of a foundational ethics is that it is not contingent but foundational. That is precisely its challenge to a corrupt politics.

Practicing our ethics in the real world involves a constant testing of them, a recognition that our zones of ethical interest have no fixed boundaries and may need to widen and shrink moment by moment as the situation demands. (Those brave students who—in supporting the ethical necessity of a ceasefire—find themselves at painful odds with family, friends, faith, or community have already made this calculation.) This flexibility can also have the positive long-term political effect of allowing us to comprehend that, although our duty to the weakest is permanent, the role of “the weakest” is not an existential matter independent of time and space but, rather, a contingent situation, continually subject to change. By contrast, there is a dangerous rigidity to be found in the idea that concern for the dreadful situation of the hostages is somehow in opposition to, or incompatible with, the demand for a ceasefire. Surely a ceasefire—as well as being an ethical necessity—is also in the immediate absolute interest of the hostages, a fact that cannot be erased by tearing their posters off walls.

Part of the significance of a student protest is the ways in which it gives young people the opportunity to insist upon an ethical principle while still being, comparatively speaking, a more rational force than the supposed adults in the room, against whose crazed magical thinking they have been forced to define themselves. The equality of all human life was never a self-evident truth in racially segregated America. There was no way to “win” in Vietnam. Hamas will not be “eliminated.” The more than seven million Jewish human beings who live in the gap between the river and the sea will not simply vanish because you think that they should. All of that is just rhetoric. Words. Cathartic to chant, perhaps, but essentially meaningless. A ceasefire, meanwhile, is both a potential reality and an ethical necessity. The monstrous and brutal mass murder of more than eleven hundred people, the majority of them civilians, dozens of them children, on October 7th, has been followed by the monstrous and brutal mass murder (at the time of writing) of a reported fourteen thousand five hundred children. And many more human beings besides, but it’s impossible not to notice that the sort of people who take at face value phrases like “surgical strikes” and “controlled military operation” sometimes need to look at and/or think about dead children specifically in order to refocus their minds on reality.

To send the police in to arrest young people peacefully insisting upon a ceasefire represents a moral injury to us all. To do it with violence is a scandal. How could they do less than protest, in this moment? They are putting their own bodies into the machine. They deserve our support and praise. As to which postwar political arrangement any of these students may favor, and on what basis they favor it—that is all an argument for the day after a ceasefire. One state, two states, river to the sea—in my view, their views have no real weight in this particular moment, or very little weight next to the significance of their collective action, which (if I understand it correctly) is focussed on stopping the flow of money that is funding bloody murder, and calling for a ceasefire, the political euphemism that we use to mark the end of bloody murder. After a ceasefire, the criminal events of the past seven months should be tried and judged, and the infinitely difficult business of creating just, humane, and habitable political structures in the region must begin anew. Right now: ceasefire. And, as we make this demand, we might remind ourselves that a ceasefire is not, primarily, a political demand. Primarily, it is an ethical one.

But it is in the nature of the political that we cannot even attend to such ethical imperatives unless we first know the political position of whoever is speaking. (“Where do you stand on Israel/Palestine?”) In these constructed narratives, there are always a series of shibboleths, that is, phrases that can’t be said, or, conversely, phrases that must be said. Once these words or phrases have been spoken ( river to the sea, existential threat, right to defend, one state, two states, Zionist, colonialist, imperialist, terrorist ) and one’s positionality established, then and only then will the ethics of the question be attended to (or absolutely ignored). The objection may be raised at this point that I am behaving like a novelist, expressing a philosophy without a politics, or making some rarefied point about language and rhetoric while people commit bloody murder. This would normally be my own view, but, in the case of Israel/Palestine, language and rhetoric are and always have been weapons of mass destruction.

It is in fact perhaps the most acute example in the world of the use of words to justify bloody murder, to flatten and erase unbelievably labyrinthine histories, and to deliver the atavistic pleasure of violent simplicity to the many people who seem to believe that merely by saying something they make it so. It is no doubt a great relief to say the word “Hamas” as if it purely and solely described a terrorist entity. A great relief to say “There is no such thing as the Palestinian people” as they stand in front of you. A great relief to say “Zionist colonialist state” and accept those three words as a full and unimpeachable definition of the state of Israel, not only under the disastrous leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu but at every stage of its long and complex history, and also to hear them as a perfectly sufficient description of every man, woman, and child who has ever lived in Israel or happened to find themselves born within it. It is perhaps because we know these simplifications to be impossible that we insist upon them so passionately. They are shibboleths; they describe a people, by defining them against other people—but the people being described are ourselves. The person who says “We must eliminate Hamas” says this not necessarily because she thinks this is a possible outcome on this earth but because this sentence is the shibboleth that marks her membership in the community that says that. The person who uses the word “Zionist” as if that word were an unchanged and unchangeable monolith, meaning exactly the same thing in 2024 and 1948 as it meant in 1890 or 1901 or 1920—that person does not so much bring definitive clarity to the entangled history of Jews and Palestinians as they successfully and soothingly draw a line to mark their own zone of interest and where it ends. And while we all talk, carefully curating our shibboleths, presenting them to others and waiting for them to reveal themselves as with us or against us—while we do all that, bloody murder.

And now here we are, almost at the end of this little stream of words. We’ve arrived at the point at which I must state clearly “where I stand on the issue,” that is, which particular political settlement should, in my own, personal view, occur on the other side of a ceasefire. This is the point wherein—by my stating of a position—you are at once liberated into the simple pleasure of placing me firmly on one side or the other, putting me over there with those who lisp or those who don’t, with the Ephraimites, or with the people of Gilead. Yes, this is the point at which I stake my rhetorical flag in that fantastical, linguistical, conceptual, unreal place—built with words—where rapes are minimized as needs be, and the definition of genocide quibbled over, where the killing of babies is denied, and the precision of drones glorified, where histories are reconsidered or rewritten or analogized or simply ignored, and “Jew” and “colonialist” are synonymous, and “Palestinian” and “terrorist” are synonymous, and language is your accomplice and alibi in all of it. Language euphemized, instrumentalized, and abused, put to work for your cause and only for your cause, so that it does exactly and only what you want it to do. Let me make it easy for you. Put me wherever you want: misguided socialist, toothless humanist, naïve novelist, useful idiot, apologist, denier, ally, contrarian, collaborator, traitor, inexcusable coward. It is my view that my personal views have no more weight than an ear of corn in this particular essay. The only thing that has any weight in this particular essay is the dead. ♦

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How Columbia’s Campus Was Torn Apart Over Gaza

By Andrew Marantz

A Student Journalist Explains the Protests at Yale

By Isaac Chotiner

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Andrew Huberman’s Mechanisms of Control

The private and public seductions of the world’s biggest pop neuroscientist..

Portrait of Kerry Howley

This article was featured in One Great Story , New York ’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

For the past three years, one of the biggest podcasters on the planet has told a story to millions of listeners across half a dozen shows: There was a little boy, and the boy’s family was happy, until one day, the boy’s family fell apart. The boy was sent away. He foundered, he found therapy, he found science, he found exercise. And he became strong.

Today, Andrew Huberman is a stiff, jacked 48-year-old associate professor of neurology and ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is given to delivering three-hour lectures on subjects such as “the health of our dopaminergic neurons.” His podcast is revelatory largely because it does not condescend, which has not been the way of public-health information in our time. He does not give the impression of someone diluting science to universally applicable sound bites for the slobbering masses. “Dopamine is vomited out into the synapse or it’s released volumetrically, but then it has to bind someplace and trigger those G-protein-coupled receptors, and caffeine increases the number, the density of those G-protein-coupled receptors,” is how he explains the effect of coffee before exercise in a two-hour-and-16-minute deep dive that has, as of this writing, nearly 8.9 million views on YouTube.

In This Issue

Falling for dr. huberman.

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Millions of people feel compelled to hear him draw distinctions between neuromodulators and classical neurotransmitters. Many of those people will then adopt an associated “protocol.” They will follow his elaborate morning routine. They will model the most basic functions of human life — sleeping, eating, seeing — on his sober advice. They will tell their friends to do the same. “He’s not like other bro podcasters,” they will say, and they will be correct; he is a tenured Stanford professor associated with a Stanford lab; he knows the difference between a neuromodulator and a neurotransmitter. He is just back from a sold-out tour in Australia, where he filled the Sydney Opera House. Stanford, at one point, hung signs (AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY) apparently to deter fans in search of the lab.

With this power comes the power to lift other scientists out of their narrow silos and turn them, too, into celebrities, but these scientists will not be Huberman, whose personal appeal is distinct. Here we have a broad-minded professor puppyishly enamored with the wonders of biological function, generous to interviewees (“I love to be wrong”), engaged in endearing attempts to sound like a normal person (“Now, we all have to eat, and it’s nice to eat foods that we enjoy. I certainly do that. I love food, in fact”).

This is a world in which the soft art of self-care is made concrete, in which Goop-adjacent platitudes find solidity in peer review. “People go, ‘Oh, that feels kind of like weenie stuff,’” Huberman tells Joe Rogan. “The data show that gratitude, and avoiding toxic people and focusing on good-quality social interactions … huge increases in serotonin.” “Hmmm,” Rogan says. There is a kindness to the way Huberman reminds his audience always of the possibilities of neuroplasticity: They can change. He has changed. As an adolescent, he says, he endured the difficult divorce of his parents, a Stanford professor who worked in the tech industry and a children’s-book author. The period after the separation was, he says, one of “pure neglect.” His father was gone, his mother “totally checked out.” He was forced, around age 14, to endure a month of “youth detention,” a situation that was “not a jail,” but harrowing in its own right.

“The thing that really saved me,” Huberman tells Peter Attia, “was this therapy thing … I was like, Oh, shit … I do have to choke back a little bit here. It’s a crazy thing to have somebody say, ‘Listen,’ like, to give you the confidence, like, ‘We’re gonna figure this out. We’re gonna figure this out. ’ There’s something very powerful about that. It wasn’t like, you know, ‘Everything will be okay.’ It was like, We’re gonna figure this out. ”

The wayward son would devote himself to therapy and also to science. He would turn Rancid all the way up and study all night long. He would be tenured at Stanford with his own lab, severing optic nerves in mice and noting what grew back.

Huberman has been in therapy, he says, since high school. He has, in fact, several therapists, and psychiatrist Paul Conti appears on his podcast frequently to discuss mental health. Therapy is “hard work … like going to the gym and doing an effective workout.” The brain is a machine that needs tending. Our cells will benefit from the careful management of stress. “I love mechanism, ” says Huberman; our feelings are integral to the apparatus. There are Huberman Husbands (men who optimize), a phenomenon not to be confused with #DaddyHuberman (used by women on TikTok in the man’s thrall).

A prophet must constrain his self-revelation. He must give his story a shape that ultimately tends toward inner strength, weakness overcome. For Andrew Huberman to become your teacher and mine, as he very much was for a period this fall — a period in which I diligently absorbed sun upon waking, drank no more than once a week, practiced physiological sighs in traffic, and said to myself, out loud in my living room, “I also love mechanism”; a period during which I began to think seriously, for the first time in my life, about reducing stress, and during which both my husband and my young child saw tangible benefit from repeatedly immersing themselves in frigid water; a period in which I realized that I not only liked this podcast but liked other women who liked this podcast — he must be, in some way, better than the rest of us.

Huberman sells a dream of control down to the cellular level. But something has gone wrong. In the midst of immense fame, a chasm has opened between the podcaster preaching dopaminergic restraint and a man, with newfound wealth, with access to a world unseen by most professors. The problem with a man always working on himself is that he may also be working on you.

Some of Andrew’s earliest Instagram posts are of his lab. We see smiling undergraduates “slicing, staining, and prepping brains” and a wall of framed science publications in which Huberman-authored papers appear: Nature, Cell Reports, The Journal of Neuroscience. In 2019, under the handle @hubermanlab, Andrew began posting straightforward educational videos in which he talks directly into the camera about subjects such as the organizational logic of the brain stem. Sometimes he would talk over a simple anatomical sketch on lined paper; the impression was, as it is now, of a fast-talking teacher in conversation with an intelligent student. The videos amassed a fan base, and Andrew was, in 2020, invited on some of the biggest podcasts in the world. On Lex Fridman Podcast, he talked about experiments his lab was conducting by inducing fear in people. On The Rich Roll Podcast, the relationship between breathing and motivation. On The Joe Rogan Experience, experiments his lab was conducting on mice.

He was a fluid, engaging conversationalist, rich with insight and informed advice. In a year of death and disease, when many felt a sense of agency slipping away, Huberman had a gentle plan. The subtext was always the same: We may live in chaos, but there are mechanisms of control.

By then he had a partner, Sarah, which is not her real name. Sarah was someone who could talk to anyone about anything. She was dewy and strong and in her mid-40s, though she looked a decade younger, with two small kids from a previous relationship. She had old friends who adored her and no trouble making new ones. She came across as scattered in the way she jumped readily from topic to topic in conversation, losing the thread before returning to it, but she was in fact extremely organized. She was a woman who kept track of things. She was an entrepreneur who could organize a meeting, a skill she would need later for reasons she could not possibly have predicted. When I asked her a question in her home recently, she said the answer would be on an old phone; she stood up, left for only a moment, and returned with a box labeled OLD PHONES.

Sarah’s relationship with Andrew began in February 2018 in the Bay Area, where they both lived. He messaged her on Instagram and said he owned a home in Piedmont, a wealthy city separate from Oakland. That turned out not to be precisely true; he lived off Piedmont Avenue, which was in Oakland. He was courtly and a bit formal, as he would later be on the podcast. In July, in her garden, Sarah says she asked to clarify the depth of their relationship. They decided, she says, to be exclusive.

Both had devoted their lives to healthy living: exercise, good food, good information. They cared immoderately about what went into their bodies. Andrew could command a room and clearly took pleasure in doing so. He was busy and handsome, healthy and extremely ambitious. He gave the impression of working on himself; throughout their relationship, he would talk about “repair” and “healthy merging.” He was devoted to his bullmastiff, Costello, whom he worried over constantly: Was Costello comfortable? Sleeping properly? Andrew liked to dote on the dog, she says, and he liked to be doted on by Sarah. “I was never sitting around him,” she says. She cooked for him and felt glad when he relished what she had made. Sarah was willing to have unprotected sex because she believed they were monogamous.

On Thanksgiving in 2018, Sarah planned to introduce Andrew to her parents and close friends. She was cooking. Andrew texted repeatedly to say he would be late, then later. According to a friend, “he was just, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll be there. Oh, I’m going to be running hours late.’ And then of course, all of these things were planned around his arrival and he just kept going, ‘Oh, I’m going to be late.’ And then it’s the end of the night and he’s like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry this and this happened.’”

Huberman disappearing was something of a pattern. Friends, girlfriends, and colleagues describe him as hard to reach. The list of reasons for not showing up included a book, time-stamping the podcast, Costello, wildfires, and a “meetings tunnel.” “He is flaky and doesn’t respond to things,” says his friend Brian MacKenzie, a health influencer who has collaborated with him on breathing protocols. “And if you can’t handle that, Andrew definitely is not somebody you want to be close to.” “He in some ways disappeared,” says David Spiegel, a Stanford psychiatrist who calls Andrew “prodigiously smart” and “intensely engaging.” “I mean, I recently got a really nice email from him. Which I was touched by. I really was.”

In 2018, before he was famous, Huberman invited a Colorado-based investigative journalist and anthropologist, Scott Carney, to his home in Oakland for a few days; the two would go camping and discuss their mutual interest in actionable science. It had been Huberman, a fan of Carney’s book What Doesn’t Kill Us, who initially reached out, and the two became friendly over phone and email. Huberman confirmed Carney’s list of camping gear: sleeping bag, bug spray, boots.

When Carney got there, the two did not go camping. Huberman simply disappeared for most of a day and a half while Carney stayed home with Costello. He puttered around Huberman’s place, buying a juice, walking through the neighborhood, waiting for him to return. “It was extremely weird,” says Carney. Huberman texted from elsewhere saying he was busy working on a grant. (A spokesperson for Huberman says he clearly communicated to Carney that he went to work.) Eventually, instead of camping, the two went on a few short hikes.

Even when physically present, Huberman can be hard to track. “I don’t have total fidelity to who Andrew is,” says his friend Patrick Dossett. “There’s always a little unknown there.” He describes Andrew as an “amazing thought partner” with “almost total recall,” such a memory that one feels the need to watch what one says; a stray comment could surface three years later. And yet, at other times, “you’re like, All right, I’m saying words and he’s nodding or he is responding, but I can tell something I said sent him down a path that he’s continuing to have internal dialogue about, and I need to wait for him to come back. ”

Andrew Huberman declined to be interviewed for this story. Through a spokesman, Huberman says he did not become exclusive with Sarah until late 2021, that he was not doted on, that tasks between him and Sarah were shared “based on mutual agreement and proficiency,” that their Thanksgiving plans were tentative, and that he “maintains a very busy schedule and shows up to the vast majority of his commitments.”

In the fall of 2020, Huberman sold his home in Oakland and rented one in Topanga, a wooded canyon enclave contiguous with Los Angeles. When he came back to Stanford, he stayed with Sarah, and when he was in Topanga, Sarah was often with him.

When they fought, it was, she says, typically because Andrew would fixate on her past choices: the men she had been with before him, the two children she had had with another man. “I experienced his rage,” Sarah recalls, “as two to three days of yelling in a row. When he was in this state, he would go on until 11 or 12 at night and sometimes start again at two or three in the morning.”

The relationship struck Sarah’s friends as odd. At one point, Sarah said, “I just want to be with my kids and cook for my man.” “I was like, Who says that? ” says a close friend. “I mean, I’ve known her for 30 years. She’s a powerful, decisive, strong woman. We grew up in this very feminist community. That’s not a thing either of us would ever say.”

Another friend found him stressful to be around. “I try to be open-minded,” she said of the relationship. “I don’t want to be the most negative, nonsupportive friend just because of my personal observations and disgust over somebody.” When they were together, he was buzzing, anxious. “He’s like, ‘Oh, my dog needs his blanket this way.’ And I’m like, ‘Your dog is just laying there and super-cozy. Why are you being weird about the blanket?’”

Sarah was not the only person who experienced the extent of Andrew’s anger. In 2019, Carney sent Huberman materials from his then-forthcoming book, The Wedge, in which Huberman appears. He asked Huberman to confirm the parts in which he was mentioned. For months, Huberman did not respond. Carney sent a follow-up email; if Huberman did not respond, he would assume everything was accurate. In 2020, after months of saying he was too busy to review the materials, Huberman called him and, Carney says, came at him in a rage. “I’ve never had a source I thought was friendly go bananas,” says Carney. Screaming, Huberman threatened to sue and accused Carney of “violating Navy OpSec.”

It had become, by then, one of the most perplexing relationships of Carney’s life. That year, Carney agreed to Huberman’s invitation to swim with sharks on an island off Mexico. First, Carney would have to spend a month of his summer getting certified in Denver. He did, at considerable expense. Huberman then canceled the trip a day before they were set to leave. “I think Andrew likes building up people’s expectations,” says Carney, “and then he actually enjoys the opportunity to pull the rug out from under you.”

In January 2021, Huberman launched his own podcast. Its reputation would be directly tied to his role as teacher and scientist. “I’d like to emphasize that this podcast,” he would say every episode, with his particular combination of formality and discursiveness, “is separate from my teaching and research roles at Stanford. It is, however, part of my desire and effort to bring zero-cost-to-consumer information about science and science-related tools to the general public.”

“I remember feeling quite lonely and making some efforts to repair that,” Huberman would say on an episode in 2024. “Loneliness,” his interviewee said, “is a need state.” In 2021, the country was in the later stages of a need state: bored, alone, powerless. Huberman offered not only hours of educative listening but a plan to structure your day. A plan for waking. For eating. For exercising. For sleep. At a time when life had shifted to screens, he brought people back to their corporeal selves. He advised a “physiological sigh” — two short breaths in and a long one out — to reduce stress. He pulled countless people from their laptops and put them in rhythm with the sun. “Thank you for all you do to better humanity,” read comments on YouTube. “You may have just saved my life man.” “If Andrew were science teacher for everyone in the world,” someone wrote, “no one would have missed even a single class.”

Asked by Time last year for his definition of fun, Huberman said, “I learn and I like to exercise.” Among his most famous episodes is one in which he declares moderate drinking decidedly unhealthy. As MacKenzie puts it, “I don’t think anybody or anything, including Prohibition, has ever made more people think about alcohol than Andrew Huberman.” While he claims repeatedly that he doesn’t want to “demonize alcohol,” he fails to mask his obvious disapproval of anyone who consumes alcohol in any quantity. He follows a time-restricted eating schedule. He discusses constraint even in joy, because a dopamine spike is invariably followed by a drop below baseline; he explains how even a small pleasure like a cup of coffee before every workout reduces the capacity to release dopamine. Huberman frequently refers to the importance of “social contact” and “peace, contentment, and delight,” always mentioned as a triad; these are ultimately leveraged for the one value consistently espoused: physiological health.

In August 2021, Sarah says she read Andrew’s journal and discovered a reference to cheating. She was, she says, “gutted.” “I hear you are saying you are angry and hurt,” he texted her the same day. “I will hear you as much as long as needed for us.”

Andrew and Sarah wanted children together. Optimizers sometimes prefer not to conceive naturally; one can exert more control when procreation involves a lab. Sarah began the first of several rounds of IVF. (A spokesperson for Huberman denies that he and Sarah had decided to have children together, clarifying that they “decided to create embryos by IVF.”)

In 2021, she tested positive for a high-risk form of HPV, one of the variants linked to cervical cancer. “I had never tested positive,” she says, “and had been tested regularly for ten years.” (A spokesperson for Huberman says he has never tested positive for HPV. According to the CDC, there is currently no approved test for HPV in men.) When she brought it up, she says, he told her you could contract HPV from many things.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about truth-telling and deception,” Andrew told evolutionary psychologist David Buss on a November 2021 episode of Huberman Lab called “How Humans Select & Keep Romantic Partners in Short & Long Term.” They were talking about regularities across cultures in mate preferences.

“Could you tell us,” Andrew asked, “about how men and women leverage deception versus truth-telling and communicating some of the things around mate choice selection?”

“Effective tactics for men,” said a gravel-voiced, 68-year-old Buss, “are often displaying cues to long-term interest … men tend to exaggerate the depths of their feelings for a woman.”

“Let’s talk about infidelity in committed relationships,” Andrew said, laughing. “I’m guessing it does happen.”

“Men who have affairs tend to have affairs with a larger number of affair partners,” said Buss. “And so which then by definition can’t be long-lasting. You can’t,” added Buss wryly, “have the long-term affairs with six different partners.”

“Yeah,” said Andrew, “unless he’s, um,” and here Andrew looked into the distance. “Juggling multiple, uh, phone accounts or something of that sort.”

“Right, right, right, and some men try to do that, but I think it could be very taxing,” said Buss.

By 2022, Andrew was legitimately famous. Typical headlines read “I tried a Stanford professor’s top productivity routine” and “Google CEO Uses ‘Nonsleep Deep Rest’ to Relax.” Reese Witherspoon told the world that she was sure to get ten minutes of sunlight in the morning and tagged Andrew. When he was not on his own podcast, Andrew was on someone else’s. He kept the place in Topanga, but he and Sarah began splitting rent in Berkeley. In June 2022, they fully combined lives; Sarah relocated her family to Malibu to be with him.

According to Sarah, Andrew’s rage intensified with cohabitation. He fixated on her decision to have children with another man. She says he told her that being with her was like “bobbing for apples in feces.” “The pattern of your 11 years, while rooted in subconscious drives,” he told her in December 2021, “creates a nearly impossible set of hurdles for us … You have to change.”

Sarah was, in fact, changing. She felt herself getting smaller, constantly appeasing. She apologized, again and again and again. “I have been selfish, childish, and confused,” she said. “As a result, I need your protection.” A spokesperson for Huberman denies Sarah’s accounts of their fights, denies that his rage intensified with cohabitation, denies that he fixated on Sarah’s decision to have children with another man, and denies that he said being with her was like bobbing for apples in feces. A spokesperson said, “Dr. Huberman is very much in control of his emotions.”

The first three rounds of IVF did not produce healthy embryos. In the spring of 2022, enraged again about her past, Andrew asked Sarah to explain in detail what he called her bad choices, most especially having her second child. She wrote it out and read it aloud to him. A spokesperson for Huberman denies this incident and says he does not regard her having a second child as a bad choice.

I think it’s important to recognize that we might have a model of who someone is,” says Dossett, “or a model of how someone should conduct themselves. And if they do something that is out of sync with that model, it’s like, well, that might not necessarily be on that person. Maybe it’s on us. Our model was just off.”

Huberman’s specialty lies in a narrow field: visual-system wiring. How comfortable one feels with the science propagated on Huberman Lab depends entirely on how much leeway one is willing to give a man who expounds for multiple hours a week on subjects well outside his area of expertise. His detractors note that Huberman extrapolates wildly from limited animal studies, posits certainty where there is ambiguity, and stumbles when he veers too far from his narrow realm of study, but even they will tend to admit that the podcast is an expansive, free (or, as he puts it, “zero-cost”) compendium of human knowledge. There are quack guests, but these are greatly outnumbered by profound, complex, patient, and often moving descriptions of biological process.

Huberman Lab is premised on the image of a working scientist. One imagines clean white counters, rodents in cages, postdocs peering into microscopes. “As scientists,” Huberman says frequently. He speaks often, too, of the importance of mentorship. He “loves” reading teacher evaluations. On the web, one can visit the lab and even donate. I have never met a Huberman listener who doubted the existence of such a place, and this appears to be by design. In a glowing 2023 profile in Stanford magazine, we learn “Everything he does is inspired by this love,” but do not learn that Huberman lives 350 miles and a six-hour drive from Stanford University, making it difficult to drop into the lab. Compounding the issue is the fact that the lab, according to knowledgeable sources, barely exists.

“Is a postdoc working on her own funding, alone, a ‘lab?’” asks a researcher at Stanford. There had been a lab — four rooms on the second floor of the Sherman Fairchild Science Building. Some of them smelled of mice. It was here that researchers anesthetized rodents, injected them with fluorescence, damaged their optic nerves, and watched for the newly bright nerves to grow back.

The lab, says the researcher, was already scaling down before COVID. It was emptying out, postdocs apparently unsupervised, a quarter-million-dollar laser-scanning microscope gathering dust. Once the researcher saw someone come in and reclaim a $3,500 rocker, a machine for mixing solutions.

Shortly before publication, a spokesperson for Stanford said, “Dr. Huberman’s lab at Stanford is operational and is in the process of moving from the Department of Neurobiology to the Department of Ophthalmology,” and a spokesperson for Huberman says the equipment in Dr. Huberman’s lab remained in use until the last postdoc moved to a faculty position.

On every episode of his “zero-cost” podcast, Huberman gives a lengthy endorsement of a powder formerly known as Athletic Greens and now as AG1. It is one thing to hear Athletic Greens promoted by Joe Rogan; it is perhaps another to hear someone who sells himself as a Stanford University scientist just back from the lab proclaim that this $79-a-month powder “covers all of your foundational nutritional needs.” In an industry not noted for its integrity, AG1 is, according to writer and professional debunker Derek Beres, “one of the most egregious players in the space.” Here we have a powder that contains, according to its own marketing, 75 active ingredients, far more than the typical supplement, which would seem a selling point but for the inconveniences of mass. As performance nutritionist Adam McDonald points out, the vast number of ingredients indicates that each ingredient, which may or may not promote good health in a certain dose, is likely included in minuscule amounts, though consumers are left to do the math themselves; the company keeps many of the numbers proprietary. “We can be almost guaranteed that literally every supplement or ingredient within this proprietary blend is underdosed,” explains McDonald; the numbers, he says, don’t appear to add up to anything research has shown to be meaningful in terms of human health outcomes. And indeed, “the problem with most of the probiotics is they’re typically not concentrated enough to actually colonize,” one learns from Dr. Layne Norton in a November 2022 episode of Huberman Lab. (AG1 argues that probiotics are effective and that the 75 ingredients are “included not only for their individual benefit, but for the synergy between them — how ingredients interact in complex ways, and how combinations can lead to additive effects.”) “That’s the good news about podcasts,” Huberman said when Wendy Zukerman of Science Vs pointed out that her podcast would never make recommendations based on such tenuous research. “People can choose which podcast they want to listen to.”

Whenever Sarah had suspicions about Andrew’s interactions with another woman, he had a particular way of talking about the woman in question. She says he said the women were stalkers, alcoholics, and compulsive liars. He told her that one woman tore out her hair with chunks of flesh attached to it. He told her a story about a woman who fabricated a story about a dead baby to “entrap” him. (A spokesperson for Huberman denies the account of the denigration of women and the dead-baby story and says the hair story was taken out of context.) Most of the time, Sarah believed him; the women probably were crazy. He was a celebrity. He had to be careful.

It was in August 2022 that Sarah noticed she and Andrew could not go out without being thronged by people. On a camping trip in Washington State that same month, Sarah brought syringes and a cooler with ice packs. Every day of the trip, he injected the drugs meant to stimulate fertility into her stomach. This was round four.

Later that month, Sarah says she grabbed Andrew’s phone when he had left it in the bathroom, checked his texts, and found conversations with someone we will call Eve. Some of them took place during the camping trip they had just taken.

“Your feelings matter,” he told Eve on a day when he had injected his girlfriend with hCG. “I’m actually very much a caretaker.” And later: “I’m back on grid tomorrow and would love to see you this weekend.”

Caught having an affair, Andrew was apologetic. “The landscape has been incredibly hard,” he said. “I let the stress get to me … I defaulted to self safety … I’ve also sat with the hardest of feelings.” “I hear your insights,” he said, “and honestly I appreciate them.”

Sarah noticed how courteous he was with Eve. “So many offers,” she pointed out, “to process and work through things.”

Eve is an ethereally beautiful actress, the kind of woman from whom it is hard to look away. Where Sarah exudes a winsome chaotic energy, Eve is intimidatingly collected. Eve saw Andrew on Raya in 2020 and messaged him on Instagram. They went for a swim in Venice, and he complimented her form. “You’re definitely,” he said, “on the faster side of the distribution.” She found him to be an extraordinary listener, and she liked the way he appeared to be interested in her internal life. He was busy all the time: with his book, and eventually the podcast; his dog; responsibilities at Stanford. “I’m willing to do the repair work on this,” he said when she called him out for standing her up, or, “This sucks, but doesn’t deter my desire and commitment to see you, and establish clear lines of communication and trust.” Despite his endless excuses for not showing up, he seemed, to Eve, to be serious about deepening their relationship, which lasted on and off for two years. Eve had the impression that he was not seeing anyone else: She was willing to have unprotected sex.

As their relationship intensified over the years, he talked often about the family he one day wanted. “Our children would be amazing,” he said. She asked for book recommendations and he suggested, jokingly, Huberman: Why We Made Babies. “I’m at the stage of life where I truly want to build a family,” he told her. “That’s a resounding theme for me.” “How to mesh lives,” he said in a voice memo. “A fundamental question.” One time she heard him say, on Joe Rogan, that he had a girlfriend. She texted him to ask about it, and he responded immediately. He had a stalker, he said, and so his team had decided to invent a partner for the listening public. (“I later learned,” Eve tells me with characteristic equanimity, “that this was not true.”)

In September 2022, Eve noticed that Sarah was looking at her Instagram stories; not commenting or liking, just looking. Impulsively, Eve messaged her. “Is there anything you’d rather ask me directly?” she said. They set up a call. “Fuck you Andrew,” she messaged him.

Sarah moved out in August 2023 but says she remained in a committed relationship with Huberman. (A spokesperson for Huberman says they were separated.) At Thanksgiving that year, she noticed he was “wiggly” every time a cell phone came out at the table — trying to avoid, she suspected, being photographed. She says she did not leave him until December. According to Sarah, the relationship ended, as it had started, with a lie. He had been at her place for a couple of days and left for his place to prepare for a Zoom call; they planned to go Christmas shopping the next day. Sarah showed up at his house and found him on the couch with another woman. She could see them through the window. “If you’re going to be a cheater,” she advises me later, “do not live in a glass house.”

On January 11, a woman we’ll call Alex began liking all of Sarah’s Instagram posts, seven of them in a minute. Sarah messaged her: “I think you’re friends with my ex, Andrew Huberman. Are you one of the woman he cheated on me with?” Alex is an intense, direct, highly educated woman who lives in New York; she was sleeping with Andrew; and she had no idea there had been a girlfriend. “Fuck,” she said. “I think we should talk.” Over the following weeks, Sarah and Alex never stopped texting. “She helped me hold my boundary against him,” says Sarah, “keep him blocked. She said, ‘You need to let go of the idea of him.’” Instead of texting Andrew, Sarah texted Alex. Sometimes they just talked about their days and not about Andrew at all. Sarah still thought beautiful Eve, on the other hand, “might be crazy,” but they talked some more and brought her into the group chat. Soon there were others. There was Mary: a dreamy, charismatic Texan he had been seeing for years. Her friends called Andrew “bread crumbs,” given his tendency to disappear. There was a fifth woman in L.A., funny and fast-talking. Alex had been apprehensive; she felt foolish for believing Andrew’s lies and worried that the other women would seem foolish, therefore compounding her shame. Foolish women were not, however, what she found. Each of the five was assertive and successful and educated and sharp-witted; there had been a type, and they were diverse expressions of that type. “I can’t believe how crazy I thought you were,” Mary told Sarah. No one struck anyone else as a stalker. No one had made up a story about a dead baby or torn out hair with chunks in it. “I haven’t slept with anyone but him for six years,” Sarah told the group. “If it makes you feel any better,” Alex joked, “according to the CDC,” they had all slept with one another.

The women compared time-stamped screenshots of texts and assembled therein an extraordinary record of deception.

There was a day in Texas when, after Sarah left his hotel, Andrew slept with Mary and texted Eve. They found days in which he would text nearly identical pictures of himself to two of them at the same time. They realized that the day before he had moved in with Sarah in Berkeley, he had slept with Mary, and he had also been with her in December 2023, the weekend before Sarah caught him on the couch with a sixth woman.

They realized that on March 21, 2021, a day of admittedly impressive logistical jujitsu, while Sarah was in Berkeley, Andrew had flown Mary from Texas to L.A. to stay with him in Topanga. While Mary was there, visiting from thousands of miles away, he left her with Costello. He drove to a coffee shop, where he met Eve. They had a serious talk about their relationship. They thought they were in a good place. He wanted to make it work.

“Phone died,” he texted Mary, who was waiting back at the place in Topanga. And later, to Eve: “Thank you … For being so next, next, level gorgeous and sexy.”

“Sleep well beautiful,” he texted Sarah.

“The scheduling alone!” Alex tells me. “I can barely schedule three Zooms in a day.”

In the aggregate, Andrew’s therapeutic language took on a sinister edge. It was communicating a commitment that was not real, a profound interest in the internality of women that was then used to manipulate them.

“Does Huberman have vices?” asks an anonymous Reddit poster.

“I remember him saying,” reads the first comment, “that he loves croissants.”

While Huberman has been criticized for having too few women guests on his podcast, he is solicitous and deferential toward those he interviews. In a January 2023 episode, Dr. Sara Gottfried argues that “patriarchal messaging” and white supremacy contribute to the deterioration of women’s health, and Andrew responds with a story about how his beloved trans mentor, Ben Barres, had experienced “intense suppression/oppression” at MIT before transitioning. “Psychology is influencing biology,” he says with concern. “And you’re saying these power dynamics … are impacting it.”

In private, he could sometimes seem less concerned about patriarchy. Multiple women recall him saying he preferred the kind of relationship in which the woman was monogamous but the man was not. “He told me,” says Mary, “that what he wanted was a woman who was submissive, who he could slap in the ass in public, and who would be crawling on the floor for him when he got home.” (A spokesperson for Huberman denies this.) The women continued to compare notes. He had his little ways of checking in: “Good morning beautiful.” There was a particular way he would respond to a sexy picture: “Mmmmm hi there.”

A spokesperson for Huberman insisted that he had not been monogamous with Sarah until late 2021, but a recorded conversation he had with Alex suggested that in May of that year he had led Sarah to believe otherwise. “Well, she was under the impression that we were exclusive at that time,” he said. “Women are not dumb like that, dude,” Alex responded. “She was under that impression? Then you were giving her that impression.” Andrew agreed: “That’s what I meant. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put it on her.”

The kind of women to whom Andrew Huberman was attracted; the kind of women who were attracted to him — these were women who paid attention to what went into their bodies, women who made avoiding toxicity a central focus of their lives. They researched non-hormone-disrupting products, avoided sugar, ate organic. They were disgusted by the knowledge that they had had sex with someone who had an untold number of partners. All of them wondered how many others there were. When Sarah found Andrew with the other woman, there had been a black pickup truck in the driveway, and she had taken a picture. The women traced the plates, but they hit a dead end and never found her.

Tell us about the dark triad,” he had said to Buss in November on the trip in which he slept with Mary.

“The dark triad consists of three personality characteristics,” said Buss. “So narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.” Such people “feign cooperation but then cheat on subsequent moves. They view other people as pawns to be manipulated for their own instrumental gains.” Those “who are high on dark-triad traits,” he said, “tend to be good at the art of seduction.” The vast majority of them were men.

Andrew told one of the women that he wasn’t a sex addict; he was a love addict. Addiction, Huberman says, “is a progressing narrowing of things that bring you joy.” In August 2021, the same month Sarah first learned of Andrew’s cheating, he released an episode with Anna Lembke, chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. Lembke, the author of a book called Dopamine Nation, gave a clear explanation of the dopaminergic roots of addiction.

“What happens right after I do something that is really pleasurable,” she says, “and releases a lot of dopamine is, again, my brain is going to immediately compensate by downregulating my own dopamine receptors … And that’s that comedown, or the hangover or that aftereffect, that moment of wanting to do it more.” Someone who waits for the feeling to pass, she explained, will reregulate, go back to  baseline. “If I keep indulging again and again and again,” she said, “ultimately I have so much on the pain side that I’ve essentially reset my brain to what we call anhedonic or lacking-in-joy type of state, which is a dopamine deficit state.” This is a state in which nothing is enjoyable: “Everything sort of pales in comparison to this one drug that I want to keep doing.”

“Just for the record,” Andrew said, smiling, “Dr. Lembke has … diagnosed me outside the clinic, in a playful way, of being work addicted. You’re probably right!”

Lembke laughed. “You just happen to be addicted,” she said gently, “to something that is really socially rewarded.”

What he failed to understand, he said, was people who ruined their lives with their disease. “I like to think I have the compassion,” he said, “but I don’t have that empathy for taking a really good situation and what from the outside looks to be throwing it in the trash.”

At least three ex-girlfriends remain friendly with Huberman. He “goes deep very quickly,” says Keegan Amit, who dated Andrew from 2010 to 2017 and continues to admire him. “He has incredible emotional capacity.” A high-school girlfriend says both she and he were “troubled” during their time together, that he was complicated and jealous but “a good person” whom she parted with on good terms. “He really wants to get involved emotionally but then can’t quite follow through,” says someone he dated on and off between 2006 and 2010. “But yeah. I don’t think it’s …” She hesitates. “I think he has such a good heart.”

Andrew grew up in Palo Alto just before the dawn of the internet, a lost city. He gives some version of his origin story on The Rich Roll Podcast ; he repeats it for Tim Ferriss and Peter Attia. He tells Time magazine and Stanford magazine. “Take the list of all the things a parent shouldn’t do in a divorce,” he recently told Christian bowhunter Cameron Hanes. “They did them all.” “You had,” says Wendy Zukerman in her bright Aussie accent, “a wayward childhood.” “I think it’s very easy for people listening to folks with a bio like yours,” says Tim Ferriss, “to sort of assume a certain trajectory, right? To assume that it has always come easy.” His father and mother agree that “after our divorce was an incredibly hard time for Andrew,” though they “do not agree” with some of his characterization of his past; few parents want to be accused of “pure neglect.”

Huberman would not provide the name of the detention center in which he says he was held for a month in high school. In a version of the story Huberman tells on Peter Attia’s podcast, he says, “We lost a couple of kids, a couple of kids killed themselves while we were there.” ( New York was unable to find an account of this event.)

Andrew attended Gunn, a high-performing, high-pressure high school. Classmates describe him as always with a skateboard; they remember him as pleasant, “sweet,” and not particularly academic. He would, says one former classmate, “drop in on the half-pipe,” where he was “encouraging” to other skaters. “I mean, he was a cool, individual kid,” says another classmate. “There was one year he, like, bleached his hair and everyone was like, ‘Oh, that guy’s cool.’” It was a wealthy place, the kind of setting where the word au pair comes up frequently, and Andrew did not stand out to his classmates as out of control or unpredictable. They do not recall him getting into street fights, as Andrew claims he did. He was, says Andrew’s father, “a little bit troubled, yes, but it was not something super-serious.”

What does seem certain is that in his adolescence, Andrew became a regular consumer of talk therapy. In therapy, one learns to tell stories about one’s experience. A story one could tell is: I overcame immense odds to be where I am. Another is: The son of a Stanford professor, born at Stanford Hospital, grows up to be a Stanford professor.

I have never,” says Amit, “met a man more interested in personal growth.” Andrew’s relationship to therapy remains intriguing. “We were at dinner once,” says Eve, “and he told me something personal, and I suggested he talk to his therapist. He laughed it off like that wasn’t ever going to happen, so I asked him if he lied to his therapist. He told me he did all the time.” (A spokesperson for Huberman denies this.)

“People high on psychopathy are good at deception,” says Buss. “I don’t know if they’re good at self-deception.” With repeated listening to the podcast, one discerns a man undergoing, in public, an effort to understand himself. There are hours of talking about addiction, trauma, dopamine, and fear. Narcissism comes up consistently. One can see attempts to understand and also places where those attempts swerve into self-indulgence. On a recent episode with the Stanford-trained psychiatrist Paul Conti, Andrew and Conti were describing the psychological phenomenon of “aggressive drive.” Andrew had an example to share: He once canceled an appointment with a Stanford colleague. There was no response. Eventually, he received a reply that said, in Andrew’s telling, “Well, it’s clear that you don’t want to pursue this collaboration.”

Andrew was, he said to Conti, “shocked.”

“I remember feeling like that was pretty aggressive,” Andrew told Conti. “It stands out to me as a pretty salient example of aggression.”

“So to me,” said Huberman, “that seems like an example of somebody who has a, well, strong aggressive drive … and when disappointed, you know, lashes back or is passive.”

“There’s some way in which the person doesn’t feel good enough no matter what this person has achieved. So then there is a sense of the need and the right to overcontrol.”

“Sure,” said Huberman.

“And now we’re going to work together, right, so I’m exerting significant control over you, right? And it may be that he’s not aware of it.”

“In this case,” said Andrew, “it was a she.”

This woman, explained Conti, based entirely on Andrew’s description of two emails, had allowed her unhealthy “excess aggression” to be “eclipsing the generative drive.” She required that Andrew “bowed down before” her “in the service of the ego” because she did not feel good about herself.

This conversation extends for an extraordinary nine minutes, both men egging each other on, diagnosis after diagnosis, salient, perhaps, for reasons other than those the two identify. We learn that this person lacks gratitude, generative drive, and happiness; she suffers from envy, low “pleasure drive,” and general unhappiness. It would appear, at a distance, to be an elaborate fantasy of an insane woman built on a single behavior: At some point in time, a woman decided she did not want to work with a man who didn’t show up.

There is an argument to be made that it does not matter how a helpful podcaster conducts himself outside of the studio. A man unable to constrain his urges may still preach dopaminergic control to others. Morning sun remains salutary. The physiological sigh, employed by this writer many times in the writing of this essay, continues to effect calm. The large and growing distance between Andrew Huberman and the man he continues to be may not even matter to those who buy questionable products he has recommended and from which he will materially benefit, or listeners who imagined a man in a white coat at work in Palo Alto. The people who definitively find the space between fantasy and reality to be a problem are women who fell for a podcaster who professed deep, sustained concern for their personal growth, and who, in his skyrocketing influence, continued to project an image of earnest self-discovery. It is here, in the false belief of two minds in synchronicity and exploration, that deception leads to harm. They fear it will lead to more.

“There’s so much pain,” says Sarah, her voice breaking. “Feeling we had made mistakes. We hadn’t been enough. We hadn’t been communicating. By making these other women into the other, I hadn’t really given space for their hurt. And let it sink in with me that it was so similar to my own hurt.”

Three of the women on the group text met up in New York in February, and the group has only grown closer. On any given day, one of the five can go into an appointment and come back to 100 texts. Someone shared a Reddit thread in which a commenter claimed Huberman had a “stable full a hoes,” and another responded, “I hope he thinks of us more like Care Bears,” at which point they assigned themselves Care Bear names. “Him: You’re the only girl I let come to my apartment,” read a meme someone shared; under it was a yellow lab looking extremely skeptical. They regularly use Andrew’s usual response to explicit photos (“Mmmmm”) to comment on pictures of one another’s pets. They are holding space for other women who might join.

“This group has radicalized me,” Sarah tells me. “There has been so much processing.” They are planning a weekend together this summer.

“It could have been sad or bitter,” says Eve. “We didn’t jump in as besties, but real friendships have been built. It has been, in a strange and unlikely way, quite a beautiful experience.”

Additional reporting by Amelia Schonbek and Laura Thompson.

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  • 13 May 2024

Brain-reading device is best yet at decoding ‘internal speech’

  • Miryam Naddaf

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

A computer generated illustration of a human brain with the supramarginal gyrus areas highlighted.

Illustration showing the supramarginal gyrus (orange), a region of the brain involved in speech. Credit: My Box/Alamy

Scientists have developed brain implants that can decode internal speech — identifying words that two people spoke in their minds without moving their lips or making a sound.

Although the technology is at an early stage — it was shown to work with only a handful of words, and not phrases or sentences — it could have clinical applications in future.

Similar brain–computer interface (BCI) devices, which translate signals in the brain into text, have reached speeds of 62–78 words per minute for some people . But these technologies were trained to interpret speech that is at least partly vocalized or mimed.

The latest study — published in Nature Human Behaviour on 13 May 1 — is the first to decode words spoken entirely internally, by recording signals from individual neurons in the brain in real time.

“It's probably the most advanced study so far on decoding imagined speech,” says Silvia Marchesotti, a neuroengineer at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

“This technology would be particularly useful for people that have no means of movement any more,” says study co-author Sarah Wandelt, a neural engineer who was at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena at the time the research was done. “For instance, we can think about a condition like locked-in syndrome.”

Mind-reading tech

The researchers implanted arrays of tiny electrodes in the brains of two people with spinal-cord injuries. They placed the devices in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG), a region of the brain that had not been previously explored in speech-decoding BCIs.

Figuring out the best places in the brain to implant BCIs is one of the key challenges for decoding internal speech, says Marchesotti. The authors decided to measure the activity of neurons in the SMG on the basis of previous studies showing that this part of the brain is active in subvocal speech and in tasks such as deciding whether words rhyme.

Two weeks after the participants were implanted with microelectrode arrays in their left SMG, the researchers began collecting data. They trained the BCI on six words (battlefield, cowboy, python, spoon, swimming and telephone) and two meaningless pseudowords (nifzig and bindip). “The point here was to see if meaning was necessary for representation,” says Wandelt.

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The rise of brain-reading technology: what you need to know

Over three days, the team asked each participant to imagine speaking the words shown on a screen and repeated this process several times for each word. The BCI then combined measurements of the participants’ brain activity with a computer model to predict their internal speech in real time.

For the first participant, the BCI captured distinct neural signals for all of the words and was able to identify them with 79% accuracy. But the decoding accuracy was only 23% for the second participant, who showed preferential representation for ‘spoon’ and ‘swimming’ and had fewer neurons that were uniquely active for each word. “It's possible that different sub-areas in the supramarginal gyrus are more, or less, involved in the process,” says Wandelt.

Christian Herff, a computational neuroscientist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, thinks these results might highlight the different ways in which people process internal speech. “Previous studies showed that there are different abilities in performing the imagined task and also different BCI control abilities,” adds Marchesotti.

The authors also found that 82–85% of neurons that were active during internal speech were also active when the participants vocalized the words. But some neurons were active only during internal speech, or responded differently to specific words in the different tasks.

Although the study represents significant progress in decoding internal speech, clinical applications are still a long way off, and many questions remain unanswered.

“The problem with internal speech is we don't know what’s happening and how is it processed,” says Herff. For example, researchers have not been able to determine whether the brain represents internal speech phonetically (by sound) or semantically (by meaning). “What I think we need are larger vocabularies” for the experiments, says Herff.

Marchesotti also wonders whether the technology can be generalized to people who have lost the ability to speak, given that the two study participants are able to talk and have intact brain speech areas. “This is one of the things that I think in the future can be addressed,” she says.

The next step for the team will be to test whether the BCI can distinguish between the letters of the alphabet. “We could maybe have an internal speech speller, which would then really help patients to spell words,” says Wandelt.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-01424-7

Wandelt, S. K. et al. Nature Hum. Behav . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-024-01867-y (2024).

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Web publishers brace for carnage as Google adds AI answers

The tech giant is rolling out AI-generated answers that displace links to human-written websites, threatening millions of creators

Kimber Matherne’s thriving food blog draws millions of visitors each month searching for last-minute dinner ideas.

But the mother of three says decisions made at Google, more than 2,000 miles from her home in the Florida panhandle, are threatening her business. About 40 percent of visits to her blog, Easy Family Recipes , come through the search engine, which has for more than two decades served as the clearinghouse of the internet, sending users to hundreds of millions of websites each day.

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As the tech giant gears up for Google I/O, its annual developer conference, this week, creators like Matherne are worried about the expanding reach of its new search tool that incorporates artificial intelligence. The product, dubbed “Search Generative Experience,” or SGE, directly answers queries with complex, multi-paragraph replies that push links to other websites further down the page, where they’re less likely to be seen.

The shift stands to shake the very foundations of the web.

The rollout threatens the survival of the millions of creators and publishers who rely on the service for traffic. Some experts argue the addition of AI will boost the tech giant’s already tight grip on the internet, ultimately ushering in a system where information is provided by just a handful of large companies.

“Their goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to find the information they want,” Matherne said. “But if you cut out the people who are the lifeblood of creating that information — that have the real human connection to it — then that’s a disservice to the world.”

Google calls its AI answers “overviews” but they often just paraphrase directly from websites. One search for how to fix a leaky toilet provided an AI answer with several tips, including tightening tank bolts. At the bottom of the answer, Google linked to The Spruce, a home improvement and gardening website owned by web publisher Dotdash Meredith, which also owns Investopedia and Travel + Leisure. Google’s AI tips lifted a phrase from The Spruce’s article word-for-word.

A spokesperson for Dotdash Meredith declined to comment.

The links Google provides are often half-covered, requiring a user to click to expand the box to see them all. It’s unclear which of the claims made by the AI come from which link.

Tech research firm Gartner predicts traffic to the web from search engines will fall 25 percent by 2026. Ross Hudgens, CEO of search engine optimization consultancy Siege Media, said he estimates at least a 10 to 20 percent hit, and more for some publishers. “Some people are going to just get bludgeoned,” he said.

Raptive, which provides digital media, audience and advertising services to about 5,000 websites, including Easy Family Recipes, estimates changes to search could result in about $2 billion in losses to creators — with some websites losing up to two-thirds of their traffic. Raptive arrived at these figures by analyzing thousands of keywords that feed into its network, and conducting a side-by-side comparison of traditional Google search and the pilot version of Google SGE.

Michael Sanchez, the co-founder and CEO of Raptive, says that the changes coming to Google could “deliver tremendous damage” to the internet as we know it. “What was already not a level playing field … could tip its way to where the open internet starts to become in danger of surviving for the long term,” he said.

When Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai announced the broader rollout during an earnings call last month, he said the company is making the change in a “measured” way, while “also prioritizing traffic to websites and merchants.” Company executives have long argued that Google needs a healthy web to give people a reason to use its service, and doesn’t want to hurt publishers. A Google spokesperson declined to comment further.

“I think we got to see an incredible blossoming of the internet, we got to see something that was really open and freewheeling and wild and very exciting for the whole world,” said Selena Deckelmann, the chief product and technology officer for Wikimedia, the foundation that oversees Wikipedia.

“Now, we’re just in this moment where I think that the profits are driving people in a direction that I’m not sure makes a ton of sense,” Deckelmann said. “This is a moment to take stock of that and say, ‘What is the internet we actually want?’”

People who rely on the web to make a living are worried.

Jake Boly, a strength coach based in Austin, has spent three years building up his website of workout shoe reviews. But last year, his traffic from Google dropped 96 percent. Google still seems to find value in his work, citing his page on AI-generated answers about shoes. The problem is, people read Google’s summary and don’t visit his site anymore, Boly said.

“My content is good enough to scrape and summarize,” he said. “But it’s not good enough to show in your normal search results, which is how I make money and stay afloat.”

Google first said it would begin experimenting with generative AI in search last year, several months after OpenAI released ChatGPT. At the time, tech pundits speculated that AI chatbots could replace Google search as the place to find information. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Google’s biggest competitor, Microsoft, added an AI chatbot to his company’s search engine and in February 2023 goaded Google to “ come out and show that they can dance .”

The search giant started dancing. Though it had invented much of the AI technology enabling chatbots and had used it to power tools like Google Translate, it started putting generative AI tech into its other products. Google Docs, YouTube’s video-editing tools and the company’s voice assistant all got AI upgrades.

But search is Google’s most important product, accounting for about 57 percent of its $80 billion in revenue in the first quarter of this year. Over the years, search ads have been the cash cow Google needed to build its other businesses, like YouTube and cloud storage, and to stay competitive by buying up other companies .

Google has largely avoided AI answers for the moneymaking searches that host ads, said Andy Taylor, vice president of research at internet marketing firm Tinuiti.

When it does show an AI answer on “commercial” searches, it shows up below the row of advertisements. That could force websites to buy ads just to maintain their position at the top of search results.

Google has been testing the AI answers publicly for the past year, showing them to a small percentage of its billions of users as it tries to improve the technology.

Still, it routinely makes mistakes. A review by The Washington Post published in April found that Google’s AI answers were long-winded, sometimes misunderstood the question and made up fake answers.

The bar for success is high. While OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a novel product, consumers have spent years with Google and expect search results to be fast and accurate. The rush into generative AI might also run up against legal problems. The underlying tech behind OpenAI, Google, Meta and Microsoft’s AI was trained on millions of news articles, blog posts, e-books, recipes, social media comments and Wikipedia pages that were scraped from the internet without paying or asking permission of their original authors.

OpenAI and Microsoft have faced a string of lawsuits over alleged theft of copyrighted works .

“If journalists did that to each other, we’d call that plagiarism,” said Frank Pine, the executive editor of MediaNews Group, which publishes dozens of newspapers around the United States, including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and the Boston Herald. Several of the company’s papers sued OpenAI and Microsoft in April, alleging the companies used its news articles to train their AI.

If news organizations let tech companies, including Google, use their content to make AI summaries without payment or permission, it would be “calamitous” for the journalism industry, Pine said. The change could have an even bigger effect on newspapers than the loss of their classifieds businesses in the mid-2000s or Meta’s more recent pivot away from promoting news to its users, he said.

The move to AI answers, and the centralization of the web into a few portals isn’t slowing down. OpenAI has signed deals with web publishers — including Dotdash Meredith — to show their content prominently in its chatbot.

Matherne, of Easy Family Recipes, says she’s bracing for the changes by investing in social media channels and email newsletters.

“The internet’s kind of a scary place right now,” Matherne said. “You don’t know what to expect.”

A previous version of this story said MediaNews Group sued OpenAI and Microsoft. In fact, it was several of the company's newspapers that sued the tech companies. This story has been corrected.

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Early iterations of the AI applications we interact with most today were built on traditional machine learning models. These models rely on learning algorithms that are developed and maintained by data scientists. In other words, traditional machine learning models need human intervention to process new information and perform any new task that falls outside their initial training.

For example, Apple made Siri a feature of its iOS in 2011. This early version of Siri was trained to understand a set of highly specific statements and requests. Human intervention was required to expand Siri’s knowledge base and functionality.

However, AI capabilities have been evolving steadily since the breakthrough development of  artificial neural networks  in 2012, which allow machines to engage in reinforcement learning and simulate how the human brain processes information.

Unlike basic machine learning models, deep learning models allow AI applications to learn how to perform new tasks that need human intelligence, engage in new behaviors and make decisions without human intervention. As a result, deep learning has enabled task automation, content generation, predictive maintenance and other capabilities across  industries .

Due to deep learning and other advancements, the field of AI remains in a constant and fast-paced state of flux. Our collective understanding of realized AI and theoretical AI continues to shift, meaning AI categories and AI terminology may differ (and overlap) from one source to the next. However, the types of AI can be largely understood by examining two encompassing categories: AI capabilities and AI functionalities.

1. Artificial Narrow AI

Artificial Narrow Intelligence, also known as Weak AI (what we refer to as Narrow AI), is the only type of AI that exists today. Any other form of AI is theoretical. It can be trained to perform a single or narrow task, often far faster and better than a human mind can.

However, it can’t perform outside of its defined task. Instead, it targets a single subset of cognitive abilities and advances in that spectrum. Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and IBM Watson are examples of Narrow AI. Even OpenAI’s ChatGPT is considered a form of Narrow AI because it’s limited to the single task of text-based chat.

2. General AI

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), also known as  Strong AI , is today nothing more than a theoretical concept. AGI can use previous learnings and skills to accomplish new tasks in a different context without the need for human beings to train the underlying models. This ability allows AGI to learn and perform any intellectual task that a human being can.

3. Super AI

Super AI is commonly referred to as artificial superintelligence and, like AGI, is strictly theoretical. If ever realized, Super AI would think, reason, learn, make judgements and possess cognitive abilities that surpass those of human beings.

The applications possessing Super AI capabilities will have evolved beyond the point of understanding human sentiments and experiences to feel emotions, have needs and possess beliefs and desires of their own.

Underneath Narrow AI, one of the three types based on capabilities, there are two functional AI categories:

1. Reactive Machine AI

Reactive machines are AI systems with no memory and are designed to perform a very specific task. Since they can’t recollect previous outcomes or decisions, they only work with presently available data. Reactive AI stems from statistical math and can analyze vast amounts of data to produce a seemingly intelligent output.

Examples of Reactive Machine AI  

  • IBM Deep Blue: IBM’s chess-playing supercomputer AI beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s by analyzing the pieces on the board and predicting the probable outcomes of each move.
  • The Netflix Recommendation Engine: Netflix’s viewing recommendations are powered by models that process data sets collected from viewing history to provide customers with content they’re most likely to enjoy.

2. Limited Memory AI

Unlike Reactive Machine AI, this form of AI can recall past events and outcomes and monitor specific objects or situations over time. Limited Memory AI can use past- and present-moment data to decide on a course of action most likely to help achieve a desired outcome.

However, while Limited Memory AI can use past data for a specific amount of time, it can’t retain that data in a library of past experiences to use over a long-term period. As it’s trained on more data over time, Limited Memory AI can improve in performance.

Examples of Limited Memory AI  

  • Generative AI: Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bard and DeepAI rely on limited memory AI capabilities to predict the next word, phrase or visual element within the content it’s generating.
  • Virtual assistants and chatbots: Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and IBM Watson Assistant combine natural language processing (NLP) and Limited Memory AI to understand questions and requests, take appropriate actions and compose responses.
  • Self-driving cars: Autonomous vehicles use Limited Memory AI to understand the world around them in real-time and make informed decisions on when to apply speed, brake, make a turn, etc.

3. Theory of Mind AI

Theory of Mind AI is a functional class of AI that falls underneath the General AI. Though an unrealized form of AI today, AI with Theory of Mind functionality would understand the thoughts and emotions of other entities. This understanding can affect how the AI interacts with those around them. In theory, this would allow the AI to simulate human-like relationships.

Because Theory of Mind AI could infer human motives and reasoning, it would personalize its interactions with individuals based on their unique emotional needs and intentions. Theory of Mind AI would also be able to understand and contextualize artwork and essays, which today’s generative AI tools are unable to do.

Emotion AI is a theory of mind AI currently in development. AI researchers hope it will have the ability to analyze voices, images and other kinds of data to recognize, simulate, monitor and respond appropriately to humans on an emotional level. To date, Emotion AI is unable to understand and respond to human feelings.  

4. Self-Aware AI

Self-Aware AI is a kind of functional AI class for applications that would possess super AI capabilities. Like theory of mind AI, Self-Aware AI is strictly theoretical. If ever achieved, it would have the ability to understand its own internal conditions and traits along with human emotions and thoughts. It would also have its own set of emotions, needs and beliefs.

Emotion AI is a Theory of Mind AI currently in development. Researchers hope it will have the ability to analyze voices, images and other kinds of data to recognize, simulate, monitor and respond appropriately to humans on an emotional level. To date, Emotion AI is unable to understand and respond to human feelings.

Computer vision

Narrow AI applications with  computer vision  can be trained to interpret and analyze the visual world. This allows intelligent machines to identify and classify objects within images and video footage.

Applications of computer vision include:

  • Image recognition and classification
  • Object detection
  • Object tracking
  • Facial recognition
  • Content-based image retrieval

Computer vision is critical for use cases that involve AI machines interacting and traversing the physical world around them. Examples include self-driving cars and machines navigating warehouses and other environments.

Robots in industrial settings can use Narrow AI to perform routine, repetitive tasks that involve materials handling, assembly and quality inspections. In healthcare, robots equipped with Narrow AI can assist surgeons in monitoring vitals and detecting potential issues during procedures.

Agricultural machines can engage in autonomous pruning, moving, thinning, seeding and spraying. And smart home devices such as the iRobot Roomba can navigate a home’s interior using computer vision and use data stored in memory to understand its progress.

Expert systems

Expert systems equipped with Narrow AI capabilities can be trained on a corpus to emulate the human decision-making process and apply expertise to solve complex problems. These systems can evaluate vast amounts of data to uncover trends and patterns to make decisions. They can also help businesses predict future events and understand why past events occurred.

IBM has pioneered AI from the very beginning, contributing breakthrough after breakthrough to the field. IBM most recently released a big upgrade to its cloud-based, generative AI platform known as watsonx.  IBM watsonx.ai  brings together new generative AI capabilities, powered by foundation models and traditional machine learning into a powerful studio spanning the entire AI lifecycle. With watsonx.ai, data scientists can build, train and deploy machine learning models in a single collaborative studio environment.

Get email updates about AI advancements, strategies, how-tos, expert perspectives and more.

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Guest Essay

The West Doesn’t Understand How Much Russia Has Changed

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By Alexander Gabuev

Mr. Gabuev, the director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, wrote from Berlin.

Vladimir Putin’s trip to Beijing this week, where he will meet with Xi Jinping and top Chinese officials, is another clear demonstration of the current closeness between Russia and China.

Yet many in the West still want to believe that their alliance is an aberration, driven by Mr. Putin’s emotional anti-Americanism and his toxic fixation on Ukraine. Once Mr. Putin and his dark obsessions are out of the picture, the thinking goes , Moscow will seek to rebuild ties with the West — not least because the bonds between Russia and China are shallow, while the country has centuries of economic and cultural dependence on Europe.

This wishful view, however appealing, overlooks the transformation of Russia’s economy and society. Never since the fall of the Soviet Union has Russia been so distant from Europe, and never in its entire history has it been so entwined with China. The truth is that after two years of war in Ukraine and painful Western sanctions, it’s not just Mr. Putin who needs China — Russia does, too.

China has emerged as Russia’s single most important partner, providing a lifeline not only for Mr. Putin’s war machine but also for the entire embattled economy. In 2023, Russia’s trade with China hit a record $240.1 billion, up by more than 60 percent from prewar levels, as China accounted for 30 percent of Russia’s exports and nearly 40 percent of its imports.

Before the war, Russia’s trade with the European Union was double that with China; now it’s less than half. The Chinese yuan, not the dollar or the euro, is now the main currency used for trade between the two countries, making it the most traded currency on the Moscow stock exchange and the go-to instrument for savings.

This economic dependence is filtering into everyday life. Chinese products are ubiquitous and over half of the million cars sold in Russia last year were made in China. Tellingly, the top six foreign car brands in Russia are now all Chinese, thanks to the exodus of once dominant Western companies. It’s a similar story in the smartphone market, where China’s Xiaomi and Tecno have eclipsed Apple and Samsung, and with home appliances and many other everyday items.

These shifts are tectonic. Even in czarist times, Russia shipped its commodities to Europe and relied on imports from the West of manufactured goods. Russia’s oligarchs, blacklisted by most Western countries, have had to adapt to the new reality. Last month, the businessman Vladimir Potanin, whose fortune is estimated at $23.7 billion, announced that his copper and nickel empire would reorient toward China, including by moving production facilities into the country. “If we’re more integrated into the Chinese economy,” he said, “we’ll be more protected.”

From the economy, education follows. Members of the Russian elite are scrambling to find Mandarin tutors for their kids, and some of my Russian contacts are thinking about sending their children to universities in Hong Kong or mainland China now that Western universities are much harder to reach. This development is more than anecdotal. Last year, as China opened up after the pandemic, 12,000 Russian students went to study there — nearly four times as many than to the United States.

This reorientation from West to East is also visible among the middle class, most notably in travel. There are now, for example, five flights a day connecting Moscow and Beijing in under eight hours, with a return ticket costing about $500. By contrast, getting to Berlin — one of many frequent European weekend destinations for middle-class Russians before the war — can now take an entire day and cost up to twice as much.

What’s more, European cities are being replaced as Russian tourist destinations by Dubai, Baku in Azerbaijan and Istanbul, while business trips are increasingly to China, Central Asia or the Gulf . Locked out of much of the West, which scrapped direct flights to Russia and significantly reduced the availability of visas for Russians, middle-class Russians are going elsewhere.

Intellectuals are turning toward China, too. Russian scientists are beginning to work with and for Chinese companies, especially in fields such as space exploration, artificial intelligence and biotech . Chinese cultural influence is also growing inside Russia. With Western writers like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman withdrawing the rights to publish their work in Russia, publishers are expanding their rosters of Chinese works. Supported by lavish grants for translators from the Chinese government, this effort is set to bring about a boom in Chinese books.

Chinese culture will not replace Western culture as Russians’ main reference point any time soon. But a profound change has taken place. From the other side of the Iron Curtain, Europe was seen as a beacon of human rights, prosperity and technological development, a space that many Soviet citizens aspired to be part of.

Now a growing number of educated Russians, on top of feeling bitterness toward Europe for its punitive sanctions, see China as a technologically advanced and economically superior power to which Russia is ever more connected. With no easy way back to normal ties with the West, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

In his dystopian novel “ Day of the Oprichnik ,” Vladimir Sorokin describes a deeply anti-Western Russia of 2028 that survives on Chinese technology while cosplaying the medieval brutality of Ivan the Terrible’s era. With every passing day, this unsettling and foresighted novel — published in 2006 as a warning to Russia about the direction of travel under Mr. Putin — reads more and more like the news.

Alexander Gabuev ( @AlexGabuev ) is the director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center in Berlin.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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COMMENTS

  1. Example of a Great Essay

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  18. War in Gaza, Shibboleths on Campus

    In the campus protests over the war in Gaza, language and rhetoric are—as they have always been when it comes to Israel and Palestine—weapons of mass destruction. By Zadie Smith. May 5, 2024 ...

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    Scientists have developed brain implants that can decode internal speech — identifying words that two people spoke in their minds without moving their lips or making a sound. Although the ...

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  30. It's Not Just Putin. Russia Needs China, Too.

    In 2023, Russia's trade with China hit a record $240.1 billion, up by more than 60 percent from prewar levels, as China accounted for 30 percent of Russia's exports and nearly 40 percent of ...