MLA Formatting Guidelines For Writers Of Research Papers
The MLA format is the official style created by the Modern Language Association. By requiring a standardized format for writing in the English language and providing a parenthetical style of in-text referencing it allows markers to focus solely on the content without the distraction of irregular presentation. Writing in this strictly formal style can be off-putting at first but once the basic rules are internalized many people find it easier to write their paper without having to worry about how it looks.
Where to find examples
You may want to see how other students have approached writing their papers in the MLA format.
- The obvious place to look is online. Be careful to specify “Academic” or “scholastic” in your browser so you are directed to the more dependable sites
- Online writing labs hold onto samples from their previous students
- University libraries often keep sample of essays that are not found online. Ask your librarian if this is the case
Elements of Style
- Work must be done on computer and printed on 8.5 X 11 paper
- 1in margins, top, and bottom left and right
- First line of each paragraph to be indented with the tab bar to ½ in from the left-hand margin
- Legible font in 12 pt and the italic and regular characters should be distinct
- The manuscript should be double-spaced throughout
- Leave one space only after all punctuation marks
- Page numbers should be placed, along with your last name, in the upper right-hand corner in a header ½ in from the top of the paper but lined up with the right-hand margin
- Use Italics throughout your work for titles of books and only sparingly for emphasis
- Endnotes should be on a separate page, just before your Works Cited page
- A separate title page is not required unless requested by your tutor
- The upper left-hand corner of your first page should contain your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date – all double spaced
- Under this, center the title of your work. The title should not be Italicized or Underlined. Nor should it be all in capitals, only the first letter of each word should be capitalized
- When you divide an essay into sections, the section headings should be numbered in a logical and consistent sequence throughout. There are no specific guidelines for dividing books into sections
Writers who properly master the MLA style build up a responsible academic reputation and guard against allegations of plagiarism.
Use Tips That Will Work
Not all of us so creative to generate ideas on different topics and write great papers every night. Still, there are some classic methods to make a solid, well-written paper.
Some students may think that their work is finished as soon as they write the paper. Still, a lot of work must be done before handing it in.
Edit and proofread your research paper before submission. Check for typos, word usage, grammar and punctuation. Your content should be polished and easy to read.
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