If your teacher has just asked you to write a paper according to MLA standards, you will need to know what MLA essay format means and what it requires. If you major in humanities, then you are bound to encounter this citation style almost in every home assignment. In any case, before writing your paper, you should know what MLA style implies and how you should format your paper. Do not underestimate the importance of proper formatting because teachers lower grades if they see improper citations or a poorly formatted reference list.
It is not a secret that the most commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA. Students say that they are the easiest ones, but it is true only if you have learnt all the rules. Otherwise, you will have to read our article further to learn the details of MLA writing format. Any violations of formatting requirements will lead to the grade deduction, so be sure you always refer to the writing manual while working on your essay.
Definition of MLA Writing Style
If you question yourself, “What is MLA formatting,” – then you are probably a freshman who knows little about academic writing. It is a popular referencing system that is mostly assigned in the US and UK. It is not so challenging to follow all rules of MLA style, so do not panic if you see a huge list of rules in front of you. You will have to check the basic formatting requirements to comprehend what it takes to format the paper according to MLA style and then you can move on to smaller details.
The text should be written in Times New Roman, 12 pt. Undoubtedly, there can be some adjustments, so be sure you carefully check your professor’s instructions. The paper should have 1-inch margins from all sides. Double spacing is preferable, but sometimes professors ask to use single spacing. There should be proper indentation of every paragraph on the left side. If you are done with these rules, then you can start writing your paper.
A common MLA format paper requires in-text citations, but you can also see endnotes. Again, it should be clarified with your instructor. If you were simply asked to write an MLA paper, then go ahead and submit a typical essay with in-text citations. Remember that MLA style does not need any title or cover page. In the top left corner you will have to write your name, professor’s name, course title, and the date of submission.
Do not forget about a running head, which should include your last name and a page number. The title of your paper should be capitalized and centered. Do not make it bold, underlined, or italicized. Page numbers should appear on all pages. If you would like to put a specific emphasis on some words, you can italicize them.
Students who do not know how to write MLA format paper should remember that in most cases, you should not include any subheadings in your essay. However, please mind that extensive essays and research papers do need a division into small parts to easily comprehend information and flow of ideas. Be sure that you follow all modern writing standards in or paper and pay attention to the quality of writing. You must use high academic vocabulary to prove that you are a competent writer and are fluent in English.
Proper Referencing Is a Key to Success!
Always pay proper attention to in-text citation and referencing. Remember that all in-text citations should be reflected in the Works Cited page. Whenever you paraphrase a research idea or present a direct quote, there should be an in-text citation. In MLA essay format, your citation should include the author’s name and a precise page number, where you borrowed an idea. If there is no author’s name, you should place a shortened version of the article taken in quotation marks. While writing any paper, you should always consult with an online writing lab like Purdue Owl that provides all possible details of how to introduce in-text citations, how to format the general layout and a reference list, etc.