Formatting Your MLA Paper – MLA Style Guide

In all forms of academic writing, students are normally required to write their papers following a given writing format. This assists in organizing their papers following a standard writing convention. However, many students normally experience many challenges when it comes to writing papers following a given format.

The common problems they experience include inappropriate indentation, insertion of headers, writing both in-text and end citations as well as the spacing of the paper. These difficulties cost them many marks in their papers. Most instructors are normally strict when it comes to adherence to their writing instructions.  As such, these students need quality guidance on MLA format essay writing. It is only then that they can be able to ace their papers.

What Is MLA Format for an Essay and Where Is It Used?

Many students usually wonder, “what is MLA format for an essay?” MLA stands for Modern Language Association. It got developed as a method for students, researchers and scholars of language and literature to utilize a standard method of formatting assignments and papers. Nowadays, this writing format is used in many other fields apart from language, for example for family law essays.

MLA released the 8th edition handbook in 2016 April. This handbook offers precise instructions on MLA citations including the procedure to use in the submission of papers by its requirements. This article, therefore, gives an overview of this writing style and how to use it in composing a paper.

Tips on How to Write an Essay in MLA Format

Many students do not know how to write an essay in MLA format. This makes them score low grades in some of their papers. There are various rules that a writer must adhere to while writing this type of paper.

  • Instructions on headings

As a writer, you have two options when it comes to selecting an appropriate heading. It can be on the top of the first page, or you can insert a title page in front of your assignment. In case you opt for a title page, remember that there are no specific MLA title page guidelines.

In case you go for the first option, start by typing your full name. Position it an inch from the top left margin. Insert a double space below your name and type your instructor’s name. Underneath the instructor’s name, include a double space then write your course name. finally write the date after inserting a double space below the course name.

  • Page numbers and running header

The running head is a short heading located on the top right corner of each page within your project. This head includes the writer’s surname succeeded by a single space, then the page number.

  • The margins

Make use of one-inch margins all over the page. Only your running head should appear within the one-inch margins.

  • Paragraphs

The first word in every paragraph needs to be indented. All sentences must begin 1.5 inches away from the left margin. All paragraphs must also be double spaced.

  • In-text citations

While making in-text citations in MLA essay format, use the author’s last name followed by the page number or numbers. The citation must be placed after the cited information. In case of a direct quote, insert it after the quote. In case you are paraphrasing work, start by mentioning the author’s last name then insert the page number at the end of the phrase. When there are two authors involved, insert both their last names and connect them with “and.”

  • Works cited page

Your works cited page includes all the sources used in your research. It must be on its page. Enter the title “works cited” and center it. Use double spaces for all sources as well as a hanging indentation for every entry. Arrange your entries in alphabetical order. Contact us for more tips on the essay MLA format writing. We can provide quality examples to guide you.

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