MLA Essay Format

 MLA Formatting Style Definition

MLA is an acronym for the Modern Language Association. It is most regularly used for citing liberal arts and humanities works. The MLA format generally involves in-text references, endnotes, and footnotes. Moreover, when writing an MLA style essay, you also need to add a title page and a bibliography section.

Universal MLA Formatting Style Requirements

When writing an MLA style essay, you need to comply with the requirements presented below:

  • Use a size 12 font.
  • Ideally, you should use the font Times New Roman.
  • Use double spacing everywhere in the essay.
  • Use 1” edges.
  • Use the TAB key for a 0.5” indentation of your paragraphs.
  • When writing the title of a lengthier work, use italics.
  • Add your last name and the number of the page in the top right area of the page. (In some cases, you don’t need to add the page number on the first page of the essay.)

MLA Formatting Style Header

To begin with, you should know you don’t have to add a title page if your professor didn’t demand it explicitly.

In an MLA style heading, you need to add the following elements:

  • Your name
  • Your professor’s name
  • Course
  • Date

Similarly to the other parts of the paper, you need to use double spacing. Afterward, when you advance to the next row, use centering on the title of your essay in the Title Case. Do not use references or italics in the title, unless you want to cite other materials. As indicated earlier, write your name and the number of the page in the top right corner (except for the situation in which your professor tells you differently). In some cases, professors may demand section headers, in order to enhance legibility.

Section Headers

To enhance the legibility of the paper, include headers in the following way:

  • Stage 1 Header: bold
  • Stage 2 Header: italics
    • Stage 3 Header: bold (use TAB)
    • Stage 4 Header: italics (use TAB)
  • Stage 5 Header: underline

Title Page

When writing an MLA style essay, you don’t need to include a particular MLA format title page. Nevertheless, unless you are given any particular requirements for including an MLA style cover page, you should write it as follows:

  • Use double spacing
  • Jump 2 rows and add the designation of your college
  • Skip one-third of the page and write the title and the subtitle, if any.
  • Jump a few more rows and write your complete name, the course, your professor’s name and the date.

In-Text References

If you want to rephrase or cite an external material, you need to add an MLA style in-text reference, also referred to as a “parenthetical” reference.

Universal Requirements

  • In case of widely-famous quotes or standard knowledge, you don’t have to include a reference.
  • All data you introduce as in-text references must be included in the bibliography section.
  • Add the reference in brackets, right after the quoted passage.
  • Parenthetical references must include 2 elements: the writer’s surname and the page number.
  • In case the writer’s surname or the page number is indicated in the phrase, you may leave it out of the reference.

Take a look at the following examples for every variety of in-text reference:

  • Writer’s surname and page number:
    • As a reference: Internet is regarded as the greatest inventions ever (Andrews, 36).
    • When the writer’s surname is mentioned in the sentence: Andrews claims that the Internet is the greatest invention ever (36).
    • When there is more than one writer: The Internet is regarded as the greatest invention ever (Andrews, Stevens, and Williams, 36).
    • When there are more than 3 writers: The Internet is regarded as the greatest invention ever (Andrews et al. 12).
  • Article headline and page number: Works that have no known writers or collaborators are referenced by mentioning their titles. For novels and lengthier materials, use italics. Use quotation marks on article titles. In case the title is too big, shorten it using the same letter.
    • Article: Tobacco is extremely harmful to the organism (“Tobacco Consumption”, 4)
    • Novel: “Nevertheless, deep down, he hoped for a change” (Burrows, 129)
  • Writer and no page number
    • No page number: Internet is regarded as the greatest invention ever (Andrews).
    • Section of a publication or subtitle of an article: “The Internet contributed to globalization” (Andrews “Internet”)

MLA Formatting Style Bibliography

The references section of an MLA style essay is entitled “Works Cited.”  Add this title above the citations index and center it. Don’t forget that in an MLA style essay you need to add hanging indents on all of the references listed in the bibliography. Moreover, the references need to be ordered alphabetically and must correspond to the in-text references. Take a look at the following examples of popular MLA-style works cited listings:

  • Internet Article (known writer): Last, First Middle Initial. “Article Title.”Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published. Date Month Year Accessed.
    • For instance: Andrews, William. “Content Writing.” The Guardian. The Guardian. 26.03.2014. Web. 12.05.2017
  • Internet Article (unknown writer): “Website Article.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published. Date Month Year Accessed.
    • For instance: “Content Writing.” The Guardian. The Guardian. 03.2014. Web. 12.05.2017
  • Publications: Last, First M. Book Title. City of Publication: Publisher, Year Published.
    • For instance: Johnson, Robert. How to Write an Essay. London: Essay Writer Publishing, 2011. Print
  • Newspaper: Last, First M. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title [City] Date Month Year Published: Page(s).
    • For instance: Andrews, William. “Content Writing.” Chicago Tribune 12 Feb. 2002:23-25. Print.
  • Journal: Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title Series Volume.Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Database Name. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.
    • For instance: Andrews, William. “Content Writing.” Journal of Literature. 12.2 (2009): 67-73. Print.

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