How to Write MLA Paper Format?

When a student begins to study in college, he is faced with multiple new challenges. It is especially difficult to keep your mind on when a college teacher tells you to write an essay in a new style for you. If you need to write an essay in MLA style, and you think «how to start an MLA paper?», you are lucky to come across this article.

What Rules Should I Follow to Adhere to MLA Writing Format?

Thanks to our step-by-step guide, you will be able to learn how to write an essay in MLA format efficiently and quickly.

1. Word Document Setting

This type of essay is written in a Word document on a computer. You need to play with the document format settings and change the basic settings you used to work with.

  • 1-inch margins on all four paper sides.
  • Set the double space which will be used from the first to the last word in your document.
  • Do not insert extra spaces at your discretion.
  • It is better to choose the Times New Roman font, size 12.

2. Formatting

Now we will answer your question «how to do MLA format heading?». Use the “Page header” function, which is located in the upper right corner of the Word document page. Then select the “automatic page number” function, which will number the pages in the document. The last step is to write your surname. Adding a head title is not difficult: click on the “insert” icon, then select the “page number” icon from the list, and click “top of the page” at the end. After that, a field where you can write your surname will be automatically highlighted on the Word sheet. To finish working with the page title, click the cursor below the area with the surname.

3. Writing a Title

Since you are in college, you need to sign your research works correctly, adding not only your name but also your professor’s name. The signature is made in the upper left corner of the Word sheet. In addition to the names, write the date when you finished writing the MLA essay and the number of the course you are studying at.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

The next paragraph should be located in the center of the page, below the last line of information that you filled in the left corner. The information you write in the center should include a title and a few introductory sentences that direct the reader to the main idea of your essay. The sentence should not be abstract but include your opinion and the main thoughts on the topic. You can rewrite your thesis, or take part of it from the research. The information in the center should never consist of a phrase or two words. The double space rule also applies to the title.

The title in MLA paper style is different from regular articles and essays. You don’t have to outline the title by increasing the font size or choosing a different font style. If the body paragraphs are written in Times New Roman font, the title should not be written in Calibri. You also don’t need to highlight the title in bold or italics.
This is how it has to look like:

4. Include Citations

Adding citations to sources you’ve worked with is necessary for several reasons. Firstly, the presence of the sources you have used proves that you have conducted real research and know the interview or a poem well. Secondly, if you leave references to authoritative sources, your work will be more trusted, the reader will understand where you got such convincing evidence.

It will also confirm that you did not just copy and paste the information.
Citing the sources is quite easy, you can do it in two ways. You can place the citations at the bottom of the page where there are no bits of your research. The second option is an in-text citation.

5. Use of Quotations

It is better to use short quotes that can clearly and succinctly express the main idea of your opinion. However, there are cases when it is necessary to enter a blockquote, from three to five lines. However, long quotations need to be formulated especially. To begin, take a long quote in parentheses. After the brackets, indicate who the author of the quote is, and on which MLA essay page the quote can be found. The quotations have specific punctuation rules. Pay attention that you should not put a comma between the author’s name and the page number. Shorten the introduction and go directly to the quote.

Short quotes are selectively designed in an in-line style. A short quote that consists of about one sentence can be quoted and inserted into the sentence in free order. After the citation in parentheses, you need to give a link to a list of sources that are at the end of the research.
The quote can also be paraphrased. To paraphrase the quote, you can convey the author’s opinion in your own words without copying it. Even if the quote is paraphrased, you still need to indicate the author.
This is how you should do it

And this is how you shouldn’t

6. Create a Complete List of Cited Works

Each student’s work should have a list of sources that he/she used when doing research. Therefore, from the beginning, you need to keep links to all the sources you have used and note the books or articles that have helped you.

You need to start the list on a new page. Each source must be described separately. You should fill in the list following the next structure. Put the author’s name in the first place, then write the name of the article or book you used, indicate the version if necessary, then the volume of the source and date of publication.

Initially, you need to write not the first name but the author’s surname. If there were more than two authors of the source, write the name of the first author, omitting his surname, but the name and surname of the second author should be preserved. If the source has three authors, indicate two first names and put the abbreviation “et al.” at the end, which means “and others”. The abbreviation comes from the Latin “et alia”. We do not put a full stop on “et”, because it is not an abbreviation, but a Latin word. The full stop should be placed not only at the end of the source description but also after the author’s name and the title of the article or book, which has to be written in italics.
Illustration of the correct citing of sources in alphabetical order:

Hope this guide will ease the writing process to the maximum extent possible, and you will successfully pass the academic assignment.

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