Those students who have some good experience in writing academic papers like research papers, academic essays, term papers, and so on, have some idea about formatting styles, meaning special requirements and guidelines as to formatting their academic papers. There are a few formatting styles which are commonly used for modern times academic writing. Those include APA style (or the style proposed by the experts of American Psychological Association), MLA formatting style (of the formatting style created by the specialists of Modern Language Association), Chicago style (presented in the Chicago Manual of Style), and Turabian formatting style (the style created from the rules of styling and formatting by Kate L. Turabian). In this article we’re going to learn more about the specifics and requirements of MLA style, and see what kind of things we need to keep in our mind when working on an MLA research paper.
First of all, we should remember that this formatting style is recommended not for all kinds of research papers, but only for the ones on social sciences, art, liberal sciences, etc. It is possible to say that the general requirements for an MLA research paper are not much different from the ones for APA formatting style. In particular, it is required to used double spacing, using 12 pt Times New Roman or other popular fonts like Tahoma or Arial, as well as using 1 inch indentation from all sides of your paper. However, the absence of title page can be considered the first important difference of MLA formatting style from other styles. Instead, every MLA research paper hasto begin with four lines on the upper left corner of the first page: student’s name, instructor’s name, course name, and the date. Right after that, the fifth line of the research paper should follow, which is the full title of the academic paper centered and types without using italics or bold font style.
Then, you can start writing the introduction for your MLA research paper. The traditional introduction has just one or two paragraphs and includes the thesis statement for the paper. Remember that according to the MLA style requirements, every each new paragraph should have 0.5 inch indentation in addition to the general 1 inch indentation of the text. In-text citations are usually a very important part for an MLA research paper, and for this formatting style, in-text citations are done by placing the name of the source (certainly, only reputable academic sources can be used) in parentheses in the end of the sentence. You can see a few very useful examples of MLA in-text citations in the websites like this. Also, keep in mind the fact that if you are using in-text citations from certain books or magazines as the sources of the data, you should use italic when mentioning those sources right in the text of your academic paper. The same is valid for the names of plays, paintings, TV shows or any kind of sources like that. Also, do not forget to mention page number fro the sources of the information you’re using and referring to.
Another important thing to keep in mind is using long quotations. If your quotation is longer than 4 lines in your academic paper, you should use 0.5 inch indentation in addition to the normal 1 inch indentation. Obviously, such quotations must end up with in-text citation in parentheses. Finally, the most of attention of yours should be focused on creating a proper Works Cited page. There is a great number of the related guidelines, and it can be the best idea to check out detailed explanations and examples for MLA research paper works cited page (you can find very good information related to the issue in the above mentioned website). Review your works cited page and your research paper a few times before submitting it to the instructor. Do not forget to check out your academic paper for possible errors, spelling and logical mistakes, etc. Good luck in your work, and keep always 100 per cent focused!
Very interesting topic, thanks for posting.