Essay writing has always been one of the most complicated assignments for students, especially the ones who want to create flawless papers that comply with academic requirements. Profound knowledge and deep research of the topic are important but not enough for writing a well-structured, consistent, and properly formatted essay. Instead, the student should also pay due attention to the peculiarities of the formatting style that contributes to the relevance of the paper a lot.
In the vast majority of instances, college students working on their academic writing projects use MLA format. The Modern Language Association is a standard formatting style that is used mainly for academic essays and other scholarly papers. It establishes an impeccable style for each citation and reference, which is indispensable for top-tier academic writing.
Browsing the web, you will come across detailed guidelines on how to format the essay properly. Besides, there is always a chance to detect a citation generator that will help with the reference list. However, from my personal experience, I can tell that individual analysis of the formatting style and its peculiarities is a certain way to success. Keep reading to get basic guidelines and extra tips that will draw you closer to the desired results.
MLA Format: The Basics to Consider
Before you dive into the peculiarities of the MLA style format, it is inevitable to start with the background information. MLA is an organization that is in charge of the MLA format development. It was created as an effective instrument for scholars and students to keep the papers consistent and comprehensible. Currently, the citation style is widely used not only by researchers but people in other subject areas. The overwhelming majority of college students use the rules for MLA format to keep their papers well-structured, coherent, and easy to read.
At this point, it is fundamental to mention that basic requirements for MLA format writing should be followed by those who strive to advance the quality of their writing to an exceptionally new level.
- White 8.5x11-inch paper
- 1-inch margins
- Double-spaced text
- Readable 12-size font
- Single space after commas and punctuation marks
- 0.5 inches new paragraphs
- Oxford comma
- Titles in italics, in the center of the page
- Page numbers 0.5 inches from the top of the page
- Parenthetical citations
- Works cited section
Even though you are aware of the core features of the format, it does not mean you know how to come up with a scholarly paper. Below you can get extra tips and recommendations on each aspect so that you learn how to write MLA format essay.
Tips for an Impeccable Essay in MLA
Is this the first time you have to work with the MLA essay format? Even though the information offered online can seem overwhelming, the struggle is real, especially if you follow the tips and stick to the key rules. Keep in mind that practice is the exact option that makes perfect. Therefore, focus on the development or advancement of your formatting skills and make maximum effort to create flawless works that comply with the requirements.
What should you start with? How do you succeed with the undertaking? I have spent quite some time to detect the most prominent rules of MLA format and will gladly share them with you. Start with the basics before you proceed to more complicated aspects.
- Set the margins. The way the paper looks contributes to the first impression and to its scholarly value. Make sure you set 1-inch margins, double-spaced text, and 0.5-inch indentations.
- Format the headings. One of the elements most students miss when it comes to the MLA formatting style is the straightening of headings. Make sure you add a centered header that matches the rest of the text. This rule is applicable to the title, headings, and subheadings and will make the paper look more appealing and easy to read.
- Mind the citation style. If you want to cite the works of other scholars but do not want your paper to be considered plagiarized, you should know how to cite them properly. Use parenthetical citations to add to the relevance and credibility of your essay.
General Guidelines and Key Elements to Include in the Paper
When it comes to essay formatting, the MLA writing style is one of the best solutions for students. Following the guidelines and recommendations, even the inexperienced learner will have an opportunity to succeed with the undertaking. Working on the project for the first time, you should take some of your time to browse the web and detect helpful MLA examples that will provide you with the necessary information, writing tips, and instruments to write, format, and cite properly. Additionally, check out the below-mentioned tips that may also be used to advance the quality of your academic paper.
Formatting the First Page
Proper presentation of the paper is inevitable for its relevance and credibility. Therefore, once you are working on the title page, you should be attentive to details that can make a critical difference. Striving to create a flawless header for the first page, you should stick to the following rules for the MLA format title page.
- Start one inch from the upper margin.
- Include the information about the writer, the course, and other details on separate lines, with double-spaced text.
- Do not bold or underline the text.
- Create a separate title page only if it is required by the instructor.
Headings in MLA
When it comes to the MLA formatting style, the creation of a header plays a critical role. There are two options here, either to place the heading at the top of the initial page or come up with the title page. The choice is individual, but if you prefer the MLA heading, you should double-check the information to be included. The full name of the writer, the name of the professor, the name of the class, and the due date of the project are the key details to specify.
Page Numbers in MLA
A running head is one of the critical elements that should be placed on every page. Choose the top right corner to specify the last name of the essay author and the page number. As for the peculiarities of the page number and running head formatting, here are a few tips to mind.
- The information should be mentioned in the top right corner of the page, half an inch from the upper margin and one inch from the right side.
- The page number should go after the last name of the writer.
- A single space should separate the critical information.
- Use an abbreviation instead of the whole “page” word.
Quotations and Paraphrases
Quotations are an effective instrument that is used in academic writing to prove an argument, add emphasis, and to defend a presented point of view. Consequently, quotes and paraphrases should be used in every scholarly text. At the same time, no matter if you use a direct quote or a paraphrased one, proper formatting is a must. Make sure you specify the original source of the saying so that it is not considered plagiarism. Stick to the in-text citation requirements to add to the relevance of your paper and avoid potential risks. Paraphrases should be developed the same way, with due credit to the author of the saying.
Citations are an indispensable part of academic writing. Therefore, if you strive to keep the paper look scholarly and comprehensive, you should follow multiple rules.
Editing and Proofreading the Paper
Finally, when you are done with the formatting of your paper, you should deal with the last stage. Proofreading and editing are the elements that will contribute to the relevance of the paper and will make it stand out. Take your time to scan the paper for spelling mistakes, grammar issues, punctuation errors, and attribution inaccuracies. Besides, eliminate any misspellings and typos that can affect the quality of your text.
Modern Language Association formatting style is one of the most popular essay formatting styles these days, especially when it comes to academic projects. There are numerous specifications and requirements to take into account during the formatting process to keep the paper look scholarly and relevant.
If you are working on an academic paper, then it should be formatted according to the MLA style, the key aspects you should pay attention to include the one-inch margins, readable 12-size font, double-spaced text, 0.5 inches new paragraph, oxford comma, and multiple others.
Essay writing is a comprehensive process that requires attention to detail. Striving to come up with a decent academic essay, a student should focus on critical elements, including the quality of the content, the structure of the paper, and the formatting requirements.