Guide to Writing an MLA Paper
We all know about three main types of paper formats - APA, Chicago, and MLA. Each of them has own peculiarities and unique features. For example, it is no secret that APA usually is used for social science papers, whereas modern language association style or MLA format paper is mainly used for liberal arts and humanities. This article aims to show you 7 tips and tricks on writing a paper in MLA format and provide with a sample MLA paper.
Seven steps in writing an MLA paper
1. We highly recommend using a blank new Microsoft word document or a sample MLA paper. Even if you are using a sample MLA paper writing, ensure that it follows all required items.
2. Margins. Many students face a lot of difficulties because they cannot set their margins to one inch as it is required in an MLA format paper. Ensure that you set them well. It is an essential item in writing an MLA paper.
3. Do not use standard office font and size setting. Remember that all MLA format paper requires Times New Roman, 12, and double-spacing throughout the text. Also, you should not do any manipulations with your text then. It means you should not align it in the center, flush right or left, or align it in width. Just follow your margins, and it will be correct. Do not forget to put page numbers on each page throughout the text in the top right corner. Please, do it automatically.
4. Paragraphs. Ensure that your MLA format paper is well-structured. It means you should make some paragraphs throughout the text. The number of sections varies and depends on two items: the length, and topic. It means when you have a long MLA format paper, you should make your text eye-catching and readable. You can italicize or capitalize each your paragraph for this purpose. Also, you use sections when you want to separate different statements or arguments in your MLA format paper. For example, it is highly esteemed to make an introductory paragraph to tell your readers briefly the main paper ideas and issues.
5. Headers and title. Many students argue that writing an MLA paper is much easier because you have only headers and title, whereas in APA you have sub-headers.
On the top left side of an MLA format paper, there should be a header that includes: student's and professor's full name, class and subject, and paper date: day, month, and year.
Your MLA format paper title should be centered and typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. It should be concise and attractive. However, remember that you should not use any special options, for instance, bolding, underlining, italicizing, or highlighting. It is a common MLA format paper mistake. Pay attention to this item.
6. In-text references and quotations. We always cite others when we write an academic paper MLA format paper. That is why it is highly essential to make the proper in-text references. Keep in mind that all novels, movies, TV shows, performances, etc. are italicized and written with the capital letter, whereas other smaller sources, for example, poems, short stories, episodes, etc. follow the rule of the first capital letter and quotation marks.
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When it is necessary to use the whole quote, follow these MLA format paper tips:
- Use some opening words, for instance, "He states that..." or "He believes...";
- Utilize quotation marks;
- Put the author's last name and page number in the brackets.
7. Proofreading. We highly recommend you check your MLA format paper for the format, grammatical, and logical mistakes. Remember that each of these items is important for the final score but none of them is your primary purpose for writing an MLA paper.
It is easy to follow these simple tips, however, do not be afraid or upset if you make some mistakes. It is never too late to improve your skills in writing an MLA paper.
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