Using MLA Format for Essay Writing
The MLA (Modern Language Association) style of formatting is one of the most widely used style guides in the academia world. It provides guiding principles for studying different languages, research, literature, media and cultural studies, and the disciplines of writing. When entering college or even in high school, it is absolutely imperative to know the MLA style of formatting.
Here are some general guidelines to writing an essay in proper MLA format:
- As with any format for essay writing, knowing how to properly cite your sources should be one of your tip priorities. When you properly cite your sources, you protect yourself from accusations of plagiarism and build your credibility. Use italics for mentioning other works, followed by citing the source in parentheses with the author’s last name and the origination of the source. For example, (Johnson, Web). Endnotes should be placed on a separate sheet of paper after your essay.
- On the top left hand corner of each paper, write your first and last name on one line, followed by a second line of the name of your instructor, followed by a third line of the name of the class, and followed by a fourth line of the date. Each line should be double spaced. The date should be stated with the day of the month, followed by the month of the year, followed by the year. Example: 29 April 2014.
- Double space again and write the title of your essay, then double space again and begin the introduction of the essay and/or the thesis statement.
- Do not make a title page for your essay unless you are specified to do so by your instructor.
- On the top right hand corner of each page, write your surname followed by a page number. For example, with a last name of Smith, on the top right hand corner of page number seventeen, you would write, “Smith 17.” Depending on your instructions, you may or may not have a page number header on the first page.
- All essays must be typed double spaced on a white sheet of computer paper with measurements of 8.5 x 11 inches. The margins on your paper should be set to one inch on all sides.
- Indent the first line of each paragraph using the tab key.