Keeping Up With MLA Essay Format

Modern Language Association (MLA) is used to cite sources for various written assignments such as in humanities, liberal arts, and others. There are several ways you can keep up with the MLA essay format. It is common for college and university students to get confused in how to execute this format. Many educational institutions provide details on how to use the format for essays. Yet, there are other aspects to consider in help you understand how to use it properly. The following tips may help in keeping the process more simple.

  • Review MLA format details presented by your school or educational institution. Each school may present the same general format, but also have examples to show how to use it and how it compares to other types of formats for better clarification. Many schools have specific citation guidelines outlined as a chart for easier reference.
  • Understand the significance of this formatting style and how it is used. Manuscripts commonly written in the English language use this format. It helps protect the writer from plagiarism accusations, build credibility, and reference sources through parenthetical citation.
  • There are different handbooks you can consult for MLA. Look for books that are commonly used by graduate students and publishing scholars. Libraries, bookstores, and writing centers may have this information readily available.
  • Note how you should use the format and its general guidelines. The handbook you use for reference may go into further details on how to use it. Your school may also present additional information. Such details may include using legible fonts such as Time New Roman, having margins set to 1 inch, use of Tab key to make spaces instead of the space bar, indenting paragraphs at the first sentence or line, italics for titles, and other details.
  • The first page of your paper may follow different guidelines. For instance, your name, instructor name, date and course may appear in the upper-left corner of the page. This text may be double-spaced. Arabic numerals may be used consecutively with details to form a header in the upper-right corner of the page. Such details will vary depending on instructor guidelines.
  • Section headings may be necessary to help divide details with the Arabic number list.
  • Seek samples of the MLA format being used. There are front page samples, manuscript samples, essay samples and more. You can also view specific ways to cite a website you used for research and other individual sources.