How Format MLA Research Papers

A MLA format is best described as the Modern Language Associations recommended process for writing. When asked to write a research paper in this format consult the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.

Simple guidelines they should follow are as follows:

  • Create your paper and use 8.5X 11 inch standard white paper.
  • Times New Roman or any legible and professional font, 12 point font, double spaced is also a recommendation.
  • Create a header with page count in the upper right hand corner. Always follow the instructors’ special guidelines.
  • Title of prior works and emphasis of a specific point should be italicized.
  • Margins are to be 1 inch all sides.
  • MLA recommends that indenting of paragraphs be performed using the tab key instead of the space bar.
  • All endnotes are assigned a separate page before the works cited page.

Most people are under the impression that the MLA research paper requires a table of contents or outline. Below is a list of the necessary information the person will need to format page one of their paper.

  • Last name and page number, this information will be consistent throughout the research paper.
  • Format by setting margins one- inch for the remainder of the document.
  • It is required of them to double space.
  • The title should be centered it is also acceptable to use bold print if desired. Check with the instructor for title page style.

The initial appearance of an author and reference to their works or ideas must be cited by the use of quotations and full name. Formal titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. are excluded, do include the page number. Every time there after only use the authors last name, the text name is not needed.

Author’s name not used in text place in parenthesis with the page number. It is not proper to use abbreviations to indicate page numbers. Cited sources with more than one author, place all names in the citation according to source listing. They may also list only the first author and follow with et al.

The works cited page follows the text of the paper, in alphabetical order by authors’ last name. If there is no author utilize the editors’ last name. When neither is available you may cite the work by alphabetizing the most important word in the title. Works Cited must be centered one in from the top of the page. The title and the first entry is double spaced.

Formatting a MLA research paper may start off as confusing and maybe a little difficult. Be sure to reference articles such as this to ensure proper MLA formatting.

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