How To Write A Paper In MLA Format In 4 Simple Steps

What is the main purpose of using the citation and formatting styles?

Most of the teachers tend to assign the papers, specifying the format that shall be used while citing the used works. While the main idea is to teach the student how to use this or that format, a lot of students will ask themselves: why at all use so many requirements just to make all of the papers look alike. Actually, if you plan to go further than writing small one-page papers and, especially, want to get published, knowledge of different citation styles will come in hand. It decides the format of your paper and therefore, fulfills a lot of useful functions:

  • to make your paper understandable and help it flow smoothly;
  • give accurate and full information on the author and purpose of the paper;
  • help the readers identify the sources you used in order to get more information about your research.
  • It mostly suites not you, but your readers, so if you want your paper to be understandable and useful, you will write it according to general style requirements.

4 simple steps to organize your paper according to MLA.

  1. Check the general properties. MLA requires typed, double-spaces paper with one inch margins on each side of the page. The best is to use 12-point easily readable font. It is not always goof to try to be creative and use some unusual font which will make it difficult for the reader to understand. Set headers with your last name and the number of page in the right upper corner. Make sure they appear on each page of the paper.
  2. Organize the first page. Though MLA does not presumes a title page, you shall include your identification information, incl. your first and last name, instructor's name, course name and date of the paper, each on the separate line in the left upper corner of the first page.
  3. Use in-text citations. Every direct quote you use in the paper shall be properly cited right after. Include author's name and the number of page you use the quote from in the end of the sentence before the period.
  4. Form the reference page at the end of the paper. Put “Works Cited” at the top center of the new page and list every source you quoted or paraphrased in the paper. Sort them in alphabetical order by the last name of the author.