MLA Essay Format

Citation StylesMLA
Alex Ponomarenko
Aug 5, 2019

Formatting an essay is not the easiest thing, and it can be even more challenging if you are a beginner possessing zero knowledge. While the main writing rules on various papers remain similar, there can be certain peculiarities you need to keep in mind in view of the various academic styles befitting different subject fields. Such is the case with the MLA essay format. Writing in the MLA essay format style is usually just optional, but your university or instructor may require you to make use of it. Taking no chances, knowledge of the MLA essay format and mastery thereof is a big win-win, might we add. 

The MLA Essay Format

What is the MLA essay format?

First things first: what is the MLA essay format? Many remain unaware what it stands for – the Modern Language Association . This essay format style deals with literature, language, and the humanities. Although quite simple to use, it holds a certain degree of challenge for beginners. Although simpler than the APA, Harvard , and Chicago, using it also requires you to do enough preparation and research. There are definite MLA essay format rules to follow in order to achieve a perfect paper. The MLA essay format is comprised of elements such as manuscripts, referencing, statistics, abbreviations, table presentations, among others. Using this essay format, along with other similar styles, will guarantee your protection from any accusation of plagiarism, as writing papers needs you to incorporate research and ideas not your own.

MLA Essay Format Guide

Should you decide to cite a certain film or book in the MLA essay format, there are a few critical points to consider. Here are some tips to using the MLA essay format properly:

  • Every source used in your paper should placed on the list of citations, or the references page. Take note of every single citation after placing them in your text and then duplicate it on your bibliography.
  • When using the MLA essay format, your cited sources should be presented using a parenthetical citation style. This means placing the information about the source inside parentheses, done just after the citation.
  • The information required for the citation source is dependent on the format of said source (such as the Internet, print, or CD).

Writing Your Essay in the MLA Essay Format

Formatting your essay , along with your outline, is similar to creating a plan. There are rules to follow, of course, which are listed below for your reference:

  • A thesis statement is obligatory when using the MLA essay format. This core statement serves as the beginning scape for your essay. Something as vital as this should be planned carefully, and should be included in outline - this makes learning how to make an effective outline essential
  • Your entire outline should only include ideas that directly relate to thesis statement. No unnecessary details should be written there.
  • There are two possible structure pattern you can utilize: full sentences for each paragraph or short phrases and words.
  • As a rule, poor outlines do not have any clear structure, which is their main disadvantage. Make sure the structure of your outline and essay is complex, but flows logically and clearly. 

The MLA Essay Format: Technicalities

The MLA essay format may be easier to use, but it is still considered as a writing style, meaning that certain rules apply to it. As with any writing processes, technical rules are to be followed strictly. You can always ask for help from MLA experts , but nevertheless, here are the rules for the MLA essay format:

  • The Margins . Make use 1-inch margins all sides (right side, left the side, bottom, and top) of your page. Also ensure that every paragraph has a 0.5-inch margin from the left edge.
  • The Spacing . Conventionally, every paper using the MLA essay format should be double-spaced. However, some professors will require students to write it in single-space. In such cases, maintain consistency and just ensure that this is incorporated throughout the entire text.
  • The Title and heading . Writing your essay in the MLA essay format does not require you to include a separate title page, unlike other formats. Write your name and your professor’s, course name and number, and the due date at the left top of the first page. All the necessary information should be typed separately, double-spaced, and then moved to the center. Make sure to indicate the title of your work. If your title is long enough to take up more than a single line, make sure it is double-spaced as well. Do not make use of bold or underlining in your title. If your title sounds like a question, make sure a question mark is placed at the end. If your title is in a foreign language, or at least makes use of some foreign words, it should be capitalized accordingly. When in doubt, seek for your teacher's advice.
  • The Page numbers . Your numbering should be placed in the upper right corner of each page. Your last name should be typed on every single page as well, just before the number. Your page number should have an inch space of margin from the right edge, and should be double-spaced between the top of the text and page number. Never use the word “page” or abbreviation “p” before the page number.
  • The Figures and tables . Chances are your paper will require use of additional material, such as photos, illustrations, and charts. These should be marked as “figures”,  and are to be numbered accordingly. If there is a need to include tables, they should be labelled as “tables”, but Hindu-Arabic numerals must be used. 

An essay writing service for students

It is vital that students realize and understand that formatting an essay goes hand-in-hand with a coherent content, as this results to a well-structured paper. There are cases, and one that may be familiar to you, of creating a topnotch paper but failing due to not following the formatting rules. Such is the case for the MLA essay format – while easy to use, proper preparation and adequate research is necessary. If you wish to learn more about other essay formats, we have more that discuss the APA and Chicago, to name a few. But if things do not work out, seek help from professional writing services, such as CustomEssayMeister. Our talented writers are equipped with more than enough knowledge about the different formats, like the MLA essay format. We will only deliver the best of qualities, so order your paper now!

Written by
Alex Ponomarenko
I am a content manager from California, US. I started as a content writer intern eleven years ago and became a content manager six years after. I joined CustomEssayMeister five years ago and enjoy being a part of the team every day.

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