How to Write a Brilliant Research Paper in MLA Format
Modern Language Association (MLA) is a style that is commonly used to prepare papers and cite references within humanities and liberal arts. Before you start writing your paper, you should study an MLA manual or a formatting handbook. There are many details to keep in mind, and the most important of them are listed below:
- Paper size: Use white A4 format paper.
- Margins: It is recommended to use one-inch margins all around the text. Paragraph indents should be half an inch.
- Spacing: The text throughout the paper should be double-spaced. The same rule applies to footnotes, quotations, and a list of works cited.
- A title and heading: When you use the MLA style, you do not need to prepare a title page. You should type your name, your instructor’s name, the course title, and number at the top of the first page using the left-handed margin. Do not forget to separate the provided information with double-spaced lines. After your title, make a double-spaced line and center the paper’s title. If your title occupies two lines, you should double-space between the lines. Do not write your title in capital letters or underline it. Only principal words in the title are capitalized, along with the first and last words. Remember that titles never end with a period; you can end it with an exclamation or question mark, though.
- Page numbers: Each page should be numbered, including the first page. Use Arabic numbers and do not write the abbreviation p., or any other marks after and before the page number. A number is placed in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Before the page number, you should write your last name; this is called a running head. It can be produced automatically by your word processor, which is very convenient and helps format your paper fast.
- Figures and tables: Images, charts, diagrams, and photographers are labeled as “Figures”. They should be captioned and numbered with Arabic numbers. Tables are labeled as “Tables” and are also numbered.
- Typeface: It is recommended to use Times New Roman 12-point typeface.
- Binders: Keep it simple; save your money and bring your instructor a flat stack of papers that is easy to carry and store. However, it is better to ask your professor, as the department may have other requirements and rules concerning binders.
Study the APA rules carefully and leave some time to check your research paper formatting. It might take you a while to read it and correct the mistakes, so do not try to do it at the last minute.
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