Basics to MLA Formatting and Style

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The MLA style was developed by the Modern Language Association (MLA) as a means for students and scholars in the language and literature fields to format their assignments and papers. It's one of the most common formats used in academia today.

Your teacher may have asked you to format your new assignment in MLA. You may feel confident to write your assignment but getting the MLA format right is equally important to get a better grade. If you’re completely new to MLA then don’t worry! This citation style is relatively simpler than other styles such as Chicago or APA style. Here are guidelines that will provide you with the essay help for formatting your essay.

General Guidelines

  • Use a standard white paper of size 8.5 * 11 inch
  • Use a legible font (Times New Romans) and double-space the whole paper even the reference page
  • Add 1-inch margin on all paper sides
  • In every paragraph, the first word should be indented 1.5 inch
  • Set off quotation should be indented 1 inch on left side
  • Use a font size of 12 inch
  • Leave a single space after punctuation marks and periods.
  • Use header and create a title page
  • For the creation of headers, these steps should be followed
  • Type your instructor name, course detail, and dates. The title should be in the center. Do not underline and use capital letters for the title.
  • Do not insert a period after any heading and title.

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Page numbers

The page numbers should be placed such that it is at the upper right-hand corner, 1 inch from the top and level with the right margin. Do not use p. before writing the page number.

Remember! Most professors do not want you to add a page number on the first page. Ask your professor for any kind of preference.

As for your in-text citations, the MLA 8 style requires you to add page numbers after the author’s last name following space. The MLA 7, however, makes adding a page number optional in-text.

Illustrations and Tables

  • The table should be labeled as Table, give this an Arabic numeral, and then give the title. The caption should be present above the table.
  • Format your table in the same way as a paper title.
  • Provide any notes and sources underneath the table. Remember! the notes should be written in a letter instead of the numeral. Use double space.
  • Label figures like Fig. use Arabic numerals and add a caption.
  • The caption and label should be present below the figure.

Important Information: If the caption of illustration and table provides source complete information and source is not cited in the text then there is no need to add a citation in your work cited page.

Work Cited Page

  • Immediately after typing your paper final line, press CTRL, and ENTER key at the same time to start a new page. The automatic numbering of page and header with your last name must appear on your paper top left.
  • Click the icon of the Align Center so that your title becomes centered. Before this, make sure to go on the menu bar and click on ‘Format’ and after that “Paragraph” and make sure that paragraph first line is not indented.
  • Type “Work Cited” (Keep in mind! do not italicize, underline, and boldface)
  • To begin a new line, press ENTER key. Go to the menu bar, click on the icon of Align Left. Select Paragraph and Format then select Spacing and Indent tab and change it to left alignment.
  • From the menu bar, select Paragraph, and Format. In the Spacing and Indents section, go to Special and click hanging.

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Format of Heading

  • level 1: Flush left and bold
  • Level 2: Flush left and Italic
  • level 3: Bold and Centered
  • Level 4: Italic and Centered
  • Level 5: Flush left and underlined.

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