Picture this. You’ve prepared an essay or a term paper with relevant information and followed all specifications on the MLA paper format mentioned by your professor. But when you submit the paper, your professor points out a few mistakes in the citation and referencing. Such incidents are disappointing and are all too common.
That said, you can prevent such issues from taking away the credibility of your academic tasks. This requires you to develop proper clarity on the MLA style of citation. On that note, we have presented a number of ideas you’ll find useful when you’re looking for all assignment help to guide you on the citations.
How to maintain the MLA paper format
1. Keep the title centre-aligned
Your title needs to be at the centre of the page. The title of an academic paper should be informative yet creative.
If you use a subtitle, add it on the same line as the title and keep the two separate with a colon after the title. The first letter of every word should capitalised, except articles and prepositions.
2. Double-space your document
Right from the first page, your assignment paper has to be double-spaced. In this case, you don’t need to add any extra space at the end of a paragraph.
In case of most word processing programs, you can modify the spacing with the help of the “Page Layout” settings which you can access from a “File” menu. There you’ll find "Line Spacing" heading in the dialogue box. Choose the “2.0” spacing, under that heading.
3. Prepare a running header
A running header will feature on each page in the same spot. It must include your last name and the page number of each page and should be placed on the top right corner of a page.
Use the "Header and Footer" tool in your word processor, under the "View" menu. Type your last name and select the page number icon in the options box to automatically add the current page number.
4. Break the main body down into section headings when appropriate
If your assignment is elaborate, your professor may request that you separate some parts of it into various section headings.
As per the MLA research paper format, it’s suggested to number each section with an Arabic number and a period. Add a space followed by the period, and then type the section name.
5. Use 12-point font
The preferred MLA format font style and size is 12-point in Times New Roman.
If you plan to use another font apart from Times New Roman, select one that is simple, legible, and not too large.
6. Maintain 1-inch margin
The right, left, top and bottom margins should be at least 1 inch wide.
In case of most word processing programs, you can modify the MLA format margins by heading into the "Page Layout" settings, ideally located under a "File" menu. There will be a "Margins" heading in the dialogue box. From there, change each margin to the appropriate size.
How to include an in-text citation for MLA paper format
1. Add the author’s name and page number in parentheses
Whenever you rephrase or quote from a source in your academic paper, you should incorporate an in-text citation. As per the format, you need to add the last name of the writer of the source, followed by the page number, within parentheses.
For instance, if you are quoting from page 57 of Thomas Hardy’s book The Mayor of Casterbridge, you need to add the in-text citation as (Hardy 57). If the work has multiple authors, you can list them. For instance: (Thompson and Wright 163)
2. Include the parenthetical citation after the line from the text
Place the parenthetical citation after the sentence where you incorporate the quote. The parenthetical citation should appear before the period after the sentence.
In case you’re adding a long, block quote, place the parenthetical citation after the final period at the end of the quote.
3. Look at the MLA style guide if you need more information
The general format of in-text citations is applicable for different types of academic papers. However, if you’re conducting more advanced research or writing for a particular audience, you probably have to include additional details in your citations, like the edition or chapter numbers.
The MLA Handbook consists of official guidelines on more specialised citation needs.
How to present the works cited page in MLA paper format
1. Collect details relevant to each source
The MLA for guidelines relies on a set of principles that lets you cite any type of source, instead of a set of different rules for different media (book, website, interview, podcast, or film). You’ll list the details, with a period between each. Include any details that are available. Such as-
- Publication date
2. Keep the author and title of the source first
Mention the author (if known) with his/her last name first. Follow with the complete title of the source. For example, Hardy, Thomas. Mayor of Casterbridge.
If the author's name isn't mentioned, just start with the title. Typically, the titles of things like poems, songs, and articles are provided in quotation marks. Books, films, TV series and other elaborate works are italicised.
Wrapping it up,
The MLA style of citation and referencing may not be simple, but with a basic understanding of this style, you can put together flawless academic documents. Make sure to skim through this overview to develop a thorough knowledge of MLA style citation.
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