The MLA format, developed by the Modern Language Association of America, is among the most commonly used formats for academic research paper documentation. Even though it is highly preferred for language and literature research documentation, it is also, often, used by other subjects as its rules are quite flexible and simple. Yet, there are certain points to be noted regarding this documentation style also; especially if you know that you would be using the MLA research paper format for your academic research papers and term papers.
How to format your research paper in MLA style
There are a few things which must be noted about the proper application of the MLA format. It is always ideal to keep the latest edition of the manual of MLA style for reference; you can also practice the use of the style using MLA research outline templates which would be available online. Since there are many features in this style which are flexible, you must also take into account the instructions given in your project guidelines. There could be instructions regarding alterations in certain formats, which you will have to follow. If there are no such specifications mentioned in the guidelines, then you are expected to follow the basic MLA research paper format.
The title page
MLA format does not encourage the use of a separate title page, even though the option is available. The title page, or the title box, is to be a part of the first page of the research paper. On the top left hand corner, you may type your name, your course title, the professor’s name and the date of submission, one below the other, double-spaced. On the top left-hand corner, you may type your surname alongside the page number. The title is to appear two spaces below the submission date, centrally aligned. Leaving a couple of spaces downwards, you may start writing your research paper.
MLA research paper format prefers the sources to be cited within the text and in a separate bibliography section. The in-text citations are to be formatted in the (author, page) format where the author stands for the surname of the author and the page stands for the page number. The sources are again to be cited in a separate section, which starts on a fresh page, with the heading of ‘Works Cited’. Complete details of the sources are to be cited and the section must be organized in alphabetical order, with respect to the surnames of the authors. Content notes or end notes are also among the referencing options of MLA format.
MLA style allows the use of any formal fonts like Times New Roman. The use of fancy fonts is not permitted. The font size is to be 10-12pt and the margins are to be of one inch on each side.
The MLA research paper format is simple enough, yet, if you are not sure of the fundamentals of a documentation style, you would not be able to use it appropriately. If you need any help to write an essay or term paper format, let us know.