Simple MLA Formatting And Style Guide

College students have to deal with loads of homework. One of the most complex assigned tasks is paper writing. The majority of young people get familiar with the main types of college papers when they are in the high school, but since the requirements for school paper are different from the college one, they face issues with completing this task.

Any college paper has numerous demands including following the correct style and format, proper citing of sources, right paragraph number, and many others. Besides, any college paper has to be original.

Not all college students can meet all of these requirements. This can be explained by numerous reasons, for example, not all students have enough time for completion of the paper, others lack experience in college writing. But one of the main reasons is the unfamiliarity with citing standards and style requirements. Today, there are many different style types for college papers, and MLA format is one of the most common and complicated ones.

What Is MLA Format?

MLA citation format, also referred to as modern language association format, is a set of norms applied to paper’s format, style, and source citing, that are widely used in modern educational institutions like university or college. MLA style can be applied to almost any college paper, including essay, thesis or research paper.

MLA format paper must meet certain requirements. Thus, if you need to create MLA format essay or other paper, the guidelines for formatting described in this article will help you to cope with this task, unless your instructor have provided you with different style guidelines.

What Are The General Guidelines Stated In The MLA Handbook?

Below you can find general MLA format template that can be easily applied to your college paper if you are using MS-Word to create your work and will help you to create a high-quality and original paper.

  • The margins in your paper have to be as follows: your head, bottom, left and right margins have to be one inch wide.
  • Use double-spaced line spacing. If you are using MS-Word, you can change the spacing in the menu; the majority of other text editors also have this function, so it should not confuse you. And note that there is no necessity to add extra spaces before each paragraph!
  • As a rule, students have to choose Times New Roman font in the MS-Word and set it to 12 font size for an MLA style paper unless their college allows to choose another font, and italicize the text whenever it is needed.
  • Set the header. The header has to be displayed on every page of your paper and indicate the author’s name and page number. Place your header in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Where to set it? In MS-Word, you can find the header settings in the “View” or “Insert” menu and easily change this settings so they would meet the requirements of this style.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph.
  • You also have to number all pages starting from the first one; as was mentioned earlier, the page numbers have to be placed at the head part of the page next to the paper author’s name.

These are the main requirements to the MLA style. They may vary depending on the educational institution, subject or personal demands of your instructor, but using MLA format paper example provided in this article you will get an idea of how to format your paper!

How Should A Good Title Page MLA Format Example Look Like?

This is the first page of your work. Before creating it, be confident that you are aware of the requirements of your college because many students make the same mistake – they spend hours to reprint this page until it looks good, and then realize that their task didn’t require them to include this page to the paper. But if you need to have a title page, follow the steps provided below.

  • MLA format heading has to be strictly in the center of the head part of the page. Make your caption informative, interesting and original and start every new word with a capital letter. And don’t forget that your work must have subheadings. The requirements to every caption are the same as for the heading.
  • Type your name in the center of the sheet, a bit lower than the head part of the page, your full name has to be placed after the word “By” on the following line.
  • At the end of the sheet you have to name the course for which you are writing this work.
  • On the following lines you need to name your instructors and the date.

Follow all these steps carefully to format your title page correctly or otherwise you will have to adjust and reprint it later, so it can save you some additional time!

What Citation Style To Follow When Citing Sources Within The Text?

Always include parenthetical citation to any borrowed material. After a direct quotation, paraphrasing or presenting the borrowed material in the text of your work, you always have to state the source in the form of parenthetical citations.

How should it look like? If you have enough information about the source, include the author’s last name and the page where the material was found in the parenthetical citations. If the source material was found on the Internet and has no page number, write only the author’s name and the name of this source, also including it in parenthetical citations. What if you can’t find the name of the author? If the writer is anonymous, you can indicate only the name of the source in the brackets, but you should not leave the source not cited!

How To Create The Works Cited Page?

Citing sources of information is the hardest part of the task. Many students confuse MLA with different style of citing and thus, make many mistakes when citing their sources and have to spend more time to reprint this page later. If you are not aware of the rules of citing sources you can use some MLA format generator that can help you to deal with this issue and keep your text original and free of plagiarism.

Why is citing important? As was said earlier, citing will help you to create an original work because if you are not citing the sources of information that you used to create the work – then you text can turn out plagiarized.

All the sources that you are citing have to be included on the last page of your college work. This section can be called bibliography or works cited. The name of this section may vary, so before you create it ask for help of your advisor or carefully read your guidelines, or otherwise you will have to reprint this page again.

General requirements:

  • Place the name of this section in the center of the head part of the sheet.
  • When citing, organize your sources in the alphabetic order.
  • Use quotation marks when citing your sources and include all the information that you have like writer’s name, page number, type and name of source, date when it was published and day when the reprint was done (the date when reprint took place is only applicable to printed sources), etc.
  • Italicize the names of books, magazines, etc.

Where To Look For Help?

Citing sources for college work is not easy and that is why so many college students are desperately seeking for additional help to cope with similar assignments, but not all of them have an idea of where to find professional help.

There are three main options – you can use style selector dropdown tools to find examples of other students’ works, you can ask for help of your classmates or your teacher or you can order the work from college writing service. Which one is more reliable? Style selector or generator is not a great idea because the computer can’t create a work that would look like it was written by a person, asking college fellows is also not the best choice. While asking for help of professional writer gives you a number of guarantees and benefits, which make it one of the best solutions to your problems!