Academic Writing Help: MLA Format Research Paper Example

There are many different types of formatting styles out there, including

  • Harvard Style Referencing
  • APA – American Psychological Association
  • MLA – Modern Language Association

Most of them have very similar types of formatting and if you learn one, you know most of the other as well. This article aims to explain the correct way to format a research paper (using examples) using MLA style.


When writing MLA style, you need to keep track of all the sources you used and even opened when you were researching on your topic. This is important because at the end, you have to write up a page of references citing all those articles, papers and web pages you looked at and took information from. Not doing this can lead to heavy penalties and you do not want to be on the receiving end of these. You need to know the following in order to complete your references:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Title of publication
  • Edition (if any)
  • Pages (try being as specific as possible)
  • Name of publication
  • Place of publication
  • Web link (if any) and date accessed


This is also included at the end of the research paper after the references but before the appendix section. The difference between the references and the bibliography is simple. References are those articles and books you took information from and included that in your write-up. The bibliography is any other resource that you looked at while researching your topic but did not include it in your write-up. The reason you split them is because you may still have used a reference without knowing it so, to be on the safe side, it is good practice to include a bibliography. The formatting of this is the same as that for the references.


For this section, you include the exact location where you used any of the references that you included at the end of your paper. This is done so that the person reading can follow your thoughts and look up the resource for any clarification if necessary. This is done in the following manner:

  • You include a superscript number at the top of the word at the end of the sentence you want to reference
  • Include the same type of referencing format as a footnote

If you reference your work properly, then you will be okay and your paper will look well-organized and well done.

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