Who can explain to me how to write an MLA research paper?

The MLA style, or the Modern Language Association style, is popularly used in the Humanities, especially in language and literature across Northern America and also in some other parts of the world. It varies somewhat from other styles. Specific guidelines can be found in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition). However, here are some of the major key points to keep in mind:

  • Formatting
  • References
  • In-Text Citing
  • Formatting
  • Set the font in size twelve, Times New Roman. Double space and indent the first line of every paragraph. All margins should be set to one inch. All indents should be a half inch. Italics can be used to cite long works. Try to avoid italics for use of emphasis. There is no title page in MLA, instead on your very first page at the upper left side, list your name, your instructor’s name, your course and the date. Then, just under this and centred should be your title, and just below that, your main body. A header should be created on the top right of every page with your surname and a page number. Some essayists will add in headings, similar in concept to a chapter title in a novel. This is discretionary and you should discuss it with your instructor.

  • References
  • Your References section should contain all the information you accessed during your research. Here’s an example of what a good MLA citation looks like:

    Contributors' names; full stop; "Title of Resource."  Last edited date; full stop.

    If you accessed the source via the web, add in the URL at the end followed bu the date.

    ie: Austen, J. “Pride and Prejudice.” 1813, January 27th. 

    If you have multiple authors write them all up before the title.

    When arranging your references, place them in alphabetical order according to their surname.

  • In-Text Citing
  • When citing in-text, you can place the title of the work in quotes or italicize, and then add in the page number in brackets.

    ie: “Pride and Prejudice (102)

    or you can put the author surname and the page in brackets.

    ie: (Austin, 102)

    If you cite a reference in text, you must then reference it in your bibliography section later. 

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