What To Know About The MLA Research Paper Format
The MLA style is often used by college students and researchers. It is designed to help you format your research paper and any other type of academic writing in a reader-friendly manner and cite informational sources of a different kind. In the school’s library, you may get a comprehensive manual that provides all the MLA formatting details. However, you can get started by following the basic guidelines provided below.
MLA Research Paper Format: Basic Guidelines
You should learn the general research paper format before you start writing your paper. First, double-space all your paper. Second, use 12 or 14 pt font size and select a legible font. Third, leave one space after all the punctuation marks unless your academic advisor asks you otherwise. Remember to set a one-inch indent.
Your page margins should be one inch on all sides. All the pages should have a header on the top of the page with a page number in the right corner. However, check your instructor’s requirements, as you may be asked to omit the page number on the first page. Pay special attention to the formatting of the first page. It makes sense to get a sample and follow it carefully.
You can use endnotes if necessary. They are included on a separate page before the reference list. In the MLA style, the page with endnotes should be entitled as “Notes” and reference list should be entitled as a “Works Cited” page. All the section titles should be centered and unformatted.
Avoiding Plagiarism: MLA In-Text Citation Guidelines
Plagiarism is unacceptable in academic writing, so you should carefully cite all the sources that you have consulted while working on your research paper. The following things to know will help you format in-text citations in the MLA style:
- Ensure that you make a clear distinction between your ideas and the words of another person.
- Introduce the paraphrase, citation, or quotation that you use for the first time.
- Provide only the author’s last name within your writing after the first appearance.
- Use either a short or a full title if you do not know the author.
- Use a semicolon to separate several citations.
- Include information about the chapter if you are citing a certain passage of a play or a novel.
- Keep a direct quotation length to a minimum.
- Indent any direct quotation longer than four typed lines and cite the source right after the quotation.
- Omit a part of quotation if possible and indicate it with four ellipsis points.
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