How To Create A Research Paper In MLA Format

The MLA format refers to Modern Language Association and is most commonly used for papers and citing sources in the humanities and liberal arts fields of study. It provides the student writer with a guideline for formatting their research paper. This style focuses in accountability to the sources that are being used.

MLA style had the benefit of protecting you from being accused of plagiarism because of the efficiency with which sources are given acknowledgement. It’s helpful to refer to the MLA Handbook for more detailed information. The scope of this article can’t cover everything but the following tips have been condensed for your convenience:

  • Your research paper should be printed on standard 8.5 x 11-inch white paper.
  • Use double spacing throughout your text and a serif font; preferably Times New Roman. If you decide on another type font, make sure there is a stark difference between the look of the regular type and the look of the italics.
  • Only one space should be left after the end of a sentence. For example, only leave 1 space after a period or an exclamation mark.
  • The side margins should all be set to 1 inch.
  • Pages should all be numbered consecutively in the margin of the upper right hand corner. If your instructor asks that you leave the number off your first page, always follow his or her guidelines.
  • When citing long works within your research paper, always use italics. They can also be used to provide emphasis.
  • Endnotes should be placed separately right before your Reference page. The endnotes section can be titled Notes. No need to format that page.
  • There is no need for the title page unless it has been specifically requested.
  • Your name, your instructor’s and the course name and date should be located in the upper left corner of the first page. They should be double spaced.
  • The title of the paper should be centered. Double space between the title and the first line of your text.
  • Periodicals include newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals that appear in paper form. Electronic periodicals are cited differently. For printed periodicals, you must cite by listing the article’s author first. The title must appear in quotation marks followed by the name of the periodical in italics. The date of the publication is the last part, followed by the word “print”.

Following these few writing tips will help you create your research paper properly formatted for MLA requirements.